Judges rule against parents of Alfie Evans in latest legal challenge

The parents of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle have lost their latest legal fight.

A lawyer representing Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, on Monday returned to the Court of Appeal to ask judges to rule that Alfie Evans should be allowed to travel to a foreign hospital.

But Lord Justice Davis, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan ruled against them after an appeal court hearing in London.

The couple, who are from Liverpool, had already lost fights in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.

In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.

Balloons and candles outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital  (John Stillwell/PA)
Balloons and candles outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital (John Stillwell/PA)

Specialists at Alder Hey said life-support treatment should stop and Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.

Alfie's parents say "the state" is wrongly interfering with their parental choice.

They want to move Alfie to a hospital in Rome.

Mr Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless.

Court of Appeal judges upheld his decisions.

Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges refused to intervene.

Last week, Mr Justice Hayden endorsed a detailed plan put forward by Alder Hey doctors for withdrawing life-support treatment, after considering a number of issues at a follow-up High Court hearing.

Barrister Paul Diamond, who represented Alfie's parents, on Monday asked the three appeal judges to overturn decisions made by Mr Justice Hayden last week.

Protesters outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool (John Stillwell/PA)
Protesters outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool (John Stillwell/PA)

Alfie's parents say their son has improved in recent weeks and had asked Mr Justice Hayden to allow a new assessment.

Mr Hayden refused that request.

He said medical experts' unanimous view was that Alfie's brain had been eroded by disease and further assessment was pointless.

They also suggested that Alfie was being unlawfully detained at Alder Hey.

The judge also dismissed that suggestion.

Appeal court officials said an appeal court judge had decided that Alfie should continue to receive treatment pending the outcome of Monday's Court of Appeal hearing.

Judges have heard that Alfie, born on May 9 2016, is in a "semi-vegetative state" and has a degenerative neurological condition.

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