Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Pope Francis reacts to events in Syria

Pope Francis reacts to events in Syria

His words were in reference to children, women and the elderly who are "mistreated in the body" - in particular, the Pope was referencing the cases of Alfie Evans and Vincent Lambert.

Pope Francis leads a mass during a pastoral visit to the church of San Paolo a Corviale in Rome, Italy, April 15, 2018. "But the Risen Jesus is not a ghost, He is a man with body and spirit", Pope Francis reminded the crowd.

After leading pilgrims in the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis made several pleas for prayer on behalf of those who are suffering either from illness, or from war.

The reference was to two specific cases now circulating in the global news cycle.

Alfie Evans is a 23-month-old now living on life-support after beginning to suffer severe neurological symptoms with an unknown cause when he was seven-months-old. In February of this year, the court ruled that, the hospital could take Alfie off of life support against his parents' wishes.

Alfie's parents Tom Evans and Kate James had exhausted all options in fighting the decision through the United Kingdom courts and the European Court of Human Rights two months after the hospital made the decision to stop treating the child.

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The newspaper report mentions that a medical booklet was recovered from him which is an exclusive for the doctors of AIIMS. One of the reasons he had given for his crime was to help an ailing family member get preferential treatment.

The case has drawn worldwide attention, and protesters gathered outside the Liverpool hospital Thursday and Friday to peacefully oppose the decision. He has remained on life-support ever since. The court officials posted their hearing for Monday, saying that a court judge has decided that Alfie could continue treatment, pending the hearing.

In the case of Vincent Lambert, the Sebastopol Hospital in Reims, France, has ordered that their patient no longer receive food and water, which will cause him to die of starvation.

Vincent Lambert is a severely disabled Frenchman who sustained severe head trauma in a auto accident in 2008. Yet despite his injuries, other doctors and his parents have insisted that Lambert is not sick, nor is he in a coma.

He added that he was praying for the child, his family and all involved.

Pope Francis said he was "deeply disturbed" by the lack of common worldwide response to Syria's use of chemical weapons and urged negotiation for peaceful solutions.

Urging respect for the will of "family members" in end-of-life decisions, Francis highlighted the critical nature of both cases, since the parents of both Alfie and Vincent are strongly opposed to the rulings of medical personnel that the two patients should be taken off life support.

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