A High Court judge has ruled that critically ill baby Alfie Evans must be removed from life support against the wishes of his parents.
Mr. Justice Hayden backed the decision by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to allow the 23-month-old baby boy to die at hearing on Wednesday, reports Sky News.
Alfie’s parents Tom Evans and Kate James had exhausted all options in fighting the decision through the UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights two months after the hospital made the decision to stop treating the child.
There was hope that after the hospital suspended plans to take the baby off life support last week to examine alternative care options the Evans would be allowed to take their son to Rome to be treated at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù children’s hospital.
Mr. Evans and Ms. James argue that it is wrong for “the state” to interfere in their choices for their son, and last Thursday morning, they refused to sign papers permitting the end of their son’s life, and uploaded videos to Facebook which show him moving and, they claim, breathing on his own.
Hospital Suspends Plans to Take Baby Alfie Evans off Life Support, Will Review Care Options https://t.co/aLO64nDGm6
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 6, 2018
However, Mr. Justice Hayden told Alfie’s parents that while it was “profoundly unfair” case, “no further application” to keep their son alive could be made, ruling that it was in the child’s best interests to be taken off life support.
A date was given for Alfie to be allowed to die, but that date was not released, the judge determining Alfie should have privacy in his last days of life.
Alfie was struck down by a neurological condition that doctors have been unable to diagnose and has been on life support at the children’s hospital since December 2016.
Speaking ahead of the hearing from the High Court and in the company of Alfie’s lawyers, Steven Woolfe MEP said: “We’re helping to prepare statements that show that Alfie’s condition has changed.
“That Tom and his family have provided videos that the hospital should see that show the improvement of Alfie Evans,” Mr. Woolfe continued, adding that the hospital should consider allowing the family to seek a second opinion and alternative care options in Europe.
“When I saw Alfie – a wonderful little boy – when his uncle walked in the room and started speaking you could see reactions in his eyes and his face and his arms.”
“I beg [Alder Hey and the judge] to give Alfie’s parent that option [for a second opinion], rather than pursuing this case to end his life,” Mr. Woolfe said.
— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) April 11, 2018
Giving his decision Wednesday, Mr. Justice Hayden said: “I came to the conclusion at the end of that hearing [on February 20th] that Alfie’s brain had been so corrupted by mitochondrial disease that his life was futile.”
“Ultimately my judgement was upheld,” the judge continued. “It represented a consensus of medical expertise.
“By the time I came to conclude the case the terrible reality is that almost the entirety of Alfie’s brain had been eroded, leaving only water and spinal fluid.
“Even at the end of February the connective pathways within the brain had been obliterated. They were no longer even identifiable.”