Archie Battersbee’s application to the European Court to move him to a hospice


Archie Battersbee’s family goes to the European Court of Human Rights to try to have him moved to a hospice to die after losing their last legal effort before the British courts.

His family has been told that his life-prolonging treatment will be stopped from 10 a.m. Saturday, according to campaign group Christian Concern, which supports them.

But health chiefs say no changes will be made to Archie’s care until the outstanding legal issues are resolved.

Archie’s parents are challenging a Supreme Court decision made on Friday morning that concluded that it was not in the 12-year-old’s best interest for him to be moved before his life-prolonging treatment was withdrawn.

His parents then turned to the Court of Appeals over that Supreme Court decision, but on Friday night the judges refused them to appeal.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April at their home in Southend, Essex, and is being kept alive through a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatment, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. , East London.

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His mother, Hollie Dance, believes he entered an online challenge that left him catastrophically ill.

On Wednesday, the couple’s protracted legal battle to extend his livelihood ended when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene to stop the cessation of treatment.

The family’s focus then shifted to trying to get their son to hospice, but Supreme Court Ms Theis concluded Friday that it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved.

Doctors said Archie was in such a serious condition that moving him to a hospice carried a “significant risk” that he could die during the trip, the Supreme Court was told.

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On Friday, Ms Theis ruled that he must remain in the hospital while his life-prolonging treatment is withdrawn, and because of the risks associated with transmission and “the increasing fragility of his medical condition,” Archie must remain in the hospital when his treatment is discontinued. . withdrawn.

“The circumstances created by Dr. F have been outlined of the physical arrangements at the hospital and the arrangements that can be made will ensure that Archie’s best interests remain at the center of the final arrangements to allow him to die peacefully and privately in the embrace of the family he has. beloved,” said Mrs. Theis.

Doctors who treated the schoolboy for the past four months declared Archie to be “brain-stem dead,” but his family kept his livelihood going in the hopes that he would recover.

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But the judges who considered the application concluded that Judge Theis’s decisions were correct.

“It follows that the proposed appeal has no chance of success and there is no other compelling reason for the Court of Appeal to hear an appeal,” they said.

The appeal judges also said that one of Archie’s parents’ arguments was legally incorrect, adding, “It’s also not easy to understand because it’s trying to argue that Archie’s interests are no longer relevant.”

After the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rejected the request to postpone changes to his treatment, Ms Dance said she wanted her son to spend “his last moments” privately with his family.

She told Times Radio that they would have no privacy in the hospital, adding, “We can’t even have the chance to be together as a family in a room without nurses.”

Archie Battersbee’s parents have fought a lengthy legal battle over the withdrawal of his treatment (Hollie Dance/PA)

(PA media)

She said: “There is absolutely no privacy, which is why the courts keep going on over this dignified death – why can’t we take our child to a hospice and spend his last moments, his last days together in private?”

Barts Health NHS Trust said Archie’s condition was too unstable for a transfer and that moving him by ambulance to another setting “would most likely hasten the premature decline the family wishes to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff in place.” the journey”.

A Supreme Court order issued last month requires Archie to remain at the Royal London Hospital as long as his treatment is stopped.

A family spokeswoman said a hospice had agreed to admit him, adding: “Hospices are well designed for palliative and respite care.

“Archie is now clearly on palliative care, so there’s no reason for him not to take his final moments in hospice.”


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