12yo’s life support being pulled after ‘dare’

12yo’s life support being pulled after ‘dare’

Archie Battersbee’s family have been told his life support will end on Saturday UK time, after they lost their latest appeal.

The 12-year-old was found with a ligature over his head after a social media dare at home in southeast England, on April 7 this year.

The youngster suffered brain damage in the “freak accident” and has been unresponsive ever since.

Earlier on Friday, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee lost a last-ditch legal bid to have their boy, 12, taken out of the Royal London Hospital and transferred to a hospice, The Sun has reported.

They wanted him to be able to “spend his last moments” in peace – without nurses and doctors.

The parents went to the Court of Appeal in a bid to challenge the High Court ruling, but it was shot down.

The High Court ruled the move was not in Archie’s best interests, calling the risks “major and unpredictable”.

His family have been told his life-sustaining treatment will be withdrawn from 10am on Saturday, according to an announcement from the campaign group Christian Concern.

“All legal routes have been exhausted,” a spokesperson for the group said.

“The family are devastated and are spending precious time with Archie.”

Barts Health NHS Trust said its position remained the same in that no changes will be made to Archie’s care “until the outstanding legal issues are resolved”.

In her judgment, Judge Mrs Justice Theis said Archie should remain at hospital when treatment is withdrawn.

She echoed the concerns of the health trust responsible for Archie’s care, who found the boy’s condition too unstable for him to be transferred.

Doctors fear an ambulance journey “would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid”.

The family have now launched an appeal against the judge’s decision.

Mrs Justice Theis had granted a delay on the withdrawal of Archie’s treatment until 2pm Friday to allow time for the appeal to be lodged.

Hollie blasted the High Court’s judgment – reached late Thursday night but only published Friday morning – as “sick and outrageous” in an interview with Mass News.

“All our wishes as a family have been denied by the authorities,” she added.

“We are broken but we are keeping going, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him”.

Hollie earlier called refusing to move Archie “inhuman” and said it is “completely barbaric and absolutely disgusting that we’re not even allowed to choose where Archie takes his last moments”.

It was revealed that Hollie may give her son mouth-to-mouth if doctors withdraw oxygen when his machines are switched off.

The mum has vowed to “continue to give him oxygen” if doctors switch off the 12-year-old’s machine and is “prepared to do anything” to keep him alive.

A spokesman for campaign organisation the Christian Legal Centre – who are supporting the family – told The Sun giving her son mouth-to-mouth “may be what Hollie has to resort to”.

He referred to the “traumatic” case of little Alfie Evans, whose parents launched a similar legal battle to Archie’s when doctors wanted to turn off his machines.

Alfie’s dad Tom gave the boy mouth-to-mouth to keep the dying tot alive in his devastating final moments.

It comes after the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday rejected Hollie and Paul’s last-ditch appeal to keep Archie’s life support switched on – leaving Hollie “absolutely deflated”.

A spokesman for the European Court of Human Rights said it had received a request from representatives of Archie’s parents under Rule 39 which allow it to apply “interim measures” in “exceptional” cases where it “considers that the applicant faces a real risk of serious, irreversible harm if the measure is not applied”.

“(But) the submissions did not appear to contain an explicit request for the Court to take a specific action under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court,” the spokesman said

“In relation to the Convention complaints under Articles 6 and 8, as they related to the request to transfer of Archie Battersbee into hospice care for his withdrawal of treatment, the President of the Court decided that these complaints fell outside the scope of Rule 39.”

The following day, the family made an application to the High Court to move Archie from Royal London Hospital to a hospice for his final hours.

“If Archie is denied oxygen if and when life-support is removed I will continue to give him oxygen,” Hollie said in a statement.

“I pray that the High Court will do the right thing. If they refuse permission for us to take him to a hospice and for him to receive palliative oxygen it will simply be inhumane and nothing about Archie’s ‘dignity.’

“The whole system has been stacked against us.

“Reform must now come through Charlie’s Law so that no parents have to go through this.

“We will fight to the end for Archie’s right to live.”

The family’s lawyers had until 9am on Thursday to make their High Court appeal in order to transfer their young son out of the Royal London Hospital.

Heartbroken, Hollie confirmed the family’s intentions to keep battling the courts’ decisions, describing it as “completely barbaric and absolutely disgusting that we’re not even allowed to choose where Archie takes his last moments”.

“We will fight until the bitter end. We’re going to fight for the right for my son to live,” she previously vowed.

He is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the hospital in East London.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

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