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Parents of young Alfie Evans set for another legal fight over boy’s life support

UK News | Published: | Last Updated:

Tom Evans and Kate James made another application to the Supreme Court.

Alfie Evans (Family handout/Alfies Army/Facebook/PA)

The parents of a 23-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle are preparing for another legal fight after asking Supreme Court justices to consider their case for a second time.

Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, have made another application to the Supreme Court after losing a second fight over Alfie Evans in the Court of Appeal.

A lawyer representing the couple on Monday asked Court of Appeal judges to rule that Alfie should be allowed to travel to a foreign hospital.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the couple now wanted to mounted a further challenge.

She said they had asked Supreme Court justices to consider the case once more.

The spokeswoman said Supreme Court President Lady Hale and two other justices would examine the couple’s application.

She said justices were aware of the “urgency” of the case but said no decisions had yet been made.

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Alfie’s parents have already lost fights in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.

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 following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London and Liverpool.

Specialists at Alder Hey said life-support treatment should stop and Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed that further treatment was futile.

Alfie’s parents want to move their son from Alder Hey to a hospital in Rome.

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The couple said Italian doctors are willing to treat the little boy and an air ambulance is available.

But Mr Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless.

Court of Appeal judges upheld his decisions.

Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges refused to intervene.

They are now arguing that Alfie is being wrongly “detained” at Alder Hey and have made a habeas corpus application.

A writ of habeas corpus – Latin for “you may have the body” – is a legal manoeuvre which requires a court to examine the legality of a detention.

It is a piece of common law which probably dates back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Mr Justice Hayden dismissed that habeas corpus claim last week.

Appeal judges upheld Mr Justice Hayden’s decision but said doctors should keep treating Alfie pending a Supreme Court decision.

Judges have heard that Alfie, born on May 9 2016, is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has a degenerative neurological condition doctors had not definitively diagnosed.

Specialists say his brain has been “eroded”.

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