Alfie Evans’ parents are to challenge a High Court ruling that they cannot take the seriously ill toddler to Italy for treatment.
The case is due to be heard by three Court of Appeal judges at the Royal Courts of Justice in London at 2pm on Wednesday.
It comes after a High Court judge ruled that Tom Evans and Kate James could take their son home from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, but not abroad.
Poland’s president Andrzej Duda is the latest high-profile figure to voice support for Alfie after the case attracted international attention.
Mr Duda tweeted: “Alfie Evans must be saved! His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death.
“Perhaps all that’s needed is some good will on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!”
Mr Justice Hayden, speaking after an emergency High Court hearing in Manchester on Tuesday, called Alfie a “warrior” but said the case had reached its “final chapter”.
The judge decided that Alfie’s parents could not have medical experts in Italy examine their son, as they had wished.
Instead, he asked Alder Hey hospital to consider permitting them to take their son home.
Mr Justice Hayden advised the couple to “explore” other options, such as removing Alfie from intensive care either to a ward, a hospice or his home.
The 23-month-old boy has a rare degenerative neurological condition and is considered to be in a semi-vegetative state.
A spokesman for Alder Hey said on Tuesday: “This evening the High Court again ruled that it is in Alfie’s best interests to continue with the end of life care plan developed by the clinical team who have cared for him throughout.
“Our top priority therefore remains in ensuring Alfie receives the care he deserves to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained throughout.”
The judge rejected claims by Alfie’s father that his son was “significantly better” than first thought, having survived unaided for 20 hours after doctors first withdrew life support on Monday night.
But Mr Justice Hayden said in his ruling: “With little, indeed no hesitation, I reject that. The brain cannot regenerate itself and there is virtually nothing of his brain left.
“There is, in truth, with great respect to the efforts of (parents’ lawyer) Mr Diamond, no substance to this application, which represents, at least within the court process, the final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy.”
Speaking to lawyers representing Alfie’s parents and the hospital, the judge asked: “If there were a more constructive attitude from the family might other options become possible, away from Alder Hey?
“I’m not suggesting this, I don’t want it to be taken as an indication from me. One of the things Tom Evans said, if it can’t be Italy or Munich, which it cannot be, was whether they could take Alfie home.”
But a doctor treating Alfie, who cannot be named for legal reasons and appeared in court in medical scrubs, said that would require a “sea change” in the attitude of Alfie’s family.
The medic said the hospital feared that in the “worst case” Alfie’s family would try to take the boy abroad.
The couple, who are from Liverpool, said doctors in Rome were willing to treat him. Italy granted the boy Italian citizenship, and the Pope has intervened in the case.
A spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, which is assisting Mr Evans and Ms James, said an air ambulance was “waiting outside Alder Hey Hospital ready to take Alfie to hospital in Italy”.
Speaking outside Alder Hey on Tuesday, Mr Evans said doctors were “gobsmacked” that his son was breathing nine hours after his life support ended.
He added: “It’s come to a point when his mum’s actually asleep next to him so she can go to sleep, she feels comfortable with him.”
Alfie was born on 9 May 2016. He suffered seizures and was taken to hospital in December that year.
He is currently being hydrated and given oxygen to stop him becoming distressed.
From – SkyNews