Judges rule Archie Battersby’s life support must be turned off as ‘disgusting’ family plea to delay hearing was ignored after his father was taken to hospital with ‘stroke or heart attack’ .
- Archie was found unconscious at home on April 7 with one tied around his neck
- His parents, Holly Dance and Paul Battersby, insist that his heart is still beating.
- Ms Dance says her ‘natural born fighter’ son wants treatment to continue
Doctors could legally withhold life support treatment to Archie Battersby after suffering ‘catastrophic’ brain damage three months ago, judges ruled today after his father was taken to hospital despite a suspected heart attack .
Three appeals judges ruled this morning what steps were in the best interest of the 12-year-old boy
Sir Andrew MacFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson considered the arguments during hearings at the Court of Appeals in London last week.
Archie’s parents, Holly Dance and Paul Battersby of Southend, Essex, had a bid to appeal after a High Court judge ruled that doctors could legally withhold treatment.
But a lawyer told three appeals judges that while Mr Battersby had been taken to hospital, they would not delay the hearing.
The judges were told Mr Battersby might have had a heart attack or stroke.
Archie’s parents are being supported by a campaign organization called the Christian Legal Center.
Its chief executive, Andrea Williams, said out of court: ‘I am very disappointed that they have not postponed this decision, as Mr Battersby has been taken to hospital.
‘I’m in touch with Archie’s mother – he’s disappointed.’
Doctors say 12-year-old Archie Battersby (pictured) is ‘brain-stem dead’ and wants to stop treatment, but his parents want him to keep going
Archie’s parents Holly Dance (left) and Paul Battersby address the media outside the Royal Court of Justice at an earlier hearing. The pair said ‘it really couldn’t have been better’
Archie Battersby, 12, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, was found with a ligature around his neck on April 7 and never regained consciousness. Doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, believe he is ‘brain-stem dead’, but his parents are fighting to maintain his mechanical ventilation.
The disturbing verdict came after lawyers for Archie’s mother said they thought their son was trying to breathe freely.
Mr Justice Hayden recently delivered a ruling after reviewing the evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
He described what had happened to Archie was a ‘tragedy of incomparable dimensions’, but said the medical evidence was ‘compelling and unanimous’ and painted a ‘dark’ picture.
Archie’s parents, who are separated, said they had made mistakes and wanted the judges of the appeals to refer the matter to another high court judge for another hearing.
The judges have heard how medical evidence shows Archie is in a ‘comatose state’.
Archie’s mother, Holly Dance, 46, insists that her son is ‘still there’ and has vowed to continue fighting to get treatment. Here she is pictured outside the Court of Appeal
Holy Dance said she ‘won’t give up’ on the ongoing battle for her son Archie (pictured together before their accident) and added that the High Court ruling was ‘only at the beginning’
Where can you appeal after the High Court case is pronounced against you?
If a court case is lost in the Family Division of the High Court in London, it can go to the Court of Appeal.
It consists of two divisions, the Criminal Division and the Civil Judgment.
The decisions of the Court of Appeal can then be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Then if all legal remedies in the UK have failed, people can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Barrister Edward Devereux QC, who is leading the legal team for Archie’s parents, argued at the appeal hearing that Mr Justice Hayden had given Archie’s previously expressed wishes and religious beliefs “real or reasonable weight”. was not given; Archie’s family wishes were not given ‘real or proper weight’; Failed to ‘comprehensively evaluate’ the benefits and burdens of continuing life-support treatment; And it was wrong to conclude that the treatment was cumbersome and pointless.
The judges heard how Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature on his head on 7 April.
She thinks he may be participating in an online challenge.
The young man has not regained consciousness.
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think he is brain-stem dead.
They say it is not in their best interest to continue life-saving treatment. His parents disagree.
The owners of the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, were asked to make a decision on what medical steps were in Archie’s best interest.
Another High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, initially considered the case and concluded that Archie was dead.
But the judges of the Court of Appeal upheld their parents’ challenge against decisions taken by Mrs Justice Arbuthnot and said the evidence should be reviewed by Mr Justice Hayden.