Family prepares appeal bid after judge rules 12-year-old boy has died

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee say evidence shows the youngster is ‘brain-stem dead’, but his parents disagree.

15 June 2022

Relatives of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support treatment fight are preparing to launch an appeal bid after a High Court judge ruled that the youngster is dead.

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think the youngster is “brain-stem dead”.

They say life-support treatment should end and Archie should be disconnected from a ventilator.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, say the youngster’s heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, ruled on Monday that Archie, who suffered brain damage in an incident at home in April, was dead and doctors could lawfully stop treating him.

Relatives said they wanted Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.

Archie Battersbee court case
Hollie Dance outside the High Court (James Manning/PA)

A spokesman for campaign organisation the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Archie’s family, said relatives will ask Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to give them the go-ahead to mount an appeal in the Family Division of the High Court on Monday.

Relatives must first establish that they have an arguable case and gain permission to appeal, before an appeal hearing is staged.

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves were in Archie’s best interests.

Archie Battersbee court case
Paul Battersbee outside the High Court (James Manning/PA)

She considered evidence at a trial earlier this month.

The judge heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Ms Dance said she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

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