Alfie Evans’ parents lost their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights last week, putting their 22-month-old son one step closer to death. The court ruled in favor of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, which wants to remove the toddler’s life support.
Alfie has a degenerative neurological condition and remains in a coma and dependent on a ventilator. His parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, have been fighting a court battle to keep him on life support. They insist he isn’t dying and note he “looks into our eyes every day.”
Evans said the ruling left him and James “in bits, distraught, in pain” and “failed disgracefully by the system.” On Saturday, hundreds of people marched through the streets of Liverpool holding signs and chanting their support for Alfie.
The court’s rejection of the couple’s plea comes as a final blow in a series of defeats, including the U.K. Supreme Court’s rejection of their appeal last month. The hospital said in a statement it is working with the parents to implement “the most appropriate palliative care plan” for Alfie. —S.G.