Baby Alfie’s parents ask for more time amid court fight over life-support
The brain-damaged boy’s father Tom Evans has been ‘raw with grief’, Court of Appeal told.
The parents of a brain-damaged boy have asked for 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 court that Mr Evans had been “raw with grief”.
He asked judges to adjourn any 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.
Specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool 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 the little boy 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 visited Alfie in hospital and has praised the boy’s 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.