Medicine

Bishop Cavina asks for prayers for Alfie Evans

Bishop Cavina asks for prayers for Alfie Evans

Thomas Evans, father of terminally-ill toddler Alfie, attends Pope Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Tom Evans and Kate James had appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the Court of Appeal upholding Alder Hey Hospital's plan to withdraw the 23-month-old's life support.

Outlining their decision, the Supreme Court justices said the situation was "desperately sad" for all involved but that they had to "face facts".

Earlier court rulings blocked further medical treatment and ordered life support to be withdrawn.

The father of a terminally ill British toddler met Wednesday with Pope Francis and begged him to make another bid for his son's life, after an appeals court ruled that the child can not be taken to Italy for further medical treatment.

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Alfie's parents have been fighting to have their son released to hospitals in either Italy or Germany, who have agreed to provide a second opinion and continue treatment. "He isn't diagnosed", adding that Alfie had been "left" on a feeding tube for 15 months. "I spoke to the director of Vatican News, then was alerted the Pope had sent an urgent request to Bambino to take Alfie as soon as possible".

The U.K. Supreme Court struck down the final appeal to allow Alfie Evans to live and receive further treatment, and instead approved plans for his death.

Alfie is not dying, so we do not want to take him out the way the hospital wish us to.

The couple said Italian doctors were willing to treat the little boy and an air ambulance was available. Alfie's parents fought the decision to the Supreme Court and before the European Court of Human Rights. Crowds of supporters also besieged Alder Hey Hospital to demonstrate and protest on Alfie's behalf.

Judges said no detail of the plan could be made public because Alfie was entitled to privacy as his life came to a close. They said treatment should continue until Supreme Court justices had made a decision. The protesters were disturbing other patients and intimidating hospital staff, the hospital said. We are appealing today because we have got to act quickly.