Italy grants citizenship to terminally ill British boy Alfie Evans

Demonstrators outside Alder Hey Hospital

Paul Diamond, who will represent the parents this afternoon, will argue that it can not be in Alfie's best interests to be left to die in Alder Hey Children's Hospital. The demonstration then retreated and began to chant "Save Alfie Evans".

His parents wish him to receive this treatment, but late previous year, Alder Hey Children's Hospital determined to take the boy off life support against the parents' wishes, and Thomas Evans and mother Kate James have been fighting in British and European Union courts to keep their son alive.

On Friday, the couple who are both in their early 20s and from Liverpool, failed to persuade Supreme Court justices to consider the case.

The judge appeared to rule that out at an emergency court hearing in Manchester, but asked whether there might be "other options" that involved Alfie's parents taking their son home.

Pope Francis renewed his support for the family on Monday by tweeting: "Moved by the prayers and enormous 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".

Life support for Alfie was withdrawn at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool hospital last night after a last-ditch appeal to the High Court failed.

However, Mr Justice Hayden refused their application for more time and gave doctors the go-ahead to stop treatment and bring Alfie's life to an end.

His parents want to take their son to be treated at the paediatric Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, which is administered by the Vatican. The couple said Italian doctors were willing to treat the little boy and an air ambulance was available.

Hayden ordered Alfie's ventilator to be removed at 9.30pm local time but the family urgently appealed again to the Court of Appeal.

A writ of habeas corpus - Latin for "you may have the body" - is a legal manoeuvre which requires a court to examine the legality of a detention.

The Register has learned from a source close to the family that Justice Hayden "rejected every argument" and "completely disregarded everything and everyone".

The ruling allowed doctors to withdraw treatment.

Courts have ruled in favor of Alder Hey and its decision to prevent Alfie's parents from taking him outside its premises, arguing that any further efforts will only prolong his suffering.

Mr Evans posted on Facebook: "Alfie, I am so so sorry".

Speaking outside Alder Hey, his father said Alfie's life-support should be reinstated due to his remarkable progress. "How can they do this?"

The decision by the hospital to turn his life support off, against the will of his parents, has caused thousands of people to protest in person and on social media.

In a statement, Alder Hey said: "We wish to reassure patients and families attending Alder Hey hospital today that we are operating as usual and that, although you will see a police presence, the hospital is calm".

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