Archie Battersbee: ECHR will not interfere in case of dying 12-year-old

·2-min read
Archie Battersbee: ECHR will not interfere in case of dying 12-year-old

Archie Battersbee’s parents have lost their last attempt to postpone the withdrawal of his life support.

The European Court of Human Rights has refused an application by the parents of the 12-year-old after other desperate appeals were turned down.

In a statement, the European Court of Human Rights said it “would not interfere” with the decisions of UK courts that life-support treatment should be withdrawn.

The boy 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.

Reacting to the “heartbreaking decision” Archie’s mother Hollie Dance said she “won’t allow” anything to be done before his father returns to his bedside.

Speaking to reporters outside The Royal London Hospital, she said: “He’s coming back again in the morning.

“So, they definitely won’t be doing anything until tomorrow because I definitely won’t allow that. So, yeah, we’ve got to wait for everybody to come back up again now.”

In a statement, she added: “The NHS, the government and the courts in this country and Europe may have given up on treating him, but we have not.

“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.

“In a worst-case scenario, we want to take Archie to a hospice, but the hospital have said that we cannot do that despite previous promises. We have been told all along that this is all about Archie dying with ‘dignity’, and yet we are told we cannot take him to a hospice where it is quiet and we can spend time with him as a family without the chaos at the hospital.

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

His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, submitted the application to the Strasbourg-based court just hours before Barts Health NHS Trust was initially expected to withdraw Archie’s life support.

In a statement, the court said it would not grant an interim measure to continue treatment and declared the parents’ complaints “inadmissible”.

The statement added the court would only grant such requests “on an exceptional basis” and “when the applicants would otherwise face a real risk of irreversible harm”.

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.

On Tuesday evening, Ms Dance said the trust would begin to withdraw the life support at 11am on Wednesday unless the family submitted the application to the ECHR by 9am.

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