The father of seriously ill toddler Alfie Evans has said “we are never going to back down” after he and the child’s mother were told they cannot take their son to a foreign hospital.
Last week, a judge decided it was in the best interests of Alfie for his life support to be switched off.
Mr Justice Hayden set a date for the 23-month-old, who is being cared for at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, to be allowed to die.
On Monday, Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, asked Court of Appeal judges to rule that Alfie should be allowed to travel to a hospital in Rome.
But Lord Justice Davis, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan ruled against them.
It is thought that Supreme Court justices may now be asked to consider the case.
Judges have heard how Alfie, born in May 2016, is in a “semi-vegetative state” and has a degenerative neurological condition that doctors have been unable to diagnose definitively.
Mr Evans and Ms James say “the state” is wrongly interfering in their parental choices.
Two hours after Monday’s decision was made in London, Mr Evans emerged from the hospital.
Wiping away tears and visibly shaking, he again pleaded for his son’s life not to be terminated, asking that other doctors be allowed to “look after him”.
“They can’t break us – we are never going to back down,” he said.
“Alfie, the family and all of our supporters are stronger than ever and we will keep fighting all the way.
“We will never give up on you Alfie.”
In a statement, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said it trusted that “the public and supporters of Alfie’s parents will read in detail the decision of the Court of Appeal following today’s hearing”.
It added: “Our priority is to continue to provide the best possible care for Alfie and his parents at this difficult time.”