UK Supreme Court Refuses Appeal of Parents of Toddler on Life Support; Their Attorney Says Not So Fast
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The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom denied on Friday the latest appeal by the parents of a toddler on life support to keep him alive. Still, Alfie Evans' embattled father and mother fight on.
"We are now presently filing a case to the European Court of Human Rights, including a motion for interim measures, which is an emergency order that can be issued by the European Court at its discretion, which would prevent the hospital from taking any measures to end Alfie's life," Roger Kiska, legal counsel at Christian Legal Centre which is representing the family, told CBN News.
In February, Mr. Justice Hayden of the High Court ruled that whatever was causing Alfie's condition, the damage to the toddler's brain was so severe that it was in his best interest to be taken off life support.
The Court of Appeal ruled Monday against Tom Evans and Kate James, parents of the 23-month-old boy, who want to take him to Italy for medical treatment.
Alfie is battling an undiagnosed brain disease, according to reports. He is on life support at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital which is part of the UK's National Health Service Foundation Trust.
In Friday's ruling, the Supreme Court said Alfie's parents could not appeal its decision.
"There will be no further stay of the Court of Appeal's order," the judges ruled. "The hospital must be free to do what has been determined to be in Alfie's best interests."
"That is the law in this country," they continued. "No application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg can or should change that."
However, Kiska disagrees.
"The Supreme Court doesn't have that authority to circumvent its treaty obligations," he told CBN News. "When a case is made before a domestic tribunal on a convention issue which the right to life is, then there is a right to go to Strasbourg."
"So whether the Supreme Court likes it or not, this was a new legal argument," Kiska continued. "When they decided not to hear the case, it meant that domestic remedies were exhausted, and we therefore have a right of appeal to the Strasbourg court."
Christian Concern, a sister organization of Christian Legal Centre, released a statement from Alfie's father about the Supreme Court's decision to not hear his appeal.
"Like all Alfie's family, I am very disappointed by the new decision of the Supreme Court which justifies Alfie's imprisonment in Alder Hey Hospital, and refuses to let him go to Rome on the invitation of the Pope," Evans said.
"We have asked them to watch the recent videos of Alfie, and their decision now admits that Alfie 'looks like a normal boy,'" he continued. "However, their paperwork still says his brain no longer exists, his life is futile, he may not be allowed to go, but must be made to die – all in his own best interests."
"Only the paperwork matters to these people – the real child does not," Evans said. "This is not justice. This is a cruel bureaucracy."
In its ruling, the Supreme Court said, "Alfie looks like a normal baby, but the unanimous opinion of the doctors who have examined him and the scans of his brain is that almost all of his brain has been destroyed."
"It means that Alfie cannot breathe, or eat, or drink without sophisticated medical treatment," the judges continued. "It also means that there is no hope of his ever getting better."
In spite of those words, Tom Evans refuses to give up.
"We will continue to fight, by all means available to us within the law, to save our son's life," he said in the statement.
Kiska told CBN News that he wants people to realize the larger implications of Alfie's situation.
"To view this case as a potential watershed moment, one where courts have really shown a disdain for human life when they decided it wasn't worth living anymore, and that in a sense is eugenics," he said.
"It's actually tantamount to euthanasia," Kiska continued, and he urges people to pray.
"Now more than ever," he said.
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