Munich-based doctor failed Alfie and his parents – judge

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A doctor asked to give evidence by Alfie Evans’ parents was criticised by the judge who oversaw proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court.

Mr Justice Hayden said Matthias Hubner, who is based in Munich, Germany, had fallen below expected professional standards.

The judge said Dr Hubner had: gone to the Alder Hey Hospital in a “clandestine manner” – posing as a “friend of the family”; claimed to have seen all of Alfie’s files when he had not; and produced a “travel plan” containing an inappropriate “medical regime”.

“Dr Hubner gave evidence and was cross-examined,” said Mr Justice Hayden in his ruling on Alfie’s case.

“He accepted that he had gone to the Alder Hey Hospital in a clandestine manner, posing as a friend of the family.

Alfie Evans court case
Matthias Hubner was asked to give evidence by Alfie’s parents Tom Evans and Kate James (Philip Toscano/PA)

“He told me that he had never done that before. I am at least relieved to hear that.”

The judge said Dr Hubner had made an “assertion” that he had “seen all of Alfie’s files”.

“He accepted in evidence that this was not the case,” said Mr Justice Hayden.

“In fact, he has seen very little.”

The judge added: “Perhaps most alarmingly, Dr Hubner’s travel plan for Alfie set out an anticonvulsant medical regime which, on the basis of Alder Hey’s experience with Alfie, would have been ineffective and inappropriate.”

He went on: “I am at a loss to know quite why Dr Hubner fell so far below the standards expected of his profession. I am constrained to say that he has failed the parents, the court but most importantly, Alfie.”

Mr Justice Hayden also complained about another medical expert Alfie’s parents had asked to “assist them” using “inflammatory” language in a report.

The judge suggested that Professor Nikolaus Haas, who is also based in Munich, had used the case as a “platform” for his own beliefs.

He highlighted a paragraph in Professor Haas’s report, which read: “Because of our history in Germany, we’ve learned that there are some things you just don’t do with severely handicapped children.

“A society must be prepared to look after these severely handicapped children and not decide that life support has to be withdrawn against the will of the parents if there is uncertainty of the feelings of the child, as in this case.”

Mr Justice Hayden said it was “inappropriate”.

“Professor Haas was instructed by these parents to assist them and the court on the basis of his experience and expertise, which is evidently considerable,” said the judge in his ruling.

“It is no part of his function however to utilise the case as a platform for his own personal beliefs.

“I found the… paragraph to be inflammatory and inappropriate, not least because the views expressed bear no relationship to and do not engage with the facts of this case.”

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