Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool
Archdiocese of Liverpool
sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am writing this email to ask Your help to save the life of Alfie Evans.
As I am sure You are aware, Alfie is a 23-month-old baby with an undiagnosed degenerative neurological condition, and a patient at Alder Hey Childrens Hospital in Liverpool. In February, following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors could stop treating Alfie and remove his ventilator, regardless of the wishes of his parents, as, in his words: “The continued provision of ventilation, in circumstances which I am persuaded is futile, now compromises Alfie’s future dignity and fails to respect his autonomy. I am satisfied that continued ventilatory support is no longer in Alfie’s best interest.”.
While Alder Hey is persuaded to terminate his life by removing his ventilator, Alfie has since been offered free hospitalisation by the Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù in Italy, where he could be offered the care that he needs in order to reach the natural end of his life in a loving and cherishing environment.
Alfie’s parents have accepted that no cure is possible and are simply demanding the right to care for their son rather than choosing to terminate his life. They have privately organized everything that is required to take Alfie from the UK to Italy: air ambulance, flight, ventilator, and trained medical staff to care for him during the transfer. However, Alder Hey is denying them the right to take their son elsewhere.
In 2004, Pope John Paul II addressed a group of physicians in Rome, saying: “I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering. Murdering a child who does not have a diagnosis is immoral, illegal and wrong at every level.” If Alfie remains at Alder Hey, he will be murdered.
In the Summer of 2013, in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis welcomed an anencephalous little girl, still alive despite the extremely serious brain disease affecting her, as she was presented by her parents at the end of the Holy Mass concluding World Youth Day in front of two Million people. It is not a brain disease, however serious or extended, that defines the value of a life or makes it “futile”. A life is always a precious gift for a child’s parents, for the Church, for humanity, for each of us.
If there is anything in Your power that can be done to help Alfie, I am begging the Lord to grant You the clarity of mind and strength that is needed to act. I do not know what I could suggest: talking to the judge, the doctors, the PM, the MPs, anyone that will listen to You? I pray God in His Mercy to help anyone who will want to put his will at the service of His Will. As baptised Roman Catholics, Alfie and his parents Thomas and Katherine are part of the Mystichal Body of Christ: they are as close to us as the limbs of our own bodies in Christ, their suffering is our suffering, and whatever is done to these brothers of ours it is done to Christ and, therefore, to us.
Please rest assured of my prayers for You.
Asking Your Excellency’s blessing, I am
Yours respectfully in Christ
[NOME e COGNOME]