Archie Battersbee’s parents wait for ruling after Court of Appeal hearing

·2-min read
Archie Battersbee (Hollie Dance/PA) (PA Wire)
Archie Battersbee (Hollie Dance/PA) (PA Wire)

The parents of a 12-year-old boy left in a comatose state after suffering “catastrophic” brain damage in an accident at home three months ago are waiting for a ruling on the latest round of a life-support treatment fight.

Three Court of Appeal judges on Friday finished hearing arguments about what moves are in Archie Battersbee’s best interests at a hearing in London.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division of the High Court and the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson said they aim to deliver a ruling on Monday.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, have mounted an appeal bid after a High Court judge ruled that doctors could lawfully stop treatment.

The parents of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
The parents of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Justice Hayden delivered a ruling recently after reviewing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Archie’s parents want three appeal judges to remit the case to another High Court judge for a further hearing.

Judges have heard how medical evidence showed that Archie was in a “comatose state”.

Mr Justice Hayden had described the case as a “tragedy of immeasurable dimensions”, but said medical evidence was “compelling and unanimous” and painted a “bleak” picture.

Barrister Edward Devereux QC, leading Archie’s parents’ legal team, argued that Mr Justice Hayden had not given “real or proper weight” to Archie’s previously expressed wishes and religious beliefs; not given “real or proper weight” to Archie’s family’s wishes; failed to carry out a “comprehensive evaluation” of the benefits and burdens of continuing life-support treatment; and had been wrong to conclude that treatment was burdensome and futile.

Sir Andrew McFarlane (Courts and Tribunals Judiciary/PA) (PA Media)
Sir Andrew McFarlane (Courts and Tribunals Judiciary/PA) (PA Media)

Judges have heard that Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think he is brain-stem dead and say continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests. His parents disagree.

Bosses at the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked for decisions on what medical moves were in Archie’s best interests.

Another High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, initially considered the case and concluded, after an earlier hearing, that Archie was dead.

But Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge by his parents against decisions taken by Mrs Justice Arbuthnot and said the evidence should be reviewed by Mr Justice Hayden.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting