Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the hospital where Alfie Evans is staying after his father claimed that police told him he would be arrested for “assault” if he tried to “legally” remove his son.
Speaking to supporters on Thursday night outside of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, father Thomas Evans accused doctors of calling the police after he informed them that he was going to transport his son to the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù in Rome for treatment.
Police were present outside the hospital after hundreds of supporters, who refer to themselves as “Alfie’s Army”, turned up in protest at the High Court ruling backing the hospital’s decision to remove the 23-month-old boy from life support.
Mr. Evans told the BBC that he and Alfie’s mother, Kate James, are being accompanied by Polish doctors and have a private ambulance and jet ready to take their son to Italy, asserting that the hospital has no legal right to stop them.
He said: “There’s no court order to say Alfie has to stay in this hospital right now.
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“The truth behind the matter is that me and Kate hold full responsibility and we can take him to our transportation van with full equipment with the doctors who have got full duty of care… and they are not allowing us.”
Pointing to documents in a Facebook video filmed Thursday night from Baby Alfie’s bedside, Mr. Evans said: “I have the documentation that says I have a right to take my son out of the hospital… I have removed full duty of care [from Alder Hey] and given it to our air ambulance.”
One document, a letter from the Christian Legal Centre, said that given the medical professionals, transport, and life support equipment the family had prepared, “such a removal would be lawful under English law”.
“It remains lawful for an alternative team of medical professionals, with your parental consent, to provide such medical treatment to Alfie as they professional deem to be appropriate,” the lawyer wrote.
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“Alder Hey are stopping us. Alder Hey phoned the police to stop me taking my son out of the hospital,” Mr. Evans said.
“I was told by a police officer if I take Alfie I was going to get arrested for assault,” he told supporters.
Kate, his mother, wrote Thursday: “How sad is it that someone can tell you where and when your child is going to die?”
“I know the date and time my child is going to die and we haven’t even had time as a family to come to terms with this,” she added.
Alfie was struck down by a neurological condition that doctors have been unable to diagnose and he has been on life support at the children’s hospital since December 2016.