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Archie Battersbee's Life Support Is Set To Be Turned Off Tomorrow Despite Intervention From UN

Emily Brown

Published 
| Last updated 

Archie Battersbee's Life Support Is Set To Be Turned Off Tomorrow Despite Intervention From UN

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Archie Battersbee’s life support is set to be turned off tomorrow (1 August) despite the United Nations requesting that his treatment continue.

The 12-year-old has been in a comatose state since being found unconscious at home in Southend, Essex, in April, and is currently receiving support from Barts Health NHS Trust.

After a High Court judge ruled ending treatment would be in Archie's best interests, the young boy's mother, Hollie Dance, took urgent measures to try and to keep her son alive.

Hollie Dance is pleading with the government to keep her son on life support. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Hollie Dance is pleading with the government to keep her son on life support. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

She wrote an appeal to the government in which she pleaded with the Health Secretary to ‘act immediately’, and asked the UN to intervene.

In response to the request, the UN told Dance and Archie's dad, Paul Battersbee, that it had written to the British government asking that Archie continue receiving life support until its committee had chance to consider the case.

The UN Committee On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities said it had "requested the state party [the UK] to refrain from withdrawing life-preserving medical treatment, including mechanical ventilation and artificial nutrition and hydration, from the alleged victim while the case is under consideration by the committee."

"This request does not imply that any decision has been reached on the substance of the matter under consideration," it added.

Archie was found unconscious in his home in April. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Archie was found unconscious in his home in April. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Dance and Battersbee are pleading with the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London to comply with the UN's request to hold off on withdrawing treatment, but in a letter sent to the parents over the weekend the hospital said ‘all fluid infusions, medications, including vasopressin will be stopped’ at 2pm on Monday.

The letter continued: "We understand that any discussions around the withdrawal of Archie’s treatment are very difficult and painful. However, we want to ensure that you and your family are involved as much as you wish to be."

Dance and Battersbee will be informed of how the withdrawal will work on Monday, with the process aimed to 'preserve Archie’s dignity’.

The letter continued: "You or any of the family may wish to lie on Archie’s bed with him or have him in your arms, if that should be practically possible."

Archie's parents have claimed turning off his life support would violate human rights laws. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Archie's parents have claimed turning off his life support would violate human rights laws. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, has said that any 'further delay' in providing 'palliative care' to the 12-year-old would 'not be appropriate' without a court order.

Dance and Battersbee have argued stopping treatment would be a breach of international human rights law.

Speaking to Sky News about the situation, Dance said: "My boy's really not in a good place. The hospital are fully in control of the situation.

"If they do go ahead (to withdraw treatment), knowing that the UN are now involved, I don't think it will look very good for this country at all."

Topics: UK News, Health

Emily Brown
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