Tuesday, 28 May, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalArchie Battersbee dies after parents lose legal battle over life support

Archie Battersbee dies after parents lose legal battle over life support

Twelve-year-old Archie Battersbee, whose parents fought a long-running legal battle to prevent his life support treatment from being removed, died on Saturday when doctors removed his ventilation. His mother, Hollie Dance, and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, had recently made applications to the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to have him transferred to a hospice to die.

Last month, a High Court judge, praising Archie as having “an infectious enthusiasm for life”, ruled it was “futile” to keep treating him.

A last-ditch plea to the ECHR to intervene was rejected late on Friday, after a High Court ruling that he had to remain at Royal London Hospital.

Archie, a talented gymnast and lover of mixed martial arts, had been in a coma since suffering a catastrophic brain injury on 7 April. His mother, who had been at his bedside almost constantly ever since, believes it resulted from him choking while taking part in a viral social media challenge. Doctors said Archie was brain stem dead but his parents wanted life support to continue.

Speaking outside the Royal London Hospital on Saturday, his mother said he had “fought right until the very end”, reports The Guardian.

“Archie passed at 12.15pm today. I would just like to say I am the proudest mum in the world. He was such a beautiful little boy. He fought right until the very end and I am so proud to be his mum.”

Ella Carter, a relative of the family, said: “His stats remained completely stable for two hours until they completely removed ventilation and he went blue,” she said.

In an interview with Sky News, recorded on Friday, Dance said the hospital had made it clear there were no more options and that life support would be withdrawn at 10am on Saturday.

Dance said: “The last however many weeks since 7 April, I don’t think there’s been a day that hasn’t been awful. I’ve been pretty broken.” Asked if there were anything more she could do, she said: “No. I’ve done everything that I promised my little boy I’d do. And I’ve done it.”

In a statement, Barts Health NHS trust said Archie’s “tragic case not only affected the family and his carers but touched the hearts of many across the country”.

* See more on this story, in this edition, from a palliative carer’s point of view in MedicalBrief’s From the Frontlines: What can we learn from the tragedy of Archie Batttersbee?


The Guardian article – Archie Battersbee dies after parents lose legal battle over life support (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Court orders life support switch-off for Archie Battersbee (12)


UK Supreme Court rejects bid to intervene in life-support battle for 12-year-old


‘Brain-dead’ boy’s parents win appeal fight in life-support case




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