Alfie Evans' parents lose latest legal battle at UK's highest court

21 April, 2018, 12:48 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Alder Hey:

The U.K. High Court, court of appeals, and Supreme Court all ruled in favor of the analysis of Alder Hey staff during Tom and Kate's months-long legal battle for Alfie, saying it was in Alfie's best interests to allow him to die and end all attempts to save his life.

Mr Evans and Ms James' lawyers, the Christian Legal Centre, said they will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, despite the court ruling.

They said a person unable to move because of measures taken in a hospital intensive care unit to keep them alive was not being "deprived of liberty".

Alfie Evans, who is 22 months old, has a rare degenerative neurological condition which has not been definitively diagnosed. He argued that a better system can be found in Texas, where disputes of the discontinuation of treatment are resolved by hospital ethics committees.

Today the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the High Court and the Court of Appeal confirming that "It has been conclusively determined that it is not in Alfie's best interests to continue to receive treatment or to travel overseas for treatment".

There was no reason for further delay, the justices said, adding: "The hospital must be free to do what has been determined to be in Alfie's best interests".

Alfie Evans, born May 9, 2016, is lying critically ill in Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation in Liverpool. But doctors said his condition was irreversible. His parents had petitioned the courts for permission to take him overseas for further medical treatment, and even approached Pope Francis for support.

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Court of Appeal judges upheld his decisions.

"We have instructed our lawyers to submit an urgent application to the European Court of Human Rights, and they have done so today".

The Supreme Court had also dismissed the suggestion that Alfie was either "detained" or "unlawfully detained".

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

"Having considered submissions from the parties "on paper", in the usual way, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has refused permission for the parents to appeal", said a spokesperson for the Supreme Court.

'As we explained in our earlier decision in this case, the best interests of the child are the "gold standard" which is not only adopted by our law but also reflects the worldwide standards to which this country is committed.

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