21 April, 2018
Alfie Evans, the child suffering from a neurological disease, is nearly certain to die in hospital after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal seeking to have him released to be treated overseas.
"Alfie looks like a normal baby, but the unanimous opinion of the doctors who have examined him and the scans of his brain is that nearly all of his brain has been destroyed".
After losing their latest appeal, Alfie's parents are making a further appeal to the Supreme Court and appeal court judges said Alfie would continue to receive treatment pending the Supreme Court decision.
Three appeal court judges endorsed a plan drawn up by doctors earlier this week.
A date has been set by Alder Hey Children's Hospital for taking Evans off life-support.
However the Supreme Court has refused to permit an appeal of the latest ruling.
But Mr Justice Hayden said flying Alfie to a foreign hospital would be wrong and pointless.More news: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reveal royal wedding photographer
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.
The hospital must be free to do what has been determined to be in Alfie's best interests. But the judges said: "A person who is unable to move because of the measures which are being taken in intensive care to keep him alive is not deprived of his liberty within the meaning of article 5". "There will be no further stay of the Court of Appeal's order".
The parents of little Alfie Evans have lost what may be their last ditch attempt to spare his life. "No application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg can or should change that". Alfie is not dying, so we do not want to take him out the way the hospital wish us to.
Outlining their decision, the Supreme Court justices said the situation was "desperately sad" for all involved but that they had to "face facts".
Tom Evans posted on the Alfie Army Facebook page to describe his time in Rome - where he met the Pope and the president of the Bambino Gesú hospital.
Francis obliged, holding a minute of silent prayer for 23-month-old Alfie Evans during his weekly general audience and insisting that the only one who can give and take life is God. "We will continue to fight, by all means available to us within the law, to save our son's life".