Alfie Evans latest: High Court rules doctors can turn off life support

21-month-old Alfie Evans is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has also developed an unknown degenerative neurological condition

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 seriously ill child have lost a court case to maintain life support treatment for their son.

Specialist doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool had asked a High Court judge to allow them to stop providing life support treatment to 21-month-old Alfie Evans.

Alfie’s parents Kate James, 20, and Tom Evans, 21, wanted treatment to continue and had hoped to prolong their son’s life with treatment at a hospital in Rome.

On Tuesday Mr Justice Hayden ruled in favour of the doctors after analysing the dispute at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in Liverpool earlier this month.

He had heard that Alfie, who was born on 9 May 2016, was in a “semi-vegetative state” and had also developed an unknown degenerative neurological condition.

Doctors said continuing to provide life support treatment was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”.

Alfie’s parents maintain their son responds to them.

The judge had visited Alfie in hospital and has praised his parents.

He said they had tried to explore every avenue and left no stone unturned.

At the High Court in London he said: “It drives me reluctantly, and with great sadness, to one conclusion. What Alfie needs now is good quality palliative care which will keep him as comfortable as possible while sustaining his life.

“He requires peace, quiet, stability, so that he may conclude his life as he has lived it."

Outside the hospital in Liverpool around 30 members of “Alfie’s Army” were supporting the family’s campaign as they awaited the decision.

Blue and purple balloons fluttered in the wind and they chanted: "Save Alfie Evans!"

As the judge delivered his verdict, Mr Evans broke down in court. Ms James left before the judge had reached his conclusion.

PA contributed to this report

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