Archie Battersbee’s father spends night in hospital after being taken ill

A family spokeswoman said on Tuesday that Paul Battersbee was ‘OK now’ and should be released before the end of the day.

26 July 2022

The father of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support treatment fight has spent a night in hospital after being taken ill shortly before Court of Appeal judges ruled that the youngster could be disconnected from a ventilator, a family spokeswoman says.

Appeal judges were told on Monday that Archie Battersbee’s father, Paul Battersbee, who is in his 50s, was feared to have suffered a heart attack or stroke outside a courtroom at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

A family spokeswoman on Tuesday told the PA news agency that Mr Battersbee had spent a night in hospital but was “OK now” and should be released before the end of the day.

Archie Battersbee court case
Archie Battersbee (Hollie Dance/PA)

A lawyer representing Mr Battersbee and Archie’s mother Hollie Dance say they are considering a challenge to the appeal judges’ ruling.

David Foster, based at law firm Moore Barlow, said Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, who are separated but both live in Southend, Essex, plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Appeal judges Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division of the High Court and the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson on Monday upheld a ruling by a High Court judge who concluded that doctors could lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to Archie.

Judges have heard that Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

Archie Battersbee court case
Hollie Dance (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think he is brain-stem dead and say 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.

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