Parents’ bid to postpone the withdrawal of Archie Battersbee’s life support refused

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious in April.

03 August 2022

A last-ditch bid by the parents of Archie Battersbee to postpone the withdrawal of his life support has been refused by the European Court of Human Rights.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious in April and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

His parents submitted an application to the Strasbourg-based court on Wednesday morning, just a few hours before Barts Health NHS Trust had been expected to withdraw their son’s life support.

Archie Battersbee court case
Archie’s parents Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance (Jonathan Brady/PA)

But shortly after 6.30pm, the European court said it had refused the parents’ request, adding that it would not “interfere with the decisions of the national courts to allow the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from (Archie) to proceed”.

His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, have been involved in a series of legal efforts regarding their son’s condition.

He was found unconscious at his home by his mother on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. She believes he was taking part in an online challenge.

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