Doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to 21-month-old Alfie Evans against his parents’ wishes, a High Court judge ruled on Tuesday.
Tom Evans and Kate James, both 20 and from Liverpool, wanted to take their son Alfie abroad for treatment.
But specialists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, in Liverpool, had asked a High Court judge to allow them to stop providing life-saving treatment.
Mr Justice Hayden ruled in favour of hospital bosses after analysing the dispute at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in Liverpool earlier this month.
He had heard that Alfie, who was born on May 9, 2016, was in a “semi-vegetative state” and had a degenerative neurological condition doctors had not definitively diagnosed, the Press Association reports.
Doctors said continuing to provide life support treatment was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”.
Alfie’s parents believe that he responds to them.
The judge visited Alfie in hospital and praised his parents.
Mr Justice Hayden said he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile, adding that he had reached his conclusion with great sadness.
“Alfie’s need now is for good quality palliative care.
“He requires peace, quiet and privacy in order that he may conclude his life ad he has lived it, with dignity,” he said.
He said they had tried to explore every avenue and leave no stone unturned.
Alfie’s mother left the court hearing before Mr Justice Hayden reached his conclusion and his father broke down as the decision was announced.
Speaking outside the court following today’s judgement, Alfie’s father told reporters that his son had been “sentenced to the death penalty” as he vowed to fight on.
He said: “Is this right? I’m not crying because I know how wrong they are and I know how strong my boy is doing.
“My boy is strong, he’s comfortable. This isn’t over, this is just the start. I am going to take... this NHS down.
“I’m not giving up, my son ain’t giving up. No-one, and I repeat no-one in this country, is taking my boy away from me.”
Outside Alder Hey about 30 members of “Alfie’s Army” were supporting the family’s campaign as they awaited the decision.
Blue and purple balloons fluttered in the wind as they chanted, “Save Alfie Evans”.
As news of the decision filtered through, supporters stood in silence, wiping away tears and exchanging hugs.
Danielle Page, 32, from St Helens, said: “It is devastating. He’s not lying there like a vegetable, he’s a little boy, he’s a miracle. He needs a chance. Everything that’s been thrown at him, he’s battled through. We are not going to give up.”
Alfie’s father said after the ruling: “I need time to reflect on the judgment.”