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Alfie Evans, toddler at center of major legal battle, dies

Tom Evans, Father of Alfie Evans, holds a photograph of his son as he speaks to media outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
Tom Evans, Father of Alfie Evans, holds a photograph of his son as he speaks to media outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital. Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Alfie Evans, the terminally ill, British 23-month-old, died early Saturday morning, the Associated Press reports.

The big picture: Evans was the center of a major legal battle concerning the terms of life support, which drew international attention.

His condition

  • CNN reports that Evans had a degenerative brain condition "associated with severe epilepsy and had been in a semivegetative state for more than a year."
  • He was being kept alive by "artificial ventilation," per CNN, at the Alder Hey Hospital.

The fight over his care

  • Alfie's parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, wished to continue life support by taking him to a Vatican hospital. Pope Francis commented on Alfie's passing on Saturday, tweeting: "I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace."
  • Per BBC, the hospital argued that continued treatment for Evans was "unkind, unfair and inhumane."
  • Britain’s High Court ruled in February that doctors could discontinue life support against the parents‘ wishes, BBC reported. Support was withdrawn on Monday.
  • The Associated Press reports that tension between the doctors and parents "eased in recent days," as Alfie's father "called for a truce...to give his son 'dignity and comfort.'"
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