The parents of a seriously ill baby in Britain have said they are "deeply distressed" by a legal ruling which will allow their "only and beloved son" to die.

The parents, known as Mr. and Mrs. T, said they planned to "enjoy what little time" they had left with their son who has a rare metabolic disorder and has suffered brain damage and major respiratory failure.

Last night the parents’ final possible legal avenue to keep their son alive failed when two Appeal Court judges upheld an earlier High Court ruling giving permission to doctors to allow him to die.

The parents said they had battled to keep their son alive because of "his humanity and inherent worth" but they now believed doctors were preparing to switch off his ventilator within the next 24 hours.

In a statement issued through their solicitor they said relationships with doctors and staff at the hospital became "very difficult" at the end of last year when medical staff wanted to withdraw treatment while they felt they "had to fight to ensure that he is given every possible chance."

The couple said there were "lots of issues which still worry us" but added: "We think we did the right thing even though we were repeatedly told it was hopeless and that we were being irresponsible in not following the medical advice that he should be allowed to die."

The parents, who could not face hearing the decision Friday and waited outside the court, went on: "We are and always will be convinced that despite his desperate problems his life is worthwhile and is worth preserving as long as it is possible to do so without causing him undue pain."

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.