Today DAUK has written a letter of support to colleagues at Alder Hey. Whilst DAUK understands the case of Alfie Evans is tragic and emotive, we strongly feel this does not excuse the abuse that the medical team looking after him have received. DAUK has also collated messages of support from our members. You can find our letter and the messages in full below:
To Our Paediatric Intensive Care Colleagues at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
We would like to express our solidarity with you and our admiration for your resolve and steadfast commitment to your duty in this time of stress, consternation and heightened media attention.
As fellow medical professionals, we have followed the case of Alfie Evans closely, and feel affinity with you as you attempt to get through day by day. We stand by your commitment to ensure that you provide the best care for him and know that you like any of us, only wish to alleviate his suffering.
We stand by the decision of the courts in reaffirming your decision to help him pass with dignity and care, as opposed to making him fight a futile battle and to watch him pass every hour in needless pain and suffering.
We know you must feel encircled and under siege as you attempt to pass the police cordons erected for your safety,
constrained as you feel the burning spotlight of local and international coverage shone on you when you are just doing your jobs as you have always done,
aghast that your care of Alfie, and your daily care of the sickest and most critically unwell children has been called into question and has had to be defended against lies and libel,
scared for your own safety and that of your colleagues and your other patients and their families.
Though we empathise, such words can never truly convey the emotions you must be feeling as you attempt to care for your patients, under a barrage of threats, abuse and selective outrage from certain parties. The vitriol, rage and aggression you have been subjected to is entirely abhorrent. It is apparent to us that there are those that have clearly sought to capitalise on the plight of Alfie’s grieving family, to distort their perception of his treatment, and to shut down any rational discourse on this case and others like it, whilst demonising those tasked with his care.
So let us openly issue this statement of support, that you may feel strengthened and know that whilst you may feel isolated, you are not alone. Doctors and nurses across the country feel emboldened by your stoic example and stand with you. Any one of us could be in your shoes.
We state openly that it is absolutely unacceptable for certain individuals and groups to target you personally. As members of a civil society, we reaffirm that you should not feel endangered for simply performing your duties in service of your patients.
We reject the politicisation of this case, and reiterate that as health care professionals, our duty is to prevent harm to our patients, including that caused by active treatment that exacerbates suffering. We recognise that this is all you have ever strived for and will defend your actions against those that seek to malign you.
We recognise that at the end of the day, you yourselves are only human and will endeavour to assist you in dealing with the added psychological strain of weathering these extraordinary times and know that you will come out safely.
We have your backs, please continue to be the awesome professionals you are.
The Doctors’ Association UK