By Dave Andrusko
After a three judge Court of Appeal today upheld a judge’s ruling that critically ill Alfie Evans’s ventilator can be turned off, Lord Justices McFarlane and McCombe and Lady Justice King told his parents that they have until March 8 at 4pm to decide whether to appeal their decision.
If they do appeal to that same Court of Appeal and the request is denied, Tom Evans’ and Kate James’ last resort would be to directly apply to the Supreme Court.
Evans and James had appealed the decision by Mr. Justice Hayden who concurred with Alder Hey Hospital in Birmingham, England, that turning off Alfie’s life support was in his “best interests.”
According to the Liverpool Echo’s Tom Belger and Josh Parry
Lady Justice King said an MRI scan in November 2017 showed that 70% of the matter in Alfie’s brain had been destroyed.
She said an independent witness told a previous hearing that Alfie’s brain was “entirely beyond recovery” with no capacity to regenerate itself
The parents disputed the diagnosis, and showed startling video of a much more responsive 21-month-old little boy than testimony given by the hospital suggested.
Evans and James were asking for the right to take Alfie to Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome in hopes doctors could determine what is the root cause of his brain disease and provide additional medical interventions.
The reporters could find only one sliver of a silver lining. Justice Hayden
gave [the parents] three days between his judgement and when life support should end, but the parents’ appeal put those plans on hold.
However, the latest order does not contain a deadline – and instead said this ruling would form part of a discussion with parents.
Given what transpired in the hearing before the Court of Appeal, last week, there appeared to be scant chance the parents would prevail. The judges announced they would decide whether to allow the parents to appeal Judge Hayden’s decision and also make a decision on the appeal itself. The parents’ attorney had asked for a “dignified pause.”
Mr. Evans has said he believes his son could live until he was 20 or even 40 years old.
He fought back tears as he told a court last month: “All I see is Alfie and a life. I see scans showing deterioration, but I see a boy with a life who looks at me.”
He has spoken of Alfie’s “inner strength”, and the times when he had pulled through illnesses before that doctors feared would kill him.