UK Supreme Court denies Alfie Evans' appeal, ventilator to be removed Monday

Alfie Evans is in a

After a number of legal battles, Alfie's parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, have failed to persuade the Supreme Court that their child was being unlawfully detained in hospital.

The decision is another setback for the parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, who have been engaged in a protracted legal fight with Alder Hey Children's Hospital over their son's care.

In appealing the lower court rulings, Alfie's parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, argued their son had shown improvement in recent weeks.

After losing their latest appeal, Alfie's parents are making a further appeal to the Supreme Court and appeal court judges said Alfie would continue to receive treatment pending the Supreme Court decision.

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A judge denied an appeal to the baby's parents today, saying the hospital must be "free to do what has been determined to be in Alfie's best interests".

Alfie's father, Thomas Evans, met with Francis before the pope's general audience and asked him to make a public appeal about the value of life.

They continued: "It has been conclusively determined that it is not in Alfie's best interests, not only to stay in Alder Hey hospital being treated as he now is, but also to travel overseas for the same goal".

"I've got a letter handed to me on behalf of the Pope and the hospital president showing how much they want to take Alfie on", he added.

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"We have instructed our lawyers to submit an urgent application to the European Court of Human Rights, and they have done so today".

Outlining their decision, the Supreme Court justices said the situation was "desperately sad" for all involved but that they had to "face facts". "Not Alder Hey, not the doctors here not any parents either". But the judges said: "A person who is unable to move because of the measures which are being taken in intensive care to keep him alive is not deprived of his liberty within the meaning of article 5".

It is a piece of common law which probably dates back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Hayden dismissed that claim last week; appeal judges upheld his decision.

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A Supreme Court spokeswoman said: "'Having considered submissions from the parties on paper", in the usual way, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has refused permission for the parents to appeal'.

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