Family of boy at centre of treatment dispute prepare to launch appeal bid

·2-min read

Relatives of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute are preparing to mount an appeal bid after a High Court judge concluded that the youngster is dead.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot recently ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to Archie Battersbee after considering evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Members of Archie’s family want Court of Appeal judges to consider the case and are due to launch an appeal bid on Monday.

A spokesman for campaign organisation the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Archie’s family, said relatives will use a follow-up High Court hearing to ask Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to give them the go-ahead to mount an appeal.

Relatives must establish they have an arguable case before a full appeal hearing can be staged.

Archie Battersbee court case
Hollie Dance outside the High Court (James Manning/PA)

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot they think the youngster is “brain-stem dead”.

They said treatment should end and think Archie should be disconnected from 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, asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves are in Archie’s best interests.

Archie Battersbee court case
Paul Battersbee outside the High Court (James Manning/PA)

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Ms Dance said she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

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