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British cardinal defends hospital in Alfie Evans case, says outsiders didn’t have ‘all the facts’

Cardinal Vincent Nichols said some of those supporting Alfie Evans’s family were not serving Alfie’s best interests, and others were even using the boy’s illness “for political purposes.”

Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, was speaking to KAI, a Polish Catholic news service.

Evans, who suffered from an undiagnosed brain ailment which left him in a semi-vegetative state, died on Saturday morning, just days before his second birthday.

His parents – Thomas Evans and Kate James – fought a legal battle to move him from Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital to the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome.

The Liverpool hospital said it was in Alfie’s “best interest” that his ventilator be removed, and said further treatment was futile, and a move would cause the child undue distress.

The parents’ battle garnered international support, including from Pope Francis, who met with Alfie’s father in the Vatican, and urged he and his partner be allowed “to seek new forms of treatment” for Alfie.

President Andrzej Duda of Poland also said “Alfie must be saved,” and the case was closely followed in the country.

Although many commentators around the world questioned why Alfie could not be moved, the bishops in England were supportive of the hospital, and the British legal system which prevented the Evans family from moving him.

“It is important to remember that the Alder Hey Hospital looked after Alfie not for two weeks or two months, but for eighteen months,” Nichols told KAI. “And during this time, they consulted the best specialists from around the world. Therefore, the position of the medical staff was very clear that there was no more medical help that could be given to the boy.”

Read more at Crux.

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