British toddler in legal battle dead

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A statement posted on the hospital website said: 'We feel sure people will wish to place tributes to Alfie along with messages of support for Kate and Tom.

Tom Evans said his 23-month-old son, Alfie, survived for six hours with no assistance, and that doctors are now providing oxygen and hydration.

In a statement, Alder Hey Children's Hospital said: "We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Alfie's family at this extremely distressing time".

Alfie's case, represented by the U.K-based Christian Legal Centre, has become a subject of fierce concern for many Christian activists in Britain and drew the attention of conservative media and activists in the U.S. British protesters clashed with police as they tried to force their way into the hospital, and local police issued a warning after staff were allegedly harassed, saying social media posts were being monitored. "This has been a devastating journey for them and we would ask that their privacy and the privacy of staff at Alder Hey is respected".

"I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie", he posted on Twitter. "Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace", the pope tweeted on Saturday.

Prior to Alfie's passing, his father thanked everyone for their support and requested privacy to facilitate reconciliation with the hospital authorities.

Alfie, who was born in May 2016, was first admitted to Alder Hey hospital the following December after suffering seizures, and had been a patient at the hospital ever since.

However, two days later the Court of Appeal upheld a ruling preventing the toddler from travelling overseas after life support was withdrawn. The incentives of the two parties are very different: if Hayden is wrong, he does not lose a beloved child and his judicial tenure will go on.

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Alfie's parents were supported by Pope Francis, whom they visited earlier to week to ask for help, and Poland's President Andrzej Duda.

"The only master of life, from the beginning to its natural end, is God, and our duty is to do everything to protect life", he said. Pope Francis personally met with Thomas Evans.

Alfie was granted Italian citizenship on Monday, with the country's government saying it hoped the toddler could have an "immediate transfer to Italy".

The case is the latest in a series of high-profile battles between parents of seriously ill children and the British authorities. His parents also demanded from the authorities not to disconnect the child from life support.

Under British law, courts are asked to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child.

His parents fought doctors and judges for months to take him to the United States for radical treatment because the condition left him unable to move. On Wednesday, his parents lost their final court battle.

King, now eight years old, has since been declared clear of the disease.