ALFIE Evans’ distraught parents have been dealt the devastating blow his life support will be switched off as top judges rejected their appeal.
The Court of Appeal agreed with Alder Hey specialists that the terminally ill tot “could not be saved” and that it would be “unkind” and “futile” to continue treatment.
Alfie’s parents Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, were fighting to take their son to a hospital in Rome and said they have a private jet and ambulance on standby.
They have already lost a challenge at the Court of Appeal and failed to have the decision overturned at the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
But the defiant parents mounted a new legal bid at the Court of Appeal as supporters flocked to Alder Hey in Liverpool to back them.
Their lawyer Paul Diamond has now said he will apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the decision by 4pm tomorrow.
Alfie, born on May 9, 2016, is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors have not definitively diagnosed.
Lord Justice Davis, who is heading the three-strong panel of appeal judges, told lawyers that at the start of the hearing today that doctors had agreed that there was “no hope”.
He said: “We cannot have a kind of legal ‘Groundhog Day’ where you come back again and again and again on the same point.”
The court was also read a statement from Lord Justice Hayden’s previous ruling where he said: “The terrible reality was that almost the entirety of Alfie’s brain has been eroded, leaving only water and cerebral spinal fluid.
“Treatment is futile as experts both here and abroad agree. Alfie will never make any developmental progress. He has been treated in Alder Hey since 2015.”
Lord Justice Moylan said in cases such as Alfie’s, the child is represented by an independent guardian.
Alfie’s guardian has agreed with Alder Hey that withdrawing ventilation is in his best interests but his parents say “the state” is wrongly interfering with their parental choice.
Lord Justice Moylan said he was “dismayed” by what has been happening at Alder Hey after the hospital pleaded with “Alfie’s Army” protesters not to disturb staff and patients.
He said: “These matters have not been the subject of any court determination however if true they are alarming.
“We are told that some members of hospital of staff could not get to the hospital because of road blockage and that some staff and family members in the hospital could not gain entry.
“They said that some of the supporters had entered the paediatric intensive care ward.”
Staff claim noise from around 100 protesters has impacted on patients despite “Alfie’s Army” urging supporters to be “respectful” to the hospital.
Alder Hey said in a statement: “Noise from recent protests has unfortunately affected our patients so we would ask that noise levels outside the hospital are kept to a minimum and, for example, car horns are not sounded.
“Loud noise affects sleep and raises anxiety levels for our patients especially when recovering from procedures, so please bear them in mind.”
The hospital added it had beefed up security but said it “remains fully operational” with A&E open for emergency care.
A second appeal judge, Lady Justice King, said doctors’ unanimous opinion was that Alfie “could not be saved”.
In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents.
Specialists at Alder Hey said life-support treatment should stop and claim it would be “unkind” and “futile” to continue treatment.
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