Alfie Evans’ parents launch new legal challenge over boy’s life

A protest outside the hospital where Alfie is receiving care. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A protest outside the hospital where Alfie is receiving care. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The parents of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle are set to mount another legal challenge.

Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, are preparing to ask Court of Appeal judges to allow Alfie Evans to continue to receive treatment. Appeal court officials said a hearing has been listed for Monday.

The couple, who are from Liverpool, have already lost fights in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. Mr Justice Hayden ruled in February that doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating Alfie against the ­wishes of his parents.

This determination was made following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.

On Wednesday he 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 hearing.

The judge said detail of that plan could not be revealed because Alfie was entitled to privacy at the end of his life.

Legal advisers representing the couple said they will ask appeal court judges to overturn at least one decision made by Mr Justice Hayden on Wednesday. Appeal court officials said an appeal court judge had decided Alfie should continue to receive treatment pending Monday’s Court of Appeal hearing.

Judges have heard Alfie, born on 9 May, 2016, is in a “semi-vegetative state”.

He has a degenerative neurological condition doctors have not definitively diagnosed.

Specialists at Alder Hey said life-support treatment should stop. Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence that showed further treatment was futile. Court of Appeal judges upheld his ruling.

Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges have refused to intervene. Alfie’s parents have complained “the state” was wrongly interfering with their parental choice.

The 23-month-old boy has been at Alder Hey since December 2016 and his parents want to move him to Rome’s Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital, which has links to the Vatican, where his palliative care would continue.

The Pope previously tweeted his support for Alfie, saying he hoped the “deep suffering” of the toddler’s parents would be heard.

Hundreds of people protested on Thursday outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where Alfie is receiving care.