Hours after the end of a six-month legal battle in the British and European Courts over the life of Alfie Evans an MEP (Member of European Parliament) Steven Woolfe introduced a law Thursday (April 26th) that would give parents more rights regarding the treatment of their terminally ill children.
The new law named after 23-month-year-old Alfie Evans follows the recent cases of Charlie Gard and Aysha King who had similar results like Evans that have resulted in protracted legal battles regarding parental rights in the UK’s High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
In a statement outside the House’s of Parliament Woolfe said “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.” and that “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.” Woolfe says that the new law “recognizes the dedication of doctors and nurses treating sick children,” and that the “parents also have “moral rights” about the care of their loved ones.”
Woolfe also accused the British government of threatening “legal action, defamation and potential contempt of court warnings against those of supporting the family in the Alfie Evans case. He also said that it was “outrageous” that UK government official on Health Jeremy Hunt and officials at Alder Hey Hospital “have complained about protests outside the hospital,” and that the “supporters of the family or Alfies Army of being a mob.”
The new law is being backed by the think-tank Parliament Street; a spokesperson for the think-tank said that “Parents are being sidelined in the care of their children, in what are highly complicated moral decisions,” and that they “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.”
No word yet on when this law will be debated in the European Houses of Parliament.
Keep reading the Miller News Service for updates on this story.
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