Alfie Evans court battle: How the legal fight over boy's life support treatment has unfolded

Alfie Evans has had his life support withdrawn (Picture: Alfie’s Army/Facebook)

The father of Alfie Evans says his son has been breathing unassisted, after doctors switched off his life support machine on Monday night.

Thomas Evans said the 23-month-old boy, who has been at the centre of a life support treatment fight, is ‘doing as good as he can’.

His parents are embroiled in a legal battle over his treatment. Here is how events have unfolded since his birth.

2016

May 9: Alfie is born in Liverpool to parents Thomas Evans and Kate James, now aged 21 and 20 respectively.

December: Alfie is taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after suffering seizures. He will spend the next 12 months there.

Doctors turned off the life support for Alfie Evans on Monday night (Pictures: Facebook/Thomas Evans)

2017

December 11: Hospital bosses say they are “liaising directly” with the family after disagreements over his treatment. Alfie’s parents said the hospital has applied to the High Court to remove parental rights and withdraw ventilation.

December 19: A High Court judge, Mr Justice Hayden, begins overseeing the case at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London. The hospital says continuing life-support treatment would not be in Alfie’s best interests, but his parents disagree and say they want permission to fly him to Italy for treatment. The judge says he will make a decision on what is best for Alfie.

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2018

February 1: A hearing begins at the High Court in Liverpool in which lawyers acting for the hospital claim further treatment for Alfie is unkind and inhumane.

February 2: One of Alfie’s doctors tells the judge there is “no hope” for the youngster, who is in a semi-vegetative state from a degenerative neurological condition doctors have not been able to definitively identify.

February 5: Mr Evans tells the court Alfie “looks me in the eye” and wants his help.

Alfie’s parents, Kate James and Thomas Evans (Picture: PA)

February 20: Mr Justice Hayden rules in favour of hospital bosses, saying he accepted medical evidence which showed further treatment was futile.

March 1: Three Court of Appeal judges begin analysing the case after Alfie’s parents mount a challenge to the High Court ruling. The family ask for the appeal hearing to be adjourned for a few weeks so they can discuss the ruling with lawyers, but the judges refuse.

March 6: Court of Appeal judges uphold the decision of Mr Justice Hayden.

March 8: Alfie’s parents ask for the case to be considered by Supreme Court justices.

March 20: Supreme Court justices decide the case is not worth arguing and refuse to give the couple permission to mount another appeal.

March 28: Judges at the European Court of Human Rights reject a bid from Mr Evans and Ms James for them to examine issues relating to Alfie’s future, saying they found no appearance of any human rights violation.

Flowers outside Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where 23-month-old Alfie Evans has been at the centre of a life-support treatment fight (Picture: PA)

April 11: Mr Justice Hayden endorses an end-of-life care plan for Alfie drawn up by specialists.

April 12: Protesters gather outside Alder Hey hospital as Alfie’s father insists he has the right to take him home.

April 16: Alfie’s parents argue he is being wrongly “detained” at Alder Hey and make a habeas corpus application. Judges at the Court of Appeal in London rule against them and again uphold the decisions of Mr Justice Hayden. The couple’s lawyer said they might make a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

The family’s supporters have called for Alfie to be allowed to be treated elsewhere (Picture: PA)

Merseyside Police launch an investigation into “instances of verbal abuse and acts of intimidation” among protesters outside the hospital. Judges raise concerns about reports that ambulances and staff were unable to enter the hospital and that patients and their families had been frightened. Alfie’s parents apologise, saying they did not intend to “harm or cause conflict or upset”.

April 17: Mr Evans and Ms James ask Supreme Court justices to consider their case for a second time, a spokeswoman confirms.

April 18: Mr Evans flies to Rome and meets with Pope Francis. He kissed the Pope’s hand and begged the leader of the Catholic church to save Alfie’s life.

Mr Evans visited the Pope earlier this month to discuss Alfie’s case (Picture: Alfie’s Army/Facebook)

April 20: The Supreme Court rules against Alfie’s parents for a second time, refusing them permission to appeal the decision. Mr and Mrs Evans had been trying to persuade the court that Alfie was being unlawfully detained at Alder Hey hospital.

The parents make an application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to take Alfie to Rome for treatment, instead of letting him come off life support.

April 23: The European Court of Human Rights refuse the application made by Alfie’s parents, saying: “The European Court of Human Rights has today rejected the application submitted by the family of Alfie Evans as inadmissible.”

A group of about 200 protesters tries to storm Alder Hey hospital, where Alfie has been receiving treatment. Police officers blocked the entrance as dozens of people charged at the doors.

Police block protesters from the entrance to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool (Picture: PA)

Alfie Evans is granted Italian citizenship. In a bid to facilitate moving Alfie to Italy to receive treatment, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Foreign minister Angelino Alfano and interior minister Marco Minniti have granted citizenship to little Alfie. The Italian government hopes that in this way, being an Italian citizen will enable the immediate transfer of the child to Italy.”

On Monday evening, a High Court Judge dismisses new submissions made in private by the lawyers for Alfie’s parents via telephone.

At around 9pm, life support is withdrawn by doctors at Alder Hey hospital, according to Mr Evans. He said in a Facebook post that his son had been breathing for himself since 9.17pm.

April 24: Alfie was still breathing on his own this morning, according to his father. At 7am, Mr Evans said: “Nine hours he has been breathing now. It’s actually come to the point where his mum is asleep next to him. She can actually go to sleep next to him. She feels comfortable with him.”