The tragic case of Alfie Evans has been a high profile example of how the courts approach the issue of determining what is in a child's best interests, which is the core principle at the centre of all legal proceedings relating to a child.
Alfie's parents have been fighting to keep him alive, despite overwhelming medical evidence that he is effectively brain dead and has no chance of survival. They have asked to be allowed to take him to Italy for further treatment and assessment. In the face of the evidence, the Court of Appeal has refused their request (controversially but surely correctly), on the basis that their proposal is not in Alfie's best interests.
Alfie's doctors at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool have been subjected to abuse and intimidation, and Alfie's father has even sought permission to bring a private criminal prosecution against them for 'conspiracy to murder' his son. The judges involved have been branded 'killers'.
As always with these cases, almost all of the press coverage has been misleading and much of it has been extraordinarily irresponsible. The way that Alfie's parents' trauma has been exploited by those with their own political and religious agendas has also been deeply unpleasant.
Alfie Evans' parents to meet doctors to discuss taking boy home