BRITAIN'S Court of Appeal ruled against the parents of a terminally ill toddler who wanted to take him to Italy for medical treatment in favour of suspending life support.
The parents of 23-month-old Alfie Evans have been engaged in a protracted legal fight with Alder Hey Children's Hospital over his care. They asked the Court of Appeal to overturn earlier rulings that blocked further medical treatment for their son before turning to the Supreme Court - the highest in Britain.
But judges upheld the decision by a lower court that flying Alfie to a hospital in Rome would be pointless and wrong.
But Alfie's dad Tom Evans said the fight was "not over" after judges ruled that Alfie's life support should be turned off.
"Transferring our stable son MAY be a risk???" wrote the 21-year-old on Facebook. "But removing his life support and letting him suffocate and die isn't???????!!!!!!
"Where's the logic in that?
"THEY SAY I NEED TO FACE REALITY!!
"I've been living through it for 15 months."
He said he and Alfie's mum Kate James, 20, accepted that their son was going to die but they didn't know when, and wanted him to live out his last days with as much "dignity" and "love" as possible. "It's not over!!!!" he added.
Some protesters gathered outside the hospital in Liverpool wept at the news of the appeals court's decision. Some chanted "Save Alfie Evans!"
Alfie is in a "semi-vegetative state" as the result of a degenerative neurological condition that doctors have been unable to definitively identify. Lower courts have ordered the boy's life support to be withdrawn.
Pope Francis prayed for Alfie and others who are suffering from serious infirmities on Sunday. The pope's comments marked the second case in less than a year in which he expressed his views on the treatment of a terminally ill British child.
Last July, Pope Francis spoke out on behalf of Charlie Gard, who died from a rare genetic disease after his parents waged a protracted court fight to obtain treatment for him outside of Britain.
In appealing the lower court rulings, Alfie's parents argued their son had shown improvement in recent weeks. But doctors said his brain was eroded and his condition was irreversible.