Home Somerset rules A judge will rule on a boy’s future in a fight against life-saving treatment

A judge will rule on a boy’s future in a fight against life-saving treatment


A judge is set to rule on the future of a 12-year-old boy at the center of a life-sustaining treatment dispute in the High Court after suffering brain damage.

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, believe the youngster is ‘brain stem dead’.

They say life-saving treatment should end and Archie should be taken off 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.

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide which measures are in Archie’s best interests.

Madam Justice Arbuthnot is due to render a decision on Monday.

She recently finished overseeing a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Hollie Dance, mother of Archie Battersbee, outside the High Court (James Manning/PA)

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

Ms Dance told how she found him unconscious with a ligature on his head on April 7 and thought he might have taken part in an online challenge.

The young man did not regain consciousness.

Archie Battersbee case
Archie Battersbee’s father, Paul Battersbee, outside the High Court in central London (James Manning/PA)

Lawyers representing Archie’s family told the judge his heart was still beating.

His mother also said he shook her hand.

A campaign organization called Christian Legal Center supports Archie’s family.

“This case raises the important moral, legal and medical question of when a person died,” said the center’s chief executive, Andrea Williams.

“Archie’s parents are not accepting that he is dead and are fighting for his life.

“There is no clear definition of death in English law, and a case like this has never been brought before an English court before.

“The outcome is crucial for Archie and his family and anyone who cares about the value of life in this country.

“The medical expert’s opinion presented to the court is clear in that the whole concept of ‘brain death’ is now discredited and, in any event, Archie cannot be reliably diagnosed as being in good condition. of brain death.”

She added: “We pray that the judge will be given the wisdom to make the right decision.”