Passions are running hot over little Alfie. It may be that some critics have crossed the line by threatening the hospital’s staff.

But, British cops being British cops, it may also be that someone tweeted a picture of a middle finger and now They Must Pay.

If the cops are just bored and looking for something to do, I know of a two-year-old whose life is in grave danger.

Mark Hemingway paraphrases: “Not only are we going to kill this child, we’re going to throw you in jail for complaining about it.”

His father lost his latest appeal this afternoon. The end is near, according to Alfie’s mother. Hats off to the death panel: Anyone can kill a child in the womb but it takes real determination to kill a 23-month-old. Alfie’s father is now threatening to sue the doctors involved but the state will assuredly protect its bureaucrats in court and defeat that suit:

Paul Diamond, representing Alfie’s father Tom Evans, said there were “tensions”, but that there was no “hostility'” against the NHS.

But Lord Justice McFarlane told counsel: “Your client purported to take out a private prosecution to have three named doctors charged with the criminal offence of conspiracy to murder.

“Those summonses were served on the doctors and I hear you say that there is no hostility to the NHS.”

Mr Diamond replied: “There is no hostility but within that process there are tensions.”

God forbid the Evanses show hostility to the NHS under the circumstances. I repeat what I wrote last night: With Italian doctors willing to treat Alfie and a plane standing by to take him to Italy, with his parents desperate to take them up on that invitation, the only conceivable reason the UK would refuse to let him go is because they’re terrified that he really might be successfully treated. If they’re wrong on a question of life and death that’s now being scrutinized internationally, no one would ever trust an NHS end-of-life assessment again. Letting him go would require the British health-care and judicial systems to do the one thing bureaucracies bristle at doing, knowing how it undermines their institutional authority: They’d have to admit they were wrong. They can’t do it. To preserve the public’s trust, the child must starve.