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Parents of sick child Alfie Evans face new legal challenge



Lawyers petitioned a London court on Wednesday for the fate of Alfie Evans, a terminally ill British toddler whose case was supported by Pope Francis and sparked an international debate over the competing rights of the child, his doctors and his parents [196592002] The 23-month-old boy suffers from a degenerative neurological disorder that has put him in a "semi-vegetative state". Doctors who treated him at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool said further treatment would be in vain and the baby's life support would be withdrawn on Monday after a series of court decisions sided with doctors and blocked further medical treatment

Nevertheless, Alfie's parents want to take him to Italy to be cared for at the Vatican Children's Hospital, which is ready to accept him

"There is an assumption that Alfie is dying," said Eleanor King, one of three appellate judges who passed Case Heard

Paul Diamond, lawyer of Alfie's father Tom Evans, said Evans accepted that his won would die but wanted palliative care in line with his Catholic beliefs.

Doctors treating Alfie say further treatment would be in vain and British courts have agreed

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Hayden dismissed his parents' recent appeal on Tuesday, saying that his verdict was "the last chapter in the life of this extraordinary little boy ". The parents' lawyers went to court Wednesday to try to overturn this decision.

The months-long legal dispute between Alfie's parents, supported by a Christian pressure group, and his doctors has sparked interventions by the Pope and the Italian authorities regarding parents' desire to have their son treated in Italy.

Alfie's father, Tom Evans, said Alfie continued to survive without help, and the doctors subsequently re-oxygenated and hydrated. On Wednesday he said that Alfie would get food after 36 hours without food.

"Alfie is still doing as well as he can, he's fighting," Evans told ITV TV.

A lawyer for Alfie's mother Kate James recounted The court ruled Wednesday that the child "struggled" and needed immediate action if he survived much longer.

Doctors say it is difficult to predict how long Alfie will live without life support, but that there is no chance better

Under British law, it is common for courts to intervene if parents and doctors are not in the care of a child to match. In such cases, the rights of the child take precedence over the right of parents to decide what is best for their offspring.

Alfie's case has attracted international attention, with officials in largely Catholic Poland and Italy implicitly criticizing the British courts and the state National Health Service

Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted on Wednesday that "Alfie Evans needs to be rescued! "

"His brave little body has once again proven that the miracle of life can be stronger than death," the president wrote on Twitter. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!

Pope Francis met Alfie's father and made appeals for the wishes of the boy's parents, which can only be heard God can decide who dies.

In Italy, a military plane is ready to take Alfie to Rome, if the courts allow it, Alfie was also granted Italian citizenship to facilitate his arrival and transport.


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