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Parents of terminally ill British toddler lose court appeal

23-month-old Alfie, who suffers from a rare degenerative neurological condition that causes chronic seizures, has been in a coma for over a year and needs a ventilator to keep him breathing.

world Updated: Apr 24, 2018 13:42 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, London
British toddler,Terminally ill toddler,Coma
In this file photo taken on April 5 shows terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. (AFP photo)

The family of terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans on Monday lost their final court bid to prevent doctors from turning off his life support.

High Court judge Anthony Hayden rejected an appeal by Tom Evans and Kate James for a delay in turning off their 23-month-old son’s life support in order to give them time to present a new challenge.

The ruling allowed doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, northwest England, to withdraw treatment.

Alfie, who suffers from a rare degenerative neurological condition that causes chronic seizures, has been in a coma for over a year and needs a ventilator to keep him breathing.

Police block the entrance to Alder Hey childrens hospital in Liverpool, northwest England, following the announcement that the European court of human rights refused to intervene in the case of British toddler Alfie Evans on April 23. (AFP)

His parents want to take him to the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) paediatric hospital in Rome which is administered by the Vatican.

Hundreds of people have protested outside the Liverpool hospital in support of the father’s plea for the boy to be discharged.

On Monday, a large group of protesters attempted to storm the entrance before being blocked by police.

Evans met with Pope Francis in the Vatican last Wednesday, pleading with him to “save our son” in a Facebook post afterwards.

At his weekly audience the same day, the pontiff drew attention to the case.

“I want to reiterate and strongly confirm that the only master of life, from the beginning to its natural end, is God, and our duty is to do everything to protect life,” he said.

Italy granted the toddler citizenship on Monday in a bid to facilitate his transfer to Rome.

(This story has not been modified from its original version.)

First Published: Apr 24, 2018 13:41 IST