Alfie Evans funeral: how the fight for his life unfolded
Mourners expected to line the streets of Liverpool after toddler’s death
Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Liverpool today for the funeral of Alfie Evans.
The toddler, who would have turned two last week, died on 28 April in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after suffering from an unidentified degenerative brain condition. The tragic case became the centre of a High Court legal battle over his care.
Mourners have been asked to stand outside Everton's stadium at Goodison Park as the funeral procession passes between 11am and 11.30am. The family has requested that the funeral itself remains private.
His parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, have thanks the public for their support and asked that their privacy is respected.
Who is Alfie Evans and how did the case unfold?
The toddler, born on 9 May 2016, was admitted to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool in December 2016 after suffering seizures.
Doctors believed Alfie had a degenerative neurological condition, which has led to parallels being drawn with the case of Charlie Gard.
The 23-month-old boy, who had been living in a coma for more than a year, was at the centre of a “sometimes acrimonious six-month dispute which has seen a series of court battles”, says The Independent.
In February, a High Court judge ruled that doctors could stop providing life support for Alfie, against his parents’ wishes, saying the child required “peace, quiet and privacy”.
Alfie’s parents lost a series of legal challenges against that ruling, including at the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. They wanted to take Alfie to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu paediatric hospital, but the courts ruled that it was not in his best interest.
The case drew the attention of Pope Francis, who tweeted: “Moved by the prayers and immense 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.”
One of the dilemmas that the case raised is “whether doctors are the right people to determine whether withdrawing life-support treatment is in ‘the best interests’ of a terminally ill child”, says the BBC.
A key argument presented by Evans, 21, and James, 20, “was that they should decide what is best for their son”, adds the broadcaster.
Announcing the news of his death on 28 April, his parents said: “Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30am. We are heart broken. Thank you everyone for all your support.”