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European court rejects plea from parents of Alfie Evans

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights have refused to intervene in the life-support treatment fight.

European human rights judges have rejected a plea from the parents of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of two rounds of a life-support treatment fight.

Tom Evans and Kate James, who are both in their early twenties and from Liverpool, on Friday failed to persuade Supreme Court justices to consider their case.

They had asked judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France, to intervene.

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Alfie's parents Tom Evans and Kate James (Philip Toscano/PA)

But judges at the ECHR have refused to intervene.

Alfie Evans’s parents had already lost one round of fights, in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and ECHR.

The European Court of Human Rights has today rejected the application submitted by the family of Alfie Evans as inadmissible ECHR spokesman

An ECHR spokesman said on Monday: “The European Court of Human Rights has today rejected the application submitted by the family of Alfie Evans as inadmissible.”

In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.

Specialists at Alder Hey said life support treatment should stop and Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.

Alfie’s parents want to move their son from Alder Hey to a hospital in Rome.

The couple said Italian doctors were willing to treat the little boy and an air ambulance was available.

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Alfie Evans

But Mr Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless.

Court of Appeal judges upheld his decisions.

Supreme Court justices and ECHR judges refused to intervene.

The couple are now arguing that Alfie is being wrongly “detained” at Alder Hey and have made a habeas corpus application.

A writ of habeas corpus – Latin for “you may have the body” – is a legal manoeuvre which requires a court to examine the legality of a detention.

It is a piece of common law which probably dates back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Mr Justice Hayden has dismissed that habeas corpus claim.

Appeal judges have upheld Mr Justice Hayden’s decision and on Friday Supreme Court justices said they would not intervene.

Judges have approved plans for withdrawing treatment and bringing Alfie’s life to an end.

On Friday Supreme Court justices said there should be no further delay in treatment being stopped.

But Alfie’s parents made another application to the ECHR.

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