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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 1 June, 2020

Parents of critically-ill English toddler lose last-ditch European Court of Human Rights case

Alfie Evans suffers a “catastrophic and untreatable, progressive, neurodegenerative condition”.

Alfie Evans
Alfie Evans
Image: Alfie's Army

AN ENGLISH MOTHER and father who are fighting a hospital decision to turn off their toddler’s life support have lost a European Court of Human Rights case.

Tom Evans and Kate James from Bootle in Liverpool are fighting the decision by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and want to bring their 22-month-old son Alfie abroad for treatment.

Alfie suffers a “catastrophic and untreatable, progressive, neurodegenerative condition” which medics say would be “futile” to continue to treat.

Today the European Court of Human Rights found the parents’ submission inadmissible, saying there had been no “appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the European Convention on Human Rights”.

The Court has also rejected a request for an interim measure to stay the decision of the British courts to withdraw treatment.

Alfie’s parents say that an alternative hospital in Europe – the Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome – has been found for him, but the UK Supreme Court last week refused an appeal allowing the withdrawal of treatment.

Alder Hey Hospital has said its “priority is to continue providing Alfie with the best care possible”.

After the Supreme Court decision, Alfie’s dad Tom tweeted that the courts had not “even acknowledged Alfie’s rights to live”, saying that as the child is undiagnosed, there is no evidence he will not live.

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