The parents of seriously ill British toddler Alfie Evans have been given the right to appeal against a court decision to turn off his life support.
The 21-month-old has been in a coma for a year at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, in north-west England, after being struck down by a mystery degenerative brain condition.
His parents argue he should be flown to a specialist hospital in Italy where his condition could be diagnosed and treated.
But six days before Christmas, Alder Hey Hospital refused to move the toddler, maintaining that continuing his life support was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”.
Earlier this week the High Court in London gave doctors permission to turn off Alfie’s ventilation and provide him with palliative care only.
But British media reports say the Court of Appeal has now said it will hear a challenge to the ruling in London on March 1.
Alfie’s dad Tom Evans wrote on the Alfie’s Army Facebook page: “No machine will be turned off tomorrow!”.
He added: “Alfie’s sucking his dummy this morning, not reflex nor is it seizure activity!
“This is not a boy who’s life should be ending any time soon.”
Mr Evans said earlier this week: “My son is two years of age and has been sentenced to the death penalty — that is wrong.
“I’m not giving up, my son isn’t giving up. No-one, I repeat no-one is taking my boy away from me and they’re not violating his rights or mine.”
The family has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help pay for Alfie’s treatment at the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome.
Last year the Bambino Gesu hospital made headlines when it offered to take in Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby who was also at the centre of a high-profile legal fight over treatment.
The European Court of Human Rights rejected a plea from Charlie’s parents to receive further treatment, concluding further treatment would “continue to cause Charlie significant harm”.
Charlie died in July last year, just days short of his first birthday.