The European Court of Human Rights has declined to intervene in the case of Alfie Evans, born on 9 May 2016, who has been on ventilation in hospital after becoming seriously ill with an untreatable and progressive neurodegenerative condition.
In the round-up on 22 April, we made passing reference to the judgment in Evans & Anor v Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust & Anor  EWCA Civ 805, handed down on Monday, in which the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from the order made by Hayden J on 11 April 2018 in which he declared that it would be lawful for artificial ventilation, which is currently being provided to Alfie Evans, to be withdrawn at the date and time specified in the order. On Friday, the Supreme Court refused an application for permission to appeal against that judgment and Tom Evans, Alfie’s father, subsequently stated that the family had “instructed our lawyers to submit an urgent application to the European Court of Human Rights, and they have done so today”.
The ECtHR has today, 23 April, rejected an application in the case of Evans v United Kingdom (application no. 18770/18). The family had argued that the prevention of their son’s transfer from Alder Hey Hospital constituted deprivation of liberty and a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security) ECHR. The Court found the application inadmissible and also refused the applicants’ request for an interim measure under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court for a stay on the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
The decision is final. The parties to the case have been notified of the Court’s decision.
In March, the Court had rejected an earlier application from the family under Article 14 (discrimination) and Article 8 (respect for private and family life).
Postscript: On the same day, Hayden J dismissed a further application by the parents after the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had granted Alfie Italian citizenship, hoping it would allow an “immediate transfer to Italy”. He ruled that Alfie was a British citizen habitually resident in the UK and therefore under the jurisdiction of the High Court.