The parents of a seriously ill boy at the centre of a life-support treatment battle are to mount another legal challenge.
Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, are preparing to ask court of appeal judges to allow 23-month-old Alfie Evans to continue to receive treatment.
The latest legal challenge, set for Monday, came after hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside a hospital in Liverpool to protest against the decision to turn off the baby’s life support.
The demonstration, which closed roads around Alder Hey hospital on Thursday night, was to challenge a high court judge who ruled that further treatment would harm Alfie’s future dignity.
On Wednesday the high court judge, Mr Justice Hayden, endorsed an end-of-life care plan for Alfie drawn up by specialists. The judge described Alfie’s life as “profoundly unfair” but accepted medical evidence that showed further treatment was futile.
Alfie’s parents, who are from Liverpool, have already lost fights in the high court, court of appeal, supreme court and European court of human rights.
But on Friday appeal court officials confirmed to the Guardian that another hearing had been listed for Monday.
Appeal court officials told Press Association that an appeal court judge had decided that Alfie should continue to receive treatment pending Monday’s hearing.
Legal advisers representing the couple said they will ask judges to overturn at least one decision made by Hayden on Wednesday.
The protest outside Alder Hey began after Tom Evans said in an emotional Facebook video that he had an air ambulance on standby to fly his son for treatment in Rome but that police prevented him from taking Alfie out of the hospital.
Footage posted online showed Alfie’s parents receiving huge applause as they joined the significant crowd of protesters who were chanting Alfie’s name.
A video posted on Facebook showed Alfie’s father filming his son in the hospital and holding a letter he said stated he had the right to leave with his child. The words “Christian Legal Centre” can be seen at the top of the letter.
“I have documentation that says I have the right to take my son out of the hospital. I have the right to take my son out of this hospital,” he says in the video. Evans said the documentation proved he was allowed to leave legally, and that he had removed the duty of care and given it to their air ambulance company.
“Alder Hey have phoned the police to stop me from taking my son out of the hospital. This is my son. Look at my healthy, healthy young boy who is undiagnosed, who is certainly not dying,” he said.
During the clip of about two and a half minutes he also encouraged people to come to the hospital to stand outside and “tell them to release our son” in a “quiet protest”.
He added: “They have phoned the police over a child … Look how innocent the boy is, look at him, he lies there eagerly waiting for his trip home. How can this come to this?”
Merseyside police said the protest was peaceful but “did cause significant traffic disruption and inconvenience for other people trying to access the hospital”.
Alder Hey said the protest causedsignificant disruption and paid tribute to its staff who “worked tirelessly under extremely difficult conditions to manage the implications of the disruption”.
Alfie is in a semi-vegetative state and has a degenerative neurological condition that has never been definitively diagnosed by doctors.
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