Father of brain damaged 12 year-old boy ‘suffers stroke’ before life support ruling

The father of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support dispute suffered a suspect stroke ahead of a ruling on his son’s treatment.

A lawyer told Court of Appeal judges on Monday that Archie Battersbee’s father, Paul Battersbee, had been taken to ill outside court.

Mr Battersbee, who is in his 50s, was taken to hospital and is believed to have had either a stroke or a heart attack.

A request was made to delay the hearing given Mr Battersbee’s illness but instead the judges upheld a previous ruling to allow doctors to turn the child’s life support off.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson had considered arguments at a hearing last week.

Archie Battersbee is in a comatose state


It’s the latest blow for a family that has been fighting for months to continue treatment for Archie, despite doctors arguing he is ‘ brain-stem dead’ and further treatment is not in his interest.

The boy suffered “catastrophic” brain damage three months ago and a High Court initially ruled doctors could lawfully stop treating him.

Judges previously heard that his mother Hollie Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge and the youngster has not regained consciousness since.

Archie was found by his mother in April


His mother said she had seen indications that Archie, who is attached to a ventilator, had twice tried to breathe for himself in the last few days.

But judges were told medical evidence showed the boy was in a “comatose state”.

Mr Justice Hayden previously described the case as a “tragedy of immeasurable dimensions”, but said medical evidence was “compelling and unanimous” and painted a “bleak” picture.

Barrister Edward Devereux QC, leading Archie’s parents’ legal team, argued that Mr Justice Hayden had not given “real or proper weight” to Archie’s previously expressed wishes and religious beliefs.

He also argued “real or proper weight” had not been given to Archie’s family’s wishes and it had been wrong to conclude that treatment was burdensome and futile.