Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, have been fighting a legal battle with doctors who say that the little boy is in a “semi-vegetative state.” The U.K. judge Anthony Hayden rejected the parent’s appeal to allow Alfie to be transferred to the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome. They plan to challenge the ruling and a hearing is set for Wednesday.
In an official statement, UKIP leaders condemned the heavy-handedness of government authorities, calling the move a “gateway to totalitarianism.” “Alfie Evans should have a right to life not a duty to die at the behest of the state. This court judgment and medical decision are like a gateway to totalitarianism. The state has no right to tell parents – ‘you will not get your kid back even for alternative healthcare, until we are sure he is dead,’” the statement reads. Alfie’s father claims that his son has been denied nutrition for 23 hours, suggesting that now that the boy is breathing on his own, the hospital is attempting to starve him. Pope Francis had issued an appeal on Twitter on Monday that the parents’ “desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted” for the boy, who suffers from a rare degenerative neurological condition. “I want to reiterate and strongly confirm that the only master of life, from the beginning to its natural end, is God, and our duty is to do everything to protect life”, Pope Francis added. Italy has previously said it was granting citizenship to the toddler.