Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Alfie Evans: Court rules hospital to begin 'end of life' plan

Alfie Evans: Court rules hospital to begin 'end of life' plan

Alfie Evans, who is 22 months old, has a rare degenerative neurological condition which has not been definitively diagnosed.

The U.K. Supreme Court struck down the final appeal to allow Alfie Evans to live and receive further treatment, and instead approved plans for his death.

The Supreme Court rejected the parents argument that Alfie, who is terminally ill, was being unlawfully detained at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool.

He noted, however, that "Alfie is a British citizen and Italy respects the decisions made in the framework of British national jurisdiction" and that "the British national healthcare system and medical standards are among the highest in the world".

The parents of Alfie Evans have lost the latest stage of their legal fight to move him to a hospital in Rome after failing to persuade Supreme Court justices to consider their case.

Tom Evans and Kate James were seeking to overturn a court order directing Alder Hey Children's hospital in Liverpool to remove their son's ventilator. Crowds of supporters also besieged Alder Hey Hospital to demonstrate and protest on Alfie's behalf.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said, "Alfie looks like a normal baby, but the unanimous opinion of the doctors who have examined him and the scans of his brain is that nearly all of his brain has been destroyed". But that it has happened and is continuing to happen can not be denied.

The parents are fighting for the right to move their son to the hospital in Rome where he will have more time as doctors search for a diagnosis. It means that Alfie can not breathe, or eat, or drink without sophisticated medical treatment.

It comes after the Court of Appeal ruled on Monday it was in Alfie's "best interest" to have ventilation removed and be treated with palliative care. "It also means that there is no hope of his ever getting better".

Alfie's father responded angrily to the decision. "When they decided not to hear the case, it meant that domestic remedies were exhausted, and we therefore have a right of appeal to the Strasbourg court".

In what appears to be the end of the road for his parents" battle, the Supreme Court's Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Wilson, reiterated that "parental rights are not absolute'.

"It is one thing to argue any medical treatment is futile, it is quite another thing to say someone should die because their quality of life is futile". He said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless. We are appealing today because we have got to act quickly.

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