UPDATE: JUDGE GIVES HOSPTITAL PERMISION TO TERMINATE THE LIFE OF CHARLIE EVANS - The date cannot be reporte for "Legal Reasons"
THE PARENTS of 23-months-old Alfie Evans, currently on life support at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, have engaged the support of Christian Legal Centre for the last-ditch stand to prevent their son’s death in hospital.
Yesterday (09 APR), the hospital applied to the High Court for permission to switch off Alfie’s life support on Thursday (12 APR).
The boy’s parents, Thomas Evans and Kate James, have instructed Paul Diamond, a leading human rights barrister and the Christian Legal Centre’s Standing Counsel, to represent them at a hearing, which will take place before Mr Justice Hayden tomorrow (11 APR).
The hearing will start at 12.30, at Court 44 in Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London.
Alfie was born healthy, but after being admitted to Alder Hey in December 2016 with a chest infection, he developed a serious illness which the doctors have been unable to diagnose. This February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that whatever were its causes, the damage to Alfie’s brain was so severe that it was “in the best interests of Alfie” for the life support to be withdrawn. The parents’ successive appeals were rejected by the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights.
With the new legal team in charge, the parents are expected to file further applications and evidence in a last-minute attempt to persuade the courts to allow them to transport Alfie to an Italian hospital which has agreed to admit him for a diagnostic examination and to see if any treatment is possible.
Three foreign hospitals – in Rome, Milan and Munich – have offered to admit Alfie and help to diagnose him. However, the judge ruled in February that transportation to a foreign hospital by an air ambulance would be “futile” and not in Alfie’s best interests.
Mr Diamond will now argue that Alfie’s parents have seen their toddler son’s condition improve significantly since the evidence was considered by the judge in February, and will rely on videos made in hospital to demonstrate that Alfie responds to being touched. Mr Diamond will seek the court’s permission for an independent neurologist to examine Alfie and provide an up-to-date opinion on his condition.
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Legal Centre, said: “Thomas and Kate never leave Alfie’s side. They witness to his increasing responsiveness. The state cannot override their desire to seek further treatment for their son especially when such help is being offered by three different hospitals. The state must not pass and enforce a death sentence. Even at this eleventh hour, with heavy odds against us, we will fight to the end alongside Tom and Kate for their son’s life.”