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Alfie Evans' parents lose legal appeal for Vatican treatment

Alfie Evans' parents lose legal appeal for Vatican treatment

Pope Francis again expressed support for the boy's parents tweeting on Monday evening: "Moved by the prayers and vast solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted".

But Alfie's doctors say he can not be healed, and shouldn't make the trip at all.

"I've been following poor Alfie's story for a while and I wanted to show we're supporting him in Sheffield and hope he gets the treatment he needs", added the 50-year-old former carer.

The little boy's case has become a subject of fierce concern for some Catholic and other Christian activists, who have protested outside the hospital in Liverpool where the boy is being treated.

European Union Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Tuesday said that seriously ill 23-month-old British baby Alfie Evans should receive further treatment, possibly in Italy, after his life-support was withdrawn by a British hospital.

Alfie Evans cuddles his mother Kate James (left) at Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, England. Follow this gallery to view the latest pictures from Alfie Evans' case.

Judge Anthony Hayden of the High Court said that this will be the "final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy". "It seems inconceivable that there is no way to make that happen".

Alfie's parents campaigned unsuccessfully to prevent Alder Hey Children's Hospital stopping the youngster's life support, and protesters backing the family have been demonstrating outside the hospital.

While medical professionals have been unable to identify Evans' exact brain condition, they said he remains in a "semi-vegetative state".

This came the day after Alfie's life support machine was removed, then oxygen and hydration were re-administered when the boy survived for several hours, contrary to the prediction of doctors.

A spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, representing Alfie's parents, said their appeal is due to be heard at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday afternoon. They said that they wouldn't discuss confidential details about Alfie's medical condition, but that British doctors' guidelines call for ending treatment if the treatment is either unlikely to extend the child's life "much longer", or might prolong life "but will cause the child unacceptable pain and suffering".

Mr Justice Hayden ruled out his family's wishes to take the child to the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, following interventions from the Pope and the Italian authorities. Has it "accompanied" the parents of Alfie Evans? "The point is that the parents should be free", Williams said.

The Italian defense ministry had even arranged for an air ambulance to transport Evans to the Vatican hospital if the judge had allowed the family to take their child.

The judge said Alfie's continued life was a "shaft of light" and a "special opportunity" for his parents to spend time with him - not the time for more legal manoeuvres.

Alfie's parents have gained support from around the world, including Pope Francis, to allow the child a chance to live. The Italian embassy has also stated that if doctors proceed with this they will be reported for the murder of Alfie Evans now that he is a citizen of Italy.

Francis has spoken repeatedly about Alfie.

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