Alfie Evans: Parents of terminally ill baby lose court battle to keep him on life support

Alfie is in a 'semi-vegetative state' and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors have not definitively diagnosed, court told

Brian Farmer
Tuesday 06 March 2018 15:46
Comments
If Alfie had been in a private hospital – of which there are quite a few in the UK operating perfectly freely – the courts would still have had a deciding role in the case
If Alfie had been in a private hospital – of which there are quite a few in the UK operating perfectly freely – the courts would still have had a deciding role in the case

The parents of a 21-month-old boy have lost the latest stage of a fight to continue his life support.

A High Court judge ruled last month that doctors can stop treating Alfie Evans, against the wishes of his parents Kate James and Tom Evans.

On Tuesday, three Court of Appeal judges upheld that decision.

Judges heard that Alfie, who was born on May 9 2016, is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors had not definitively diagnosed.

Mr Justice Hayden had analysed the case at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.

Specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool said life support treatment could stop and the judge said he accepted medical evidence that showed further treatment was futile.

Alfie’s parents, who are both in their twenties, challenged Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling and asked the Court of Appeal to consider the case.

Lord Justice McFarlane, Lord Justice McCombe and Lady Justice King, who examined issues at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Thursday, dismissed the couple’s challenge.

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

Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who is leading Alfie’s parents’ legal team, 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.

PA

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