Appeal judges refuse more time for Alfie’s parents amid life-support court fight
Parents Kate James and Tom Evans have challenged a High Court judge’s ruling that doctors can stop treating 21-month-old Alfie Evans.
Court of Appeal judges have refused to give the parents of a brain-damaged boy time to think before deciding on their next move in a life-support treatment battle.
A High Court judge has ruled that doctors can stop treating 21-month-old Alfie Evans, against the wishes of his parents Kate James and Tom Evans.
Mr Justice Hayden, who analysed the case at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool, said he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile.
Alfie’s parents, who are both in their 20s, have challenged Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling and asked the Court of Appeal to consider the case.
Three appeal judges began analysing issues at a hearing in London on Thursday.
Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who is leading Alfie’s parents’ legal team, told the appeal that he wanted to raise “various points of law”.
But he asked appeal judges to adjourn the appeal hearing for about two weeks so that Alfie’s parents could discuss Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling with lawyers.
Mr Knafler said an “appropriate time for parental reflection” was needed.
Appeal judges refused to adjourn.
They said the appeal hearing would go ahead.
But judges said they would deliver a ruling at a later date after analysing argument.
Specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool had asked Mr Justice Hayden to rule that life-support treatment could stop.
Doctors said continuing to provide life-support treatment was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”.
Alfie’s parents, who believe that he responds to them, wanted treatment to continue.
Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile.
He said he had reached his conclusion with great sadness.
The judge had visited Alfie in hospital and has praised his parents.
He said they had tried to explore every avenue and leave no stone unturned.
Thousands of well-wishers have donated more than £75,000 to a JustGiving internet appeal launched by Alfie’s parents.