EMERGENCY HEARING IN CASE OF ALFIE EVANS
24 APRIL, 3.30PM
MANCHESTER CIVIL JUSTICE CENTRE, 1 BRIDGE STREET, M60 9DJ
The High Court will hold an emergency hearing in Manchester at 3.30pm today.
The Italian government announced yesterday that it has granted Italian citizenship to Alfie. The Italian government has made representations to the Foreign Secretary and applied for permission to intervene to save Alfie’s life.
Following a series of emergency hearings with Paul Diamond, standing counsel to the Christian Legal Centre, regarding the Italian intervention, Mr Justice Hayden refused to discharge his previous order, saying that Alfie was a UK citizen “habitually resident” in the UK. He said that the order to end Alfie’s life support remained and should commence at 9pm last night.
Ventilation support was withdrawn at 9.20pm. Contrary to all the expectations of the doctors, Alfie continued to breathe independently. The doctors had said that Alfie was being kept alive by artificial ventilation, and that he would die shortly after its withdrawal.
Alfie continued to breathe unaided, but with some coughing, for some six hours with hospital staff refusing to intervene to help with either ventilation or hydration.
Between 4 and 5am this morning the Hospital reluctantly gave in to continued requests and provided some hydration and oxygen support.
Alfie has survived much longer than the doctors predicted, lending support to the request from Alfie’s parents for Alfie to be seen by medical experts in Italy.
An air ambulance is now waiting outside Alder Hey Hospital ready to take Alfie to hospital in Italy.
Paul Diamond, who will represent the parents this afternoon, will argue that it cannot be in Alfie’s best interests to be left to die in Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
He will argue that Alfie should be allowed to travel to Italy where doctors are ready to care for him.
The court and the hospital should welcome the intervention of the Italian government and let Alfie travel to Italy.
A representative of the Italian Embassy will attend the hearing.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern said:
“Alfie continues to fight for his life in an extraordinary way, as do his parents and our lawyers.
“We welcome the intervention of the Italian government and are grateful that they stand ready to take Alfie to Italy.
“A common sense approach must now be for Mr Justice Hayden to discharge all the court orders which detain Alfie and seek to end his life in Alder Hey, and give him the chance to be treated and looked after in Italy.
“It cannot be in Alfie’s best interests to be left in Alder Hey where the court order is to let him die.
“Alfie’s best interests would be served by allowing him to travel to Italy.
“We urge the court to allow Alfie to travel to Italy today.”