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Parents await judges’ ruling in Alfie Evans life-support case

Tom Evans and Kate James have asked judges to rule that Alfie should be allowed to receive treatment abroad.

The parents of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle are waiting to hear whether they have won their latest legal fight.

A lawyer representing Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, on Monday asked Court of Appeal judges to rule that Alfie Evans should be allowed to receive treatment abroad.

Three appeal judges have analysed arguments at a hearing in London and are scheduled to deliver a ruling at 3.30pm.

Protesters outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool (John Stillwell/PA)

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.

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 say “the state” is wrongly interfering with their parental choice.

They want to move Alfie to a hospital in Rome.

Balloons and candles outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (John Stillwell/PA)

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 European Court of Human Rights judges have refused to intervene.

Last week, Mr Justice Hayden 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 High
Court hearing.

The couple have now asked the three appeal judges to overturn decisions made by Mr Justice Hayden last week.

Alfie’s parents say their son has improved in recent weeks and had asked Mr Justice Hayden to allow a new assessment.

Mr Justice Hayden refused that request.

He said medical experts’ unanimous view was that Alfie’s brain had been eroded by disease and further assessment was pointless.

They also suggested that Alfie was being unlawfully detained at Alder Hey. The judge also dismissed that suggestion.

Appeal court officials said an appeal court judge had decided that Alfie should continue to receive treatment pending the outcome of Monday’s Court of Appeal hearing.

Judges have heard that Alfie, born on May 9 2016, is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors had not definitively diagnosed.

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