Baby Alfie Evans has an ally in the Charlie Gard family.
You may recall how last year, a baby named Charlie found himself in a similar situation to Alfie: the hospital deemed his terminal illness hopeless and wanted him pulled off life support, while the parents wanted to take him to the United States for experimental treatment, which was denied by the U.K. courts.
How quickly history repeats itself. Almost one year later exactly, and already a similar controversy is now unfolding with baby Alfie Evans.
Connie Yates, Charlie’s mother said, “For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate are going through.”
“When we were fighting for our son, Charlie Gard, to be given a chance to try a treatment that could have improved his quality of life, we realized that cases like these would keep happening until the law was changed,” she continued. “Tragically, this has proven to be true.”
Since that awful day in July last year when their son died, Connie said that she and her husband, Chris, have been working with pediatricians, medical ethicists, lawyers, politicians and other parents on proposing a new law to prevent this from happening in the future. The law proposed is aptly titled “Charlie’s Law.”
“This involves addressing problems around the ‘best interests’ test as well as creating a platform for transparency and openness so that cases like these can be dealt with before they ever reach the courts,” said Yates.
“Once cases are public it is difficult for people to be fully aware of the complexities and this often leads to ill informed judgements on both sides and creates unnecessary conflicts,” Yates said. “We have something that is better for everybody – hospitals, healthcare professionals, families with sick children, the NHS, and the reputation of our own government.”
Yesterday, Steven Woolfe, MEP, announced he will be working alongside the “Parliament Street” lobby group on ways to stop parental rights from being curtailed in the future.
“Parents are being side-lined in the care of their children, in what are highly complicated moral decisions,” said a spokesman for the group. “We strongly believe it is time for a change in the law to re-empower parents to have a say in the treatment of their children. We know that MPs have the power to change this to help children and their parents in [the] future, and call on them to address this.”