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Alfie Evans parents refused permission for supreme court appeal




The parents of a 22-month-old boy who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle have failed to persuade supreme court justices to consider the case.

A high court judge had ruled that doctors can stop treating Alfie Evans, against the wishes of his parents, Kate James and Tom Evans. Three court of appeal judges upheld that decision.

Alfie’s parents, from Liverpool, wanted to fight on at the supreme court in London. However, a panel of three justices headed by the supreme court president, Lady Hale, decided that the case was not worth arguing and refused to give the couple permission to mount a further appeal.

The panel released a written ruling on Tuesday after considering written arguments from lawyers representing everyone involved. The ruling said the proposed appeal was unarguable.

Judges have heard that Alfie, who was born on 9 May 2016, is in a semi-vegetative state and has a degenerative neurological condition that doctors have not definitively diagnosed.

Mr Justice Hayden analysed the case at hearings in the family division of the high court in London and Liverpool.

Specialists at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool said life-support treatment could stop and the judge said he accepted medical evidence that showed further treatment was futile.

Legal rules meant Alfie’s parents could not simply ask supreme court justices to consider the case. They first had to clear an initial legal hurdle by persuading the judges that they had a case worth arguing.

The three justices said in their ruling that they had “profound sympathy” for Alfie’s parents, but said the couple had not put forward an arguable case.

“The [supreme court] will give permission for an appeal to be brought only if it would raise an arguable point of law of general public importance,” the ruling said.

“The proposed appeal is unarguable so, notwithstanding our profound sympathy for the agonising situation in which they find themselves, we refuse permission for the parents to appeal.”



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