Par­ents lose le­gal fight to take Al­fie abroad for treat­ment

CAM­PAIGN: Fam­ily of brain-dam­aged boy may turn to Supreme Court again af­ter Court of Ap­peal dis­misses case

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - BRIAN FARMER

Supreme Court jus­tices might be asked to con­sider the case of a 23-month-old boy at the cen­tre of a life-sup­port treat­ment bat­tle for a sec­ond time.

Al­fie Evans’ par­ents, who live in Liver­pool, are us­ing a piece of an­cient English com­mon law dur­ing the lat­est stage of their fight for treat­ment.

Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, want to move their son from Alder Hey Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Liver­pool to a hos­pi­tal in Rome.

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

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.

A High Court judge and three Court of Ap­peal judges have dis­missed their claim. But the cou­ple might make an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Supreme Court.

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 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.

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.

Last week, Mr Jus­tice Hay­den en­dorsed a de­tailed plan put for­ward by Alder Hey doc­tors for with­draw­ing life-sup­port treat­ment – af­ter con­sid­er­ing a num­ber of is­sues at a fol­low-up High Court hear­ing.

He also dis­missed the sug­ges­tion that Al­fie was be­ing un­law­fully de­tained at Alder Hey and re­fused to grant a writ of habeas cor­pus.

Three Court of Ap­peal judges yes­ter­day dis­missed a chal­lenge to Mr Jus­tice Hay­den’s de­ci­sion af­ter analysing ar­gu­ment at a hear­ing in Lon­don.

But bar­ris­ter Paul Di­a­mond, who rep­re­sented Al­fie’s par­ents, said the cou­ple might make an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Supreme Court.

Ap­peal court judges said doc­tors should con­tin­u­ing treat­ing Al­fie pend­ing any 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”.

Pic­ture: Al­fie’s Army Of­fi­cial/PA.

Al­fie Evans is in a semi-veg­e­ta­tive state, say doc­tors but his par­ents want him to con­tinue to re­ceive treat­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.