Britain

Sick toddler Alfie Evans to lose life support

It is in the best interests of seriously ill toddler Alfie Evans for his life support to be switched off, a judge has said.

Mr Justice Hayden set a date for the 23-month-old boy to be allowed to die during a hearing in London on Wednesday, two months after he ruled that doctors at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating him.

That decision came against the wishes of Alfie's parents, whose lawyer said they believed their son had shown signs of "cognitive improvement" since the February ruling.

Image:Tom Evans and Kate James, the parents of 21-month-old Alfie

Father Tom Evans wanted a "fresh assessment" of his son's future, but Mr Justice Hayden said the follow-up hearing had only been staged so that he could help the parents and doctors decide exactly when the treatment should stop.

He told the lawyer for Mr Evans and partner Kate James – who were not in court – that while it was a "profoundly unfair" case, "no further application" was possible and that it was in Alfie's best interests for his life support to be withdrawn.

An end-of-life plan was put forward by doctors on Wednesday, which Mr Justice Hayden said he had endorsed.

The date for when the life support will be switched off will not be made public, he added.

Supporters waved banners outside the court before the hearing
Image:Supporters of Alfie's parents outside a prior hearing

Judges have heard how Alfie, born in May 2016, is in a "semi-vegetative state" and has a degenerative neurological condition that doctors have been unable to definitively diagnose.

Mr Justice Hayden has backed specialists who said medical evidence showed further treatment was futile, and his ruling has been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

More from UK

The Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights have also refused to intervene.

Alfie's parents – who received support from the Pope last week – have argued that "the state" is wrongly interfering with their parental choice and wanted Alfie moved to a hospital in Germany or Rome.

Original Article

Leave a Reply