‘Public nonplussed’ by rulings on care for Alfie Evans, court told
Lawyers for the little boy’s parents argue the state is wrongly interfering in medical decisions.
A lawyer representing the parents of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle has told Court of Appeal judges that members of the public are “nonplussed” by the case.
Barrister Paul Diamond said on Monday that there was a “passion out there” about Alfie Evans’ case.
Mr Diamond, who represents Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, had asked Court of Appeal judges in London to reconsider the little boy’s case.
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.
Alfie’s parents have complained that “the state” is wrongly interfering with their parental choice.
They want to move Alfie to a hospital in Rome and say doctors there are willing to treat the little boy.
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.
He said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless.
Court of Appeal judges upheld his ruling.
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.
Mr Diamond is asking appeal court judges to overturn decisions made by Mr Justice Hayden last week.
“There is a passion out there,” Mr Diamond told appeal judge Lord Justice Davis, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan.
“The public is nonplussed by this.”
He said doctors abroad were willing to treat Alfie and an air ambulance was available.
Alfie’s parents say their son has improved in recent weeks and had asked Mr Justice Hayden to allow a new assessment.
Mr 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.
It has also been suggested that Alfie was being unlawfully detained or “deprived of his liberty” at Alder Hey.
The judge also dismissed that suggestion.
Appeal court officials say 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.