Whilst we absolutely recognise the skill and dedication of medical professionals in the UK, we stand by the moral rights of parents – and their children – to make their informed decisions about care and treatment. 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.
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. Ashya is in remission and doing well.
Parliament Street’s campaign calls on MPs to grant Parliamentary time to this matter in the Chamber, to ensure that parents are not taken through such lengthy and delaying legal challenges in future.
Clare Ambrosino, Chairman of Parliament Street said: “This story is breaking the hearts of the nation. Life cannot be reduced to a legal issue. If there is another country willing to treat or care for a sick child, parents must have the right to take up the offer. We will fight to put an end to this cruel law.”
Elizabeth Anderson, Head of Campaign at Parliament Street said: “Parents are being side-lined in the care of their children, in what are highly complicated moral decisions. We 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. We know that MPs have the power to change this, to help children and their parents in the future, and call on them to address this.”
Steven Woolfe MEP, launching the campaign outside the Houses of Parliament today, 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.
“Parent’s 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.”