Britain’s Court of Appeal has ruled that 23-month-old British infant Alfie Evans should not be taken to Italy for experimental treatment. Evans is suffering from an unidentified neurodegenerative disease, and is said by doctors to be in a “semi-vegetative state”. His parents had petitioned the courts for permission to take him abroad for further medical treatment, and even approached Pope Francis for support.
Yet the courts rejected the request, saying that “almost the entirety of Alfie’s brain has been eroded, leaving only water and cerebral spinal fluid”. A date has been set by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for taking Evans off life-support.
Media reports on Thursday indicated that Alfie’s parents have asked the Supreme Court to reconsider the issue.
Oxford-based neonatologist Dominic Wilkinson said that the UK judicial process for resolving end-of-life disputes was too protracted. He argued that a better system can be found in Texas, where disputes of the discontinuation of treatment are resolved by hospital ethics committees.
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