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Archie Battersbee’s life support to be withdrawn on Saturday morning

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April.

12-year-old Archie Battersbee has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April
12-year-old Archie Battersbee has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April
Image: PA

Updated Aug 5th 2022, 10:30 PM

THE FAMILY OF Archie Battersbee have been told his life support is due to be withdrawn on Saturday morning after their legal fight to move him from hospital to a hospice came to an end.

A last-ditch plea to the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in the case was rejected late this evening, following a High Court ruling that he must remain at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

His parents had fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of treatment and in recent days made bids to the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.

His family have been told that treatment will be withdrawn at 10am on Saturday.

A spokesman with campaign group Christian Concern, which is supporting Archie’s family, told the PA news agency: “All legal routes have been exhausted.

“The family are devastated and are spending precious time with Archie.”

They had applied to the UK Court of Appeal today, after losing a High Court bid to have him moved to a hospice before his life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn.

The Court of Appeal confirmed shortly after 6.30pm today that permission to appeal had been refused.

Barts Health NHS Trust said its position remains the same in that no changes will be made to Archie’s care “until the outstanding legal issues are resolved”.

After the update from the Court of Appeal, Christian Concern said Archie’s legal team had applied to the European court again.

His parents were challenging the High Court ruling made this morning, arguing that there has been a violation of articles six and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, the group said.

The family had sought permission in the UK to challenge Mrs Justice Theis’s ruling but the Court of Appeal judges considering the application concluded the High Court judge had dealt “comprehensively with each of the points raised on behalf of the parents”.

embedded268164516 Hollie Dance, mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital. Source: PA

The Court of Appeal judges said they had “reached the clear conclusion that each of her decisions was right for the reasons she gave”.

They added: “It follows that the proposed appeal has no prospect of success and there is no other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to hear an appeal.”

The Court of Appeal judges also said one of the arguments presented by Archie’s parents was “flawed legally”, adding: “It is also not easy to understand as it seeks to argue that Archie’s best interests have ceased to be relevant.”

Doctors treating the schoolboy for the last four months declared Archie to be “brain-stem dead”, prompting a lengthy but ultimately failed legal battle by his family to continue his life support treatment in the hope he would recover.

Following the High Court ruling, Hollie Dance said: “All our wishes as a family have been denied by the authorities.

“We are broken, but we are keeping going, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him.”

The judge refused permission to appeal against her ruling, after lawyers for the family requested it.

Mrs Justice Theis granted a stay on the withdrawal of treatment until 2pm today to allow time for an appeal to be lodged.

Dance said yesterday that she wanted her son to “spend his last moments” together with family privately, complaining of a lack of privacy at the hospital.

She told Times Radio yesterday: “We can’t even have the chance to be in a room together as a family without nurses.”

Barts Health NHS Trust has said Archie’s condition is too unstable for a transfer and that moving him by ambulance to a different setting “would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey”.

A High Court order made in July requires that Archie remains at the Royal London Hospital while his treatment is withdrawn.

A family spokesperson said a hospice has agreed to take him.

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