The parents of Alfie Evans have lost their latest appeal to have the seriously ill 23-month-old child taken to Italy for continued treatment.
Lawyers for Tom Evans and Kate James made another attempt to undo a High Court ruling preventing them flying their son to the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome.
However, the court of appeal upheld the High Court’s verdict, rejecting all grounds raised by the parents.
Paul Diamond, representing Tom Evans, told the court the parents were not seeking a “miracle cure” but were “simply seeking the palliative care that is needed”. He also said an air ambulance was on standby “at the request of the Pope”.
He added that there had been “tensions” but no “hostility” against the National Health Service. However, Lord Justice McFarlane revealed that Tom Evans had taken out a private prosecution to have three doctors charged with conspiracy to murder.
“Those summonses were served on the doctors, and I hear you say that there is no hostility to the NHS.”
Speaking earlier in the day, Tom Evans said: “I have tried my best with Alder Hey. When they come in to say they are turning off machines I try my best. But their treatment of him has been disgusting.
“He has had no tests or observations for two days. One came in and just tapped his chest. That was it.”
Pope Francis has offered prayers and support for Alfie and his parents, including meeting Tom Evans in an audience.
On Monday the Pope 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.”