Judge 'rules out' Alfie going to Rome (2)

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The parents of a seriously ill little boy from Liverpool are fighting a court ruling allowing medics to withdraw his life support. But just who is Alfie and what's happened to him?

The child's life support has been switched off since 9:17 p.m. local time Monday, in accordance with court approved plans to end his assisted breathing treatment.

Instead, the judge asked Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool to consider permitting them to take their son home.

Alfie's parents were predictably thrilled.

Why are the parents challenging the doctors?

Evans, 21, and Alfie's mother, Kate James, 20, want to take the boy to the Vatican's Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital. The hospital has links to the Vatican and the Pope has publicly supported them. According to his father, doctors eventually gave Alfie water and supplemental oxygen, but the child has not been given nutrition for almost a day. He says the hospital claims it would take three days to discharge the boy.

The hospital argued that keeping Evans on a ventilator was "not in his best interests", and treatment was "futile" as well as "unkind and inhumane".

Earlier in today's courtroom battle, Justice Hayden told attorneys for Alfie's parents that they would not be able to take him to Italy for medical care and potential experimental treatment for his rare degenerative neurological disease.

And Italy's Healthcare Chief has slammed the decisions by United Kingdom courts to treat Alfie the way that they have.

Mr Justice Hayden also appeared to rule out his family's wishes to take the 23-month-old to Italy for treatment.

Protesters have flocked to the hospital where he is being treated, demanding that treatment be continued.

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The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has even granted the 23-month-old Italian citizenship in an attempt to transfer him to the country.

"There is, in truth, with great respect to the efforts of Mr Diamond, no substance to this application, which represents, at least within the court process, the final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy".

What does the law say about who can decide?

A public body can disagree with these choices and can go to court in order to override this parental responsibility.

In a Tuesday statement, the Medical Ethics Alliance blasted the British hospital that's treating Evans, saying "medical tyranny must stop". The classic example being doctors' ability to overrule parents who are Jehovah's Witness who refuse their child's blood transfusion because of their faith. At that point, and as a result of the hospital's court action, the parents were stripped of their right to be decision-makers for their beloved child.

Are there any other similar cases in the UK?

Remember the Charlie Gard case? But doctors at the hospital insist he has no chance of improving.

However, his parents and their supporters raised millions of pounds and fought for him to be flown to America for an experimental treatment. This was accepted by Britain's High Court and upheld in the Court of Appeal and then in the Supreme Court - the ultimate court in Britain.

The case has drawn worldwide attention, including remarks from Pope Francis.

The family's lawyers told the BBC that a hearing has been scheduled at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday afternoon.

Before the hearing, a spokeswoman from Christian Legal Centre said: "Alfie has survived much longer than the doctors predicted, lending support to the request from Alfie's parents for Alfie to be seen by medical experts in Italy".

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