Catholic pundit says hospital had 'imprisoned' Alfie Evans

Catholic pundit says hospital had 'imprisoned' Alfie Evans May 1, 2018

In a swingeing attack on Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital, US-based Catholic commentator Matthew Archbold accused hospital administrators of ‘imprisoning’ Alfie Evans and wanting him dead to preserve ‘faith’ in a ‘socialised’ health care system.

Shortly before the boy’s death last Saturday, Archbold, writing for The National Catholic Register, outrageously claimed:

A young boy was imprisoned, yes imprisoned, and the judge in the case could only think to scold the father to check his tone and speak only in subservient tones. What I heard was the judge saying that your son is going to die in our hospital and you will thank us for the deathbed we provide.

He added that hospital staff feared that people:

Would lose faith in the health care system if they saw Alfie leave the country and perhaps even prosper. Yes, think about it, what was the ‘worst case’ for Alder Hey and the NHS? It’s that the child would have gone to Italy and lived. Or worse yet, thrived. That was the outcome to be avoided.
It’s not odd that a culture that has loosed itself from Christianity is abandoning the very idea of individual rights. And that’s what it’s about. Ironically it’s about preventing the loss of faith in the institutions of a country that largely abandoned its faith in God. So now you have the state playing God. And it seems to me that those who play God often do the devil’s work.
I can’t help but wonder why every student in Catholic school wasn’t told about Alfie Evans. My own children in Catholic school were unaware of this unfolding horror. So many times I’ve heard that making the faith relevant to young people is difficult. Well here it is.
A drama ripped from the headlines that perfectly contrasts the beauty of Catholic teaching about the sacredness of life vs. the prevailing ethics of utilitarianism. The contrasting worldviews are laid bare. 

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that the hospital is to consider tightening security after the “unprecedented” abuse of medics treating Alfie Evans, amid warnings that other children’s hospitals could soon follow suit.
It is understood that senior staff at the hospital in Liverpool will discuss introducing more rigorous procedures in the coming weeks.
Security concerns at children’s hospitals have been further raised by claims that foreign-registered doctors have been posing as family friends to conduct unauthorised examinations in cases involving severely ill babies.

Peter-Marc Fortune, above, a senior consultant and spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said he was quite alarmed by the assessments. He said:

I fear this might end up with us tightening security in children’s hospitals which I think is really unfortunate because what we aim to do is make children’s hospitals less scary and as friendly as possible. We try to make it a very unchallenging environment for people.
In light of what’s happened, I think there will be some pause for thought and reflection and discussions. I don’t know how that might manifest but it seems to me it might mean we tighten things up a bit.

The Guardian revealed on Saturday how an international network of Catholic fundamentalists played a key role in advising Alfie’s parents, including organising a meeting with Pope Francis, arranging a string of medical experts to assess Alfie and replacing the family’s Liverpool-based legal team.
Fortune, who is president of the Paediatric Intensive Care Society, said he and fellow medics had been alarmed by the personal abuse directed at staff in the Alfie Evans case.
The scale of the attacks were described as “unprecedented” by Alder Hey’s Chairman and Chief  Executive, and condemned by Alfie’s father. For several days, Merseyside police stationed officers outside the hospital where hundreds of protesters gathered. At one point, dozens tried to storm the front entrance.
Fortune said almost 20 percent of trainee roles in paediatric departments were unfilled and that the abuse faced by Alder Hey staff could further damage recruitment.

The other thing that worries me, as an established professional who is ready to have the difficult conversations, this makes it very scary when you’re not just potentially going to put yourself in a very difficult conversation but end up with hate mail and things coming your way. The saddest thing of all of this is that all the people at the centre of this all wanted the same thing, which is the best thing for the child.


Religious interference in the case was further escalated by the Christian Legal Centre, headed by Andrea Rose Minichiello Williams, above, who calls herself a “barrister”. But, in a scathing attack on the outfit, the Nearly Legal blog, which accused the the CLC of having “questionable ethics”, said:

There is no Andrea Williams or Andrea Minichiello on the BSB (Bar Standards Board) register.

A key figure in the CLC’s involvement in the Evans case was a so-called “lawyer” Pavel Stroilov, who was described recently by a High Court judge as:

 A fanatical and deluded young man.

Mr Justice Hayden hit out at Stroilov, who is in fact merely a law student. He criticised Stroilov’s “malign hand” and told the Family Division of the High Court that some of his legal advice had come close to contempt of court.
The court heard the adviser had been party to Alfie’s dad, Tom Evans, lodging a private prosecution of Alder Hey Hospital doctors, allegedly for murder.

Pavel Stroilov
Before joining the Christian Legal Centre, Stroilov, a Russian exile, worked for Ukip as an aide to MEP – and now party leader – Gerard Batten.
The judge said, in fact, the Liverpool-based hospital had provided “world class” care for the little boy.
Hat tip: Ivan Bailey (Guardian report) and BarrieJohn (CLC report).

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  • Broga

    Matthew Archbold, a vile human, is worried about socialised medicine i.e. the NHS.
    Socialised medicine: that is where the State still hangs on to providing medical care on the basis of need and not on whether you can pay. In the USA you had better be able to pay or be in a job where they take care of your medical costs or you will be in big trouble.
    The insurance billionaires in the USA certainly don’t want “socialised medicine” and they have the money and the influence to stop any version of the NHS taking root. Some of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, faced with illness, are having a reality check.

  • andym

    Reason V Hysteria.
    Evidence V Faith
    Welfare V Ideology.
    Openness V Stealth and Deception.
    The forces of darkness and backwardness were in the wrong every time on this one. Yet like a space hopper, they’ll bounce back up, crying about persecution, and waiting for the next tragic case to exploit. All reasonable people can really do is stick calmly to their values.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    I’m an American, so I don’t know the innards of the British health care system, but it seems to me that the hospital, if what they wanted was for this boy to die quietly, didn’t do a very good job of it.
    If I was the Minister of Coverups, I would have ordered the doctors to slip a little something into the IV tube of Alfie a few weeks ago, and be done with it.
    I’m sure the hospital folks didn’t want all this sturm und drang. Mr. Archbold can’t seem to see that far, though.

  • Gary Gissing

    Sometimes it’s really hard not to despise the US. A nation where a significant number of citizens are fat, insolent, ignorant, Bible-thumping idiots.
    Here is another Jebus-loving American politicising the death of Alfie Evans.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/30/alfie-evans-death-illustrates-monstrous-logic-welfare-state/
    “”It’s not odd that a culture that has loosed itself from Christianity is abandoning the very idea of individual rights. And that’s what it’s about. Ironically it’s about preventing the loss of faith in the institutions of a country that largely abandoned its faith in God. So now you have the state playing God. And it seems to me that those who play God often do the devil’s work””
    Yeah, never complain to Jahveh and Co. about rhe existence of such horrifying neurological disorders, but feel free to harass the honest and devoted doctors who do their best to cure people. Apparantly, these despicable apes don’t think using emotionally vulnerable parents to further their Bronze-Age outlook is the devil’s work.
    And some people want to send troglodytes like Archbold to space !
    https://youtu.be/Occ96K5L3WM

  • Maggie

    When I read/hear what some of these religious “pundits”say, I get to wondering which came first: the idiocy or the religion. There’s so rarely one without the other.

  • Broga

    Gary Gissing : Sick, isn’t it? I have spent much of my adult life socialising with doctors and many would never work in the USA. Some who went to the USA returned here. They discovered that in the USA the doctor’s decision is so much under the pressure of what makes a profit. In the UK, although we are moving in the same direction, doctors can still make a decison based on what the patient needs.
    That comment is unfair to many fine doctors in the USA but Big Pharma calls the shots. It is tragic that so many patients in the USA have been misled by the lies about the NHS and the insistence that the USA system is better. I think that per capita the USA spends much more money on patients than the NHS.
    OT: I see that Trump wrote his own medical report – superbly fit, blood pressure 110/70? and the “fittest President ever”, and put his doctor’s name to it. How much longer can continue? Why is he not being impeached?

  • Terry

    CoastalMaineBird
    You are so wrong. Unless you were making a satirical observation
    The British NHS and all its staff do a brilliant job with very limited resources free at the point of service.You can get excellent healthcare in the USA too but only if you can afford it. So which is better?
    Alfie Evans received the best treatment and care in the UK. But his disease was incurable and terminal. The only humane thing to do was to let him die.The most humane thing would have been to ASSIST his death. But no the pious make that impossible. So a child had to suffer needlessly.
    But who is it that makes this impossible. The Pious Pro Lifers thats who who lurk in the background whipping up hysterical reactions of the press and people. The childrens hospital was stormed by a unruly unthinging mob. They were whipped up into a frenzy by the pro lifers. The parents and the child were ruthlessly exploited by the pro lifers who poured so much money and effort into causing a storm of publicity. Its a fucking disgrace and a damnation on humanitity that the religious and pro lifers interfere in this way. And guess what … the prolifer who orchestrated the whole thing from papal interference, leaking false news to the press, whipping up battalions of stupefied fools to storm a childrens hospital, to inciting death threats to medical staff, for arranging a squad of legal people to take court action etc was an AMERICAN PROLIFER based in Italy from where she did her worst to further the cause of her excremental religious belief.
    the mass hysteria, mob intimidation and death threats were actually whipped up by Christine Broesamle, an American “pro-life” activist based in Italy. She has a history of similar cases.
    And here she is:-
    ‘Call from God’: American pro-lifer’s role in Alfie Evans battle | UK news | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/28/call-from-god-american-pro-lifers-role-in-alfie-evans-battle?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_reddit_is_fun
    Christine Broesamle in videos on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/search?q=Christine+Broesamle
    Go and research her background.
    Meanwhile the hospital at the centre of this horrid case is now having to put on extra security to protect its staff, the patients and their sick children.
    So the NHS did its very best and the pious did their absolute worst. And Home Grown American fuckwit fundamentalist lunatics are exported all over the world to fuck thing up for those of us who just want a civilised world to live in.
    And if god is so fucking great why did he oversee the conception and miserable and short life of Alfie. We all know that god is not there which is why the I revile the interfering god bothering tossers who with ostentacious humility interfere uninvited with the lives of everyone.

  • AgentCormac

    ‘How much longer can continue? Why is he not being impeached?’
    Broga – if he was impeached we’d have the prospect of Mike Pence as president. Not as unhinged in general as the orange one, but when it comes to religion he’s about as whacko as it gets. I think the ballot box is the only real way to get rid of these dangerous idiots.

  • Brian Jordan

    Trump wrote his own medical report? If even he had to do that, medical costs in the US must be really high!

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: I forgot about the terror waiting to come of the bench. Yes, please stay Donald. He is the least worst option. I think even Trump’s supporters, apart from the nutters, are having second thoughts about their saviour.

  • L.Long

    Worse is the hypocrisy of the damned parents. If the hospital had said sure take your kid but it will die, then the kid died, I bet the parents would be suing the hospital for improper treatment.

  • Stephen Mynett

    AC, you are frighteningly correct. Pence is a very nasty piece of work but quite intelligent to go with it.
    This was a horrible case all round and while I have some sympathy for the parents, who just wanted to see their child survive and as such would have had some emotional impairment when it came to rational decisions they also allowed the parasites to take control of them.
    I would hope some of the CLC and other evangelicals who stirred this up be prosecuted. The were supportive of breaking into a hospital and endangering the lives of patients and staff. Whatever they felt about the Alfie Evans situation, threatening innocent children and hospital staff with violence is criminal and should be acted on by the authorities.

  • andym

    It’s ironic but predictable that socialised medicine would become a target. If this happened in the US, the child would have been dead long before any of these wackos got to hear about him, due to cost reasons. It’s the free health care which gives them so many targets in the UK.
    @ CMB. Terry is right. The hospital appear to have been blameless. Not so many of the others. The parents at least had mitigating factors.Not so the hystericals of”Alfie’s army”. Far from taking the long hard look at themselves they should, they’ll probably look back on it with fondness and nostalgia.
    Frankie again shot himself in the foot. The local bishop kept his distance and tried to warn him to do the same. He waded in , clearly with minimal understanding.The famed PR skills which got him the job appear to have deserted him.

  • barriejohn

    I’m sure that CoastalMaineBird’s comment was ironic!
    Broga: No second thoughts, I’m afraid. Trump’s support is growing as his administration “delivers on its promises”. When he and Bolton invade Iran they’ll be cock-a-hoop!
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/evangelical-support-for-flawed-president-trump-growing-vm39kdsjq
    Terry: As I’ve said before, God gave the poor boy this condition and he was being kept alive artificially by the hospital. If God is so great, why weren’t his parents calling for his treatment to end so that he could recover naturally? By demanding further intervention, surely they were defying his will?

  • barriejohn

    Re Trump’s health and dubious medicals: Ronny Jackson gave him a glowing report, due to his “incredible genes” (wow!), and said that he needed to lose “ten to fifteen pounds”. Do YOU agree with that assessment? Can you trust ANYTHING that anyone around him says?
    https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/president-trump-golfing.jpg

  • andym

    @bj. Reading it again, I think he probably was being ironic. But it’s still worth saying that the hospital didn’t make it easier for the nutters.I don’t so much mean clinically, but they stuck to the policy of putting the child’s interests first in the face of intimidation and manipulation helped by the credulous media.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    @Terry:
    CoastalMaineBird You are so wrong.
    I thought sure the “Minister of Coverups” crack would give it away, but maybe not.
    I was simply taking this Archbold’s “logic” to its conclusion. If they really wanted him dead, then they did it the wrong way.

  • Broga

    CoastalMainBird: The NHS won’t kill you even when you ask them. Although, I think the “not striving to keep alive” does happen. My mother-in-law pleaded with her GP to end her life. The GP said, “I’m afraid I cannot. I’m just starting out as a doctor and it wouldn’t look good.” The comment was kind, not as it seems in cold print.
    My own mother pleaded with her GP to end her suffering. She wanted to know why the same kindness could not be extended to her as it was to a suffering dog. Again, no way. I think vets have a high suicide rate. Having seen my dogs “put to sleep” that is an enviable way to go for a suffering creature. Perhaps vets have an easy access not available to the rest of us.
    Any attempt at a kind end to suffering is soon stamped on by the religious. One of their arguments is that the family would start forcing the suffering relative to kill themselves in order to get their money.

  • Gaurav Tyagi

    The logical point over here to end all debate over the matter of Alfie Evans is that if the Vatican really believes in their ‘imaginary big boss’ in the sky then why didn’t Vatican and the Pope simply told this Liverpool hospital that fine, give Alfie to us and our ‘God’ will save him? The answer is because they themselves know that whole of Christanity plus all other religions on this planet are fraud cults devoid of any ‘supernatural’ powers.

  • barriejohn

    No matter how many clues you leave that you’re being ironic, some readers will always take your statements at face value. However, that’s a compliment really, as it shows that you’ve very successfully parodied the idiots whose “logic” you are trying to ridicule. Sometimes, of course, as we have found, parody is impossible!

  • andym

    I didn’t think that. I thought he was arguing that the NHS had made a rod for their own back by keeping him alive for so long, which, was in an ironic way, true , but not a cause for criticism.

  • sailor1031

    “Any attempt at a kind end to suffering is soon stamped on by the religious. One of their arguments is that the family would start forcing the suffering relative to kill themselves in order to get their money.”
    Broga: because that is what they would do themselves.

  • Broga

    sailor1031 : The suggestion that anyone I know would kill a parent for their money is utterly repellent. Not, apparently, for the followers of the toxic God.

  • Cali Ron

    Gary: As an American who is neither, fat, nor insolent, nor ignorant and doesn’t thump bibles I resent your characterization of us. Despising a whole nation of 325 million people because of the actions and beliefs of the evangelicals, who are a minority is illogical and the kind of emotional response I would expect from the religious, not from freethinkers.

  • Gary Gissing

    @Cali Ron
    Judging from your absurd comment, I’d say English is not your first language. Apparently you don’t know that “a significant number of citizens” does not mean ALL citizens. Where did I say I despise “a whole nation of 325 million people”? It’s not my fault that American “culture” is known for religious zealotry, glorified ignorance, incessant gun violence, horrendous junk food, etc.
    I’m afraid you have chosen to ignore the reality of your country. Unfortunately, majority of Americans ARE ignorant, Bible-thumping idiots who elect people like Bush and Trump as their presidents. (83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. https://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356&page=1)
    There is NO emotional element in my response whatsoever. You are projecting your mind, I’m afraid. It seem that my factual comment “offended” your patriotic feelings.
    Having rebutted your nonsensical claims about me, I retract my remark about American obesity. It appears that onlly 40% of American adults are obese.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/america-s-obesity-epidemic-reaches-record-high-new-report-says-n810231

  • Cali Ron

    Gary : I merely Said I resented the characterization. Your over the top response was insulting, inappropriate and reactionary. As with other posts of your’s you show no taste or humanity. Are you sure you are not a RW evangelicals? You share their nasty disposition.
    Oh,BTW, English is my first language and have a solid grasp of it. You said you don’t despise Americans, then proceed to justify despising us with a series of issue, none of which apply to me.
    The point of my comment was to maybe make you see that you shouldn’t stereotype a whole nation of 325 million people. Sorry if I pissed you off.