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Archie Battersbee's Life Support Should Be Switched Off, Judges Rule

Archie Battersbee's Life Support Should Be Switched Off, Judges Rule

The 12-year-old has been left in a comatose state after suffering 'catastrophic' brain damage three months ago

Appeal judges have ruled today (25 July) that doctors can lawfully stop providing Archie Battersbee with life-support treatment.

Three Court of Appeal judges - Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson - finished hearing arguments about what moves are in Archie's best interests at a hearing in London on Friday (22 July), and now they have delivered their ruling.

Archie's parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, mounted an appeal bid after a High Court judge ruled that doctors could lawfully stop treatment.

Mr Justice Hayden delivered the ruling recently after reviewing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He described what had happened to Archie as a 'tragedy of immeasurable dimensions', but said medical evidence was 'compelling and unanimous' and painted a 'bleak' picture.

Archie's parents - who are separated - said he made errors and wanted appeal judges to remit the case to another High Court judge for another hearing.

Judges have heard how medical evidence shows that Archie is in a 'comatose state'.


Barrister Edward Devereux QC, who is leading the legal team for Archie's parents, argued at the appeal hearing that Mr Justice Hayden had not given 'real or proper weight' to Archie's previously expressed wishes and religious beliefs, failed to carry out a 'comprehensive evaluation' of the benefits and burdens of continuing life-support treatment, and had been wrong to conclude that treatment was burdensome and futile.

Judges have heard how Hollie found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on 7 April. She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

The parents of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think he is brain-stem dead and have said that continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests.

Bosses at the hospital's governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked for decisions on what medical moves were in Archie's best interests.

Another High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, initially considered the case and concluded that Archie was dead.

But Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge by his parents against decisions taken by Mrs Justice Arbuthnot and said the evidence should be reviewed by Mr Justice Hayden.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News