By Dave Andrusko
Tom Berger of the Liverpool Echo is reporting that the parents of critically ill Alfie Evans will appeal to England’s Supreme Court after the nation’s second highest court on Tuesday turned down their legal challenge of a decision to remove their young son’s ventilator.
Alfie Evans’ dad says there is a “glimmer of hope” for his brain damaged son despite Appeal Court judges dismissing a legal challenge to keep him alive.
Kate James, 20, and Tom Evans, 21, say they will appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to save their son after three appeal judges backed the decision to take 21-month-old Alfie off a ventilator which will inevitably lead to his death.
Lord Justices McFarlane and McCombe and Lady Justice King concurred with the ruling of Mr. Justice Hayden who agreed with specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool who said life-support treatment could stop.
They told Hayden that Alfie’s condition was terminal, that there was no treatment that could help the young boy’s devastating brain condition (which experts are unable to diagnosis), and that continuing to keep him on the ventilator was not in Alfie’s “best interest.”
Evans and James want permission take Alfie to Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome in hopes doctors could determine what the root cause of his brain disease is and possibly provide additional medical interventions. Moreover the parents dispute the diagnosis, and have shown startling video of a much more responsive Alfie than testimony given by the hospital suggested.
The couple’s lawyer, Stephen Knafler QC, said “the State” had wrongly interfered with “parental choice,” which the three-judge Court of Appeal rejected.
Without being specific, Berger reported
The Court of Appeal did grant them permission to appeal on one grounds, based on arguments made by the parents’ lawyer.
Even though the appeal was then dismissed, the fact the judges considered it [the appeal petition] meant the parents earned the right to appeal once more to a higher court.
The parents’ lawyer said they hoped to keep up their legal battle, and the family are understood to be preparing their case with a legal team today.
Should all legal challenges fail, Berger wrote, the “one silver lining” is
The three judges did not set a deadline for when their 21-month-old son’s ventilation must be stopped.
The parents were told they could work out themselves with Alder Hey the plans and a timescale for the withdrawal of life support and end-of-life care.
One of the judges, Lord Justice McFarlane, said there would be “time for discussion and humanity to be a priority.”