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Archie Battersbee's parents lose bid to have him transferred to hospice to die

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Archie Battersbee's parents lose bid to have him transferred to hospice to die

The parents of Archie Battersbee have lost a High Court bid to have him transferred to a hospice, with a judge saying the move would not be in his best interests due to the 'risks' involved.

The 12-year-old was found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex in April after suffering traumatic brain injuries, which his mum suspects he sustained taking part in an online challenge.

He did not regain consciousness and has relied on medical ventilation ever since at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, but a High Court judge ruled last month he should be allowed to die.

His parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee have fought tirelessly to have the decision overturned, but their appeals were rejected.

In a ruling this morning (Friday 5 August), Mrs Justice Theis concluded it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice.

The parents of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
The parents of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The judge said: “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court.

“When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted ... the risks involved in a transfer ... and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when looking at the balancing exercise again his best interests remain as set out (in the ruling of July 15), that he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn.

“The circumstances outlined by Dr F of the physical arrangements at the hospital and the arrangements that can be made will ensure that Archie’s best interest will remain the focus of the final arrangements to enable him peacefully and privately to die in the embrace of the family he loved.

“The parents in the email from their solicitors on August 2 confirmed, in principle, their willingness to co-operate in these arrangements.”

On Wednesday 3 April, Hollie conceded it was 'the end' after the European Court of Human Rights decided not to intervene in the decision to withdraw life-support treatment.

She added that she was going to fight to have Archie moved to a hospice for a 'dignified passing'.

Speaking outside The Royal London Hospital, Hollie said: "We've now got a fight to see whether we can get him out of here to have a dignified passing at a hospice. It's just unfair.

His parents fought to keep his life support on. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
His parents fought to keep his life support on. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

"Now I would like him out of this hospital. He came to this hospital to have an operation, this hospital failed him.

"So, I would like him out of here as quick as possible really. And in a peaceful hospice to say goodbye and spend time with his family, uninterrupted by the noise and chaos."

Speaking to Times Radio yesterday (4 August) Hollie said that Archie's loved ones have not been able to have privacy at the hospital, saying: "We can't even have the chance to be in a room together as a family without nurses."

She said: "There's absolutely no privacy, which is why, again, the courts keep going on about this dignified death – why aren't we allowed to take our child to a hospice and spend his last moments, his last days, together privately? Why is the hospital obstructing it?"

She added: 'It's going to be awful today.

"I woke up absolutely sick to my stomach. Like I just feel this hospital have so much to answer for and I don't really know what else to say today."

Lawyers for Barts Health NHS Trust stated in a letter that any application to move Archie to a hospice would 'be opposed on both a procedural basis and best interests basis'.

The letter read: "The trust continues to put Archie's welfare and best interests at the forefront of its decision making about his care.

"It believes that Archie's condition is unstable and that transferring him even a short distance involves significant risk."

Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy

Topics: UK News

Jake Massey
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