26 February 2018
Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust v Evans, James and Alfie Evans (a child by his guardian Cafcass Legal)  EWHC 308 (Fam) – read judgment
This was an application by the hospital for a declaration to allow their doctors to withdraw life support from a 19 month old child, Alfie. He suffers from a progressive, ultimately fatal neurodegenerative condition, probably a mitochondrial disorder. His epileptic seizures have not been brought under control by anti-convulsant treatment. The evidence before the court was that even if these seizures were to end, his brain is “entirely beyond recovery”. However caused, his neural degeneration is both “catastrophic and untreatable”.
In simple terms the thalami, basal ganglia, the vast majority of the white matter of the brain and a significant degree of the cortex have been wiped out by this remorseless degenerative condition.