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Judges Rule Archie Battersbee's Life Support Should Be Switched Off

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Judges Rule Archie Battersbee's Life Support Should Be Switched Off

An appeal court has ruled that Archie Battersbee's life support can be lawfully switched off by doctors.

The 12-year-old was left in a comatose state after suffering 'catastrophic' brain injuries during a suspected online challenge gone wrong.

On Friday, three Court of Appeal judges finished hearing arguments about whether further treatment would be in his best interests.

The three judges include Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson.

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Archie's parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee. Credit: Alamy.
Archie's parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee. Credit: Alamy.

Archie’s parents - Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee - launched an appeal after a High Court judge ruled that the doctors treating Archie could lawfully stop treatment.

After he was found unconscious by his mum at his home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex on 7 April, Archie was rushed to hospital and received treatment. However doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, now believe he is braindead.

Doctors at the Royal London Hospital previously suggested that it was 'highly likely' he was 'brain-stem dead' after an MRI scan was completed.

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The appeal from Archie’s parents came after Judge Arbuthnot’s ruling on 13 June which said: "I find that Archie died at noon on May 31, 2022, which was shortly after the MRI scans taken that day.

Archie has not woken up from the coma. Credit: Alamy.
Archie has not woken up from the coma. Credit: Alamy.

"I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established.

"I give permission to the medical professionals at the Royal London Hospital to cease to ventilate mechanically Archie Battersbee."

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On Friday 15 July, a second High Court judge ruled that Archie’s hospital treatment should be withdrawn, however Hollie vowed to carry on fighting for her son's life.

Judge Justice Hayden ruled that continued hospital treatment for Archie was ‘futile’ and said it is ‘unable to prolong his life’.

Mr Hayden said medical evidence was 'compelling and unanimous', and painted a 'bleak' picture.

The judge said evidence showed that Archie had suffered a 'significant injury' to 'multiple areas' of his brain and had not 'regained awareness at any time'.

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Archie's mum believes his injuries might be from taking part in an online challenge. Credit: Alamy.
Archie's mum believes his injuries might be from taking part in an online challenge. Credit: Alamy.

The judge added: "Archie's mother described him as a fighter and I have no doubt he was."

However Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge made by Archie's parents regarding the ruling made by Mrs Justice Arbuthnot and said evidence should be reviewed.

On 29 June, the Battersbee family won their appeal to have the High Court ruling reconsidered.

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Ms Dance recently noted in an interview with the Mirror last month that her son has been 'responding to music and smell' while unconscious, which offered the family a 'glimmer of hope' that Archie would make a full recovery.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News

Gregory Robinson
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