Vatican official calls for 'shared response' to help terminally ill British toddler

Last week, the father of the toddler asked Pope Francis if the pontiff could speak for his son.

April 23, 2018 07:59
2 minute read.
Vatican official calls for 'shared response' to help terminally ill British toddler

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. (photo credit: REUTERS/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI)


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Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has called for a 'shared response' to find a solution that could see terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans receive treatment outside the United Kingdom.

Paglia called on family members and medical staff to work together to find the best solution for the child .

Last week, the UK Supreme Court turned down the latest appeal by parents of 23-month-old Evans, who suffers from an undiagnosed degenerative neurological condition, to take their son to Italy for treatment.

The boy's medical team at Liverpool's Alder Hey hospital have argued that his life support system should be turned off. Judges at the UK's highest court said "there is no hope of him getting better."

Last week, the father of the toddler asked Pope Francis if the pontiff could speak for his son.

Speaking through a translator, Evans said he had come to see the pope in Rome so he could share his suffering.

And, he asked Pope Francis to speak for Alfie, to tell the world God, not doctors, should make a decision if someone lives or dies.

In response the Pope wrote a post on Twitter calling for "everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans."

Following the Supreme Court's ruling, the boy's parents have submitted a second appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

"We are going to appeal to the European court of human rights in the hope that we can stay the end of life order our courts have made. We are appealing today because we have got to act quickly. The parents are devoted parents," said Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Center, the group representing Alfie's family.

An online petition calling on British Prime Minister Theresa May to allow the baby to "be granted a chance to live by transferring him to bambino gesu hospital without delay." So far nearly 40,000 people have signed the petition.

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