Monday, 17 June, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalUK Supreme Court rejects bid to intervene in life-support battle for 12-year-old

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

In a massive blow to the parents of brain-damaged Archie Battersbee (12), Britain’s Supreme Court has turned down their application to intervene in a life-support treatment battle.

The boy has been in a comatose state since being found unconscious with a ligature over his head on 7 April.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in east London believe he is brain-stem dead and say continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests.

However, reports The Independent, his mother and father, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, had asked the Supreme Court justices for more time to carry on their fight, after last week a court ruled his ventilator could legally be switched off.

They wanted Supreme Court justices to bar hospital bosses from stopping the life-support treatment until they had time to make an application to the UN.

But last Thursday, three justices refused their application.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said: “Aware of the urgency of this matter, the court convened a panel of three justices who considered submissions from the parties ‘on paper’, in the usual way.

“Having considered the careful judgment of the Court of Appeal… the panel has refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Archie’s parents said the UN has a protocol allowing “individuals and families” to make complaints about violations of disabled people’s rights. They said the UN could ask the UK Government to delay the withdrawal of life support to Archie while a complaint was investigated.

A spokesman for the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the parents, said they wanted to approach the UN rather than the European court. “The UK has joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which gives individuals a right to complain about any violations of the Convention to the UN Committee,” he said.

“The committee has previously criticised the UK system of authorising withdrawal of life support from disabled people based on the court determination of their best interests rather than on their own wishes.”


The Independent article – Archie Battersbee’s parents fail in Supreme Court life-support bid (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


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


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


Judge rules for mediation in brain damaged toddler’s life support treatment




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