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Alfie Evans: European Court of Human Rights rejects case

Alfie Evans Image copyright Alfie's Army
Image caption Alfie Evans' parents want to take him abroad for treatment

A mother and father fighting a decision to switch off their toddler son's life support have lost their last-ditch legal bid.

Tom Evans and Kate James want to take 22-month-old Alfie abroad for treatment.

The couple took their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after exhausting all legal avenues in the UK.

But three judges ruled the submission "inadmissible".

The panel's decision was final, the court said, adding that a request for an interim measure to stay a High Court order allowing medics to switch off his life support was also refused.

Judges found no appearance of a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, the court said.

Both parties to the case had been notified of the decision, it added.

Alfie has an undiagnosed "catastrophic and untreatable neurodegenerative condition", which medics at Alder Hey Children's Hospital have said would be "futile" to treat further.

His parents went to the UK Supreme Court after the High Court hearing, but it backed the lower court's ruling.

The couple wants to take their son to the Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome for treatment.

Alder Hey Children's Hospital said: "This signals the end of a very difficult and protracted legal process.

"We understand that this decision is very distressing for Alfie's family.

"Our priority is now to work with them to agree the most appropriate palliative care plan and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this time."

The family's solicitor has yet to comment.

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