Alfie Evans: Decision to remove life support upheld by judge


Alfie in hospitalImage copyright
Family/Alfie’s Army

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Alfie is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has a mystery illness

The parents of a seriously ill toddler have lost their appeal against a High Court decision to end his life support.

A judge ruled last month that doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool can stop treating 21-month-old Alfie Evans against the wishes of his parents Kate James and Tom Evans.

They want to take him abroad for treatment for his mystery illness but doctors said it would be “futile”.

Judges at London ’s Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court ruling.

Alfie’s parents, from Bootle, Merseyside, were not at the appeal hearing in London but listened via a telephone link.

Their son is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has an undiagnosed degenerative neurological condition.

Image copyright
PA

Image caption

Tom Evans and Kate James want to take Alfie abroad for treatment

Announcing the decision at the Court of Appeal, Mrs Justice King said Alfie’s parents were “unable to accept what movements in Alfie they see are not positive responses”.

Medical evidence showed that Alfie was “deeply comatose” and “to all intents and purposes unaware of his surroundings”, she said.

His parents want to take him to the Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome for a diagnosis and treatment which may prolong his life.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital argued that continuing to treat Alfie was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”.

Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who is leading Alfie’s parents’ legal team, had said “the state” had wrongly interfered with “parental choice”.

He said Alfie’s parents wanted to move him to a hospital in Europe but Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling had prevented them from doing that.

Mr Evans said after the High Court ruling last month he “wasn’t giving up” and “no one in this country is taking my boy away from me”.

He said: “My son is two years of age and he is being sentenced to the death penalty.”



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