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Alfie Evans in a recent photo with his eyes open, sucking his soother. Thomas Evans / Facebook

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LONDON, April 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Defying a British publication ban, foreign media are reporting that Alfie Evans’ life support will be removed tomorrow. However, his parents have appealed the decision in a last-minute attempt to be allowed to determine their son’s course of care.

Yesterday, Mr. Justice Hayden declared that the 23-month child’s life was “futile.” According to Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, the judge set April 13 as the date of Alfie’s death. This morning, Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, appealed this decision, asking the court to release their son into their care, so that they may take him to a hospital abroad.

The Vatican’s Il Bambino Gesù children’s hospital in Rome is among those willing to take the child.

During the April 11 hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Alfie’s parents’ lawyer, Paul Diamond of the Christian Legal centre, argued that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital had no right to detain the child. His position was that Alfie’s parents have “primary responsibility for their son and full parental rights” which must not be superseded by the state. Thus, Alfie’s parents must be allowed to remove him and take him to another hospital.

Diamond also presented videos of the child, which show what look like improved cognitive engagement as he was being weaned off some of his stronger medications.

In response, Hayden ignored the topic of parental rights to voice concern for the infant’s “privacy,” as if publication of the videos had somehow hurt the child.

“[Alfie] has no say over those videos being taken and put on the Internet,” he said. “Those videos strike me as at times intrusive of his privacy.”

Hayden, 56, even attempted to identify with the 23-month-old child, saying, “I ask myself if I were in a bed in a hospital in that condition would I want videos of me in the public. I wonder why it is right for Alfie.”  

Diamond argued that the videos of Alfie’s movements were “fresh evidence,” and the judge agreed to watch them as a “kindness” to Alfie’s parents.

Afterwards the judge asked a representative of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) for her opinion on the wide distribution online of the videos of Alfie. She said CAFCASS would consider if this was in the child’s “best interests.” Hayden, shortly to pronounce Alfie’s death sentence, said that Alfie’s father must have compromised his son’s privacy because of his “distress and confusion.”

Save Alfie Evans! Tell the hospital to let his parents take him home. Sign here.

Benedetta Frigerio of La Nuova Bussola called the judge’s concern with the “privacy” of the child he was about to sentence to death “ironic.” She noted also Hayden’s “direct attacks” on Alfie’s father and concern for the Alder Hey medical team who had allegedly, in the judge’s words, “borne Mr Evans’ insults with extraordinary patience, generosity and kindness.”

Alfie was a healthy baby when he was born in May 2016. After being admitted to Alder Hey in December 2016 with a chest infection, he developed a serious illness which the doctors have been unable to diagnose. Experts acting on behalf of the hospital testified in earlier court proceedings that they saw no chance of recovery of brain activity and that it was in Alfie’s “best interests” for his life sustaining treatment to be withdrawn. Tom and Kate 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.

Tom Evans and Kate James hope their appeal will be heard this afternoon and in the meantime, any action to end Alfie’s life will be delayed.

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Legal Centre, said: “Thomas and Kate never leave Alfie’s side. They witness to his increasing responsiveness. The state cannot override their desire to seek further treatment for their son especially when such help is being offered by three different hospitals. The state must not pass and enforce a death sentence. Even at this eleventh hour, with heavy odds against us, we will fight to the end alongside Tom and Kate for their son’s life.”