Archie Battersbee’s parents have turned to the Court of Appeal after losing a High Court bid to have him transferred to a hospice before his life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn.
The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is currently being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.
Archie’s mum Hollie Dance said the family is “broken” but vowed to carry on because they “refuse to give up” on him.
His parents have fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of his treatment, which ultimately failed on Wednesday when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene.
Archie Battersbee Hollie Dance
Ms Dance, and Archie’s dad Paul Battersbee, launched an urgent bid to have him transferred to a hospice to die, resulting in a hearing which ran until late on Thursday night.
But in a ruling on Friday morning, Mrs Justice Theis concluded it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved.
The judge said: “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court.
“When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted … the risks involved in a transfer … and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when looking at the balancing exercise again his best interests remain as set out (in the ruling of July 15), that he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn.
Hollie Dance James Manning
Mrs Justice Theis concluded her judgment by saying: “I return to where I started, recognising the enormity of what lays ahead for Archie’s parents and the family.
“Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case.
“I hope now Archie can be afforded the opportunity for him to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family who meant so much to him as he clearly does to them.”
Following the ruling, Ms Dance said: “All our wishes as a family have been denied by the authorities.
“We are broken, but we are keeping going, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him.”
The judge refused permission to appeal against her ruling, after lawyers for the family requested it.
Later, a spokesperson for the judiciary confirmed that the Court of Appeal had received an application from Archie’s family for permission to appeal.
Mrs Justice Theis granted a stay on the withdrawal of treatment until 2pm on Friday to allow time for an appeal to be lodged.
Ms Dance believes Archie was taking part in an online challenge at the time he became ill. He has not regained consciousness since.