British toddler dies after parents lose court fight to keep him alive

LONDON (CNN) — Terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans died overnight, days after life support was withdrawn, according to messages posted Saturday by his parents on Facebook.

“My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30. absolutely heartbroken. I LOVE YOU MY GUY,” his father, Thomas Evans, wrote on the “Save Alfie Evans” Facebook page.

“Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heart broken. Thankyou everyone for all your support,” his mother, Kate James, posted on the “Alfies Army Official” Facebook page.

The 23-month-old boy, who had a degenerative brain condition, had been at the center of a high profile legal battle over whether life support should be continued. The case has stirred strong emotions both in Britain and abroad, with hundreds of thousands signing petitions supporting him.

People protest the Alfie Evans case outside Alder Hey Hospital on April 13 in Liverpool, England.

People protest the Alfie Evans case outside Alder Hey Hospital on April 13 in Liverpool, England.

Alfie, who was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in December 2016, was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease associated with severe epilepsy and had been in a semivegetative state for more than a year. During that time, he was kept alive by artificial ventilation in the critical care unit.

Disagreement between the hospital and his parents resulted in a referral of Alfie’s case to the Family Division of the UK High Court for a judge to rule on whether active treatment was in Alfie’s best interests.

When the court did not rule in their favor, the parents appealed the decision, and after that appeal was lost, the case was referred to the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, judges on the UK Court of Appeal ruled against Alfie’s family, following a decision by the High Court on Tuesday that prevented Alfie from leaving Britain for further medical treatment.

The child’s life support was withdrawn on Monday following orders by the High Court.

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4 comments

  • Shiloh's Mom

    This is a perfect example of why socialized medicine is a bad idea. You cede complete control of your healthcare to the government, and they get to call the shots on your care.

    • Asmodeus Krang (@Asmodeus_Krang)

      No, this is a case where delusional parents don’t come to terms with the fact that their child isn’t going to get any better and keep wanting to waist time and resources when nothing is going to help. We have had things like this in the states with parents that want to keep their baby born with anencephaly on life support and the hospital has to take them to court to pull the plug. This has nothing to do with socialized medicine.

      • Kevin Rahe

        Actually, no. Alfie had been taken off life support and, like Terri Schiavo, was still living. There was no reason to prevent his parents from taking him to a hospital in another country that had offered to help him. In other words, this case has EVERYTHING to do with socialized medicine. I would rather have no health care insurance at all than give the government the right to deny me care (which is a very different thing than merely denying to PAY for my care).

      • Robert E. Lee

        Sorry BERNIE, this is socialized medicine. It is the exact thing people talked about with death panels. If socialized medicine is so kind, gentle and caring why not let another socialist country (who gave the child citizenship) take and care for him if they offer too? Silly socialists logic is for conservatives? The progressive socialist liberal party is the party of death. F@#%K ANTI-FA and the real BERNIE