Court rejects Alfie Evans appeal as hospital trust speaks of staff being 'abused'

April 24, 2018

Judges have thrown out appeals made by the parents of terminally ill Alfie Evans to allow him to be taken to Italy for treatment.

Tom Evans and Kate James made applications to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge ruled they could take their son home from Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, but not abroad.

Speaking on Wednesday at the hearing, which the toddler's parents did not attend, Lord Justice McFarlane said: "This is awful for everyone concerned. We are in the middle of palliative care plan at Alder Hey Hospital.

"I can see no basis that judgement was wrong."

Alfie Evans, who has been at the centre of a life-support battle
Image:Alfie Evans is at the centre of a life-support battle

The ruling came hours after life support ended for the youngster, who was granted Italian citizenship this week in order to facilitate a move to Rome for treatment.

Alfie's father said his son has been breathing unassisted after his life support machine was switched off. Earlier on Wednesday the boy was said to be "struggling".

Tom Evans spoke outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital on Tuesday
 
Video:'Alfie's been breathing for nine hours now'

The trust for the hospital in Liverpool has since spoken of the "barrage of highly abusive and threatening" language and behaviour towards medical staff treating the toddler, who has a rare degenerative neurological condition and is considered to be in a semi-vegetative state.

"Our staff have received in person, via phone calls, email, and through social media channels a barrage of highly abusive and threatening language and behaviour that has shocked us all," it said.

"Worse still, patients and visitors to Alder Hey have also reported abuse."

Michael Mylonas, the hospital trust's lawyer, said on Wednesday that there was "no new medical evidence" to contradict the evidence given before the High Court in February.

Tom Evans and Kate James leave the High Court
Image:Tom Evans and Kate James leave the High Court

He said Alfie continuing to breathe was "not a change in circumstances" and added: "It was never suggested that death would be instantaneous.

"In fact, to the contrary, the evidence had been that when previously extubated he survived. It has never been said to this family that Alfie would die immediately or before sundown.

"No doctor could have said that."

This image was posted by Alfie's father Tom Evans on Monday
 
Video:High court rules terminally ill Alfie Evans will not travel to Italy

The lawyer said the "tragedy" for the parents was that Alfie appeared as if he was a normal child.

Mr Evans' lawyer, Paul Diamond, said: "We say the order of Mr Justice Hayden was simply to remove life-sustaining equipment because there is no medical cure.

"We say when we enter a situation where the individual continues to breathe we have to amend that care plan.

"We cannot allow a situation like that to continue in a British hospital."

Thomas Evans with the Pope. Pic: Facebook
Image:Thomas Evans with the Pope. Pic: Facebook

Jason Coppel, acting on behalf of Ms James, had argued the continued survival of the toddler and his recently granted Italian citizenship had changed the situation.

The court also heard how Mr Evans had sought to bring a private prosecution against three doctors with the charge of conspiracy to murder.

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