Alfie Evans, sick toddler at centre of end-of-life debate, dies

  • 29/04/2018

Alfie Evans, a sick British toddler whose parents won support from the Pope during a protracted legal battle to take him to the Vatican children's hospital for treatment, has died.

The 23-month-old died early on Saturday (local time), five days after he was taken off life support.

Hundreds of supporters gathered in Springfield Park in Liverpool, next to the Alder Hey Children's Hospital where Alfie was treated.

They released blue and purple balloons in his memory at 2:51pm - exactly 12 hours after he was officially pronounced dead.

The parents, Kate James and Tom Evans, announced their son's death on social media, saying they were "heartbroken".

Alfie had a rare degenerative brain condition that left him with almost no brain function, and multiple courts ruled that keeping him alive was not in his best interests.

Pope Francis, who had publicly supported Evans and James' campaign, wrote condolences on Twitter.

Francis appealed for the wishes of the boy's parents to be heeded, saying only God can decide who dies.

"While the Church applauds every effort in research and application directed to the care of our suffering brothers and sisters, she is also mindful of the basic principle that not everything technically possible or doable is thereby ethically acceptable."

Italy even granted Alfie citizenship and put a military plane on standby to transport him to Rome if the courts allowed it.

APTN / Newshub.