UK Lawmaker Pushes For Parental Rights With ‘Alfie’s Law’

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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A U.K. lawmaker began campaigning Thursday in the waning hours of the battle over Alfie Evans for a new law to restore parental rights.

The law, which proponents call “Alfie’s Law,” if passed, would ensure the rights of parents like Tom Evans and Kate James to make informed decisions about the medical treatment of their children, according to the Mirror. Steven Woolfe MEP and Think Tank Parliament Street are leading the campaign, which began at 4:30 p.m. local time at College Green, Westminster, “to bring an end to the tragic situation of parents of young children such as Alfie Evans.”

“Whilst we absolutely recognize the skill and dedication of medical professionals in the U.K., we stand by the moral rights of parents — and their children — to make their informed decisions about care and treatment,” a Think Tank Parliament Street spokesman said, according to the Mirror.

“Recent, high profile cases have seen parents drawn through protracted legal battles, which have forbidden children to be taken from hospital for medical care by their clinical peers in other countries and leading parents to become the clinical link for their own child,” they added.

Woolfe, a member of the European Parliament representing Northwest England, also issued a press release about the need for a change to current U.K. laws governing the agency of children, their parents and the state.

“The cases of Charlie Gard, Aysha King, and now Alfie Evans, show a dangerous trend of public bodies depriving parents and families of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children.

Parents’ rights should neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant by hospitals and courts, who believe they know best and have the power, money and resources to overwhelm families who simply want to save their child.

We demand a change in the law to restore the rights of parents in such decisions. All parents should be allowed an independent advocate to defend their case with the right legal and medical expertise and financial equality of arms.

Now is the time to act. We cannot have another baby, another family, have to go through the struggle and torment the Evans family have. It’s time for Alfie’s Law,” Woolfe said, according to Express.

Parliament Street issued a press release about the campaign’s launch, citing not only the case of Alfie Evans but also those of Charlie Gard and Ashya King as examples of violations of parents’ rights. (RELATED: How Charlie Gard Could Happen In U.S.) 

“The case of Ashya King saw his parents hunted across Europe after they decided to remove him from hospital and take him to the Czech Republic for proton beam therapy,” the press release stated, according to Lifesite News. “Ashya is in remission and doing well.”

In a similar case to those of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, the U.K. hospital treating Ashya decided it was not in the child’s best interest to move him or to allow his parents to seek proton beam therapy abroad. His parents took him anyway and disappeared, which led to a manhunt endiug with their arrest in Malaga, Spain. Ashya’s parents were released after Spain denied the request to extradite them to the U.K. Eventually, U.K. courts ruled in Ashya’s parents’ favor. They were able to take Ashya to Prague for the treatment. As in the current case with Alfie, doctors involved received death threats.

Shortly after the campaign for the launched law, Tom Evans announced he and Kate had reached an accord with the staff of Alder Hey Hospital concerning a plan “that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs.” Tom did not go into detail about the plan but said he and Kate would be issuing no more statements and giving no more interviews so they could focus on spending time together as a family.

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