Archie Battersbee's Life Support To Be Switched Off Tomorrow After Final Appeal Rejected
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Archie Battersbee's life support is set to be turned off tomorrow (Tuesday 2 August) after the Court of Appeal refused to postpone the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from the 12-year-old.
Battersbee 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.
The Royal London Hospital will now turn off Archie's life support after a long battle by his parents to keep him alive.
The decision to withdraw treatment for Archie comes after parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee appealed to both the UK government and the United Nations to continue Archie's care.
The Court of Appeals had a virtual meeting this morning (1 August) to consider a request from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) to keep Archie alive while they reviewed his case, but ultimately it was determined that his life support should be turned off.
Doctors caring for the young boy previously declared him as brain-stem dead and said continuing life support treatment would not be in his best interests, though Dance had argued that withdrawing treatment would be a 'flagrant breach of Archie's rights as a disabled person'.
The family, who believe Archie suffered a brain injury while taking part in an online challenge, claimed stopping treatment would be in breach of the UK's obligations under Articles 10 and 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children.
These obligations require states to take all necessary measures to ensure disabled people have equal rights and that governments should do everything they can to prevent the deaths of children and young people.
High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden ruled last month that Archie should be allowed to die after reviewing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.
The judge determined what happened to Archie was a 'tragedy of immeasurable dimensions', and explained: "There is unfortunately no treatment possible to reverse the damage that has been caused to Archie’s brain. There can be no hope at all of recovery."
Royal London Hospital shared its plans for removing Archie from life support in a letter sent to his parents over the weekend, in which it said: "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."
Mum Dance criticised the way in which the hospital announced its plans, claiming the parents were handed the letter and 'left to deal with [their] own feelings', rather than having a meeting to have the news broken to them 'gently'.
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Topics: UK News