The hospital caring for sick toddler Alfie Evans is pressing ahead with plans to switch off his life support despite an intervention from Pope Francis.

As the Catholic Herald went to press, Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool was returning to the High Court for legal advice on when Alfie’s ventilation can be withdrawn.

Last week it was reported that the 23-month-old had won a last-minute reprieve, with the hospital deciding to delay ending his life support after the Pope tweeted his support.

Alfie’s parents said after meeting Alder Hey officials that a decision on life support was on hold while “alternative options” were reviewed.

But the next day they discovered that the hospital’s lawyers had contacted the High Court to arrange a hearing for a judge to set a date on the withdrawal of life support.

His mother, Kate James, accused the hospital of giving them “false hope”.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection