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05th Aug 2022

Archie Battersbee’s parents lose Court of Appeal challenge on right to move him to hospice care to die

Charlie Herbert

Archie Battersbee appeal

The family had wanted to move Archie to a hospice so he could die ‘with dignity’

Archie Battersbee’s family have lost their appeal to have him transferred to hospice care to die.

On Friday, the family lost a High Court bid to move Archie to a hospice so that he could “spend his last moments” together with his family privately.

This was after several high-profile attempts from the family to prolong his care were rejected this week.

After the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) refused an application from Archie’s parents to delay any changes to his treatment on Wednesday, Archie’s family conceded its legal battle to prolong his care had concluded.

The family then made an application to the High Court on Thursday to move Archie into hospice care. His mother, Hollie Dance, said this was so he could die “with dignity”.

They had until 9am Thursday to make an application, with his life support due to be turned off at 11am that day.

But the High Court rejected the request for him to be moved, resulting in the family challenging the decision at the Court of Appeal. A stay on the withdrawal of Archie’s treatment was put in place until 2pm on Friday to give them time to lodge an appeal.

They have now rejected this appeal.

Archie has been in a coma since April after he suffered ‘catastrophic’ brain injuries

Doctors had warned there was a “considerable risk” in moving Archie into hospice care and that his condition is too unstable for him to be transferred.

Barts Health NHS Trust argued that moving him to a hospice via ambulance “would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey”.

In her High Court ruling, Mrs Justice Theis said that Archie’s best interests “must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court.”

Archie has been in a coma since being found unconscious by his mother at their home in Southend, Essex, in April. Dance believes her son may have been taking part in the dangerous “blackout” social media craze, where people choke themselves until they pass out.

He suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries and doctors think it is “highly likely” he is brain-stem dead.

The youngster’s life support had been due to be withdrawn on Wednesday but was delayed for the ECHR to consider his family’s appeal.

The ECHR decided it “would not interfere” with the UK courts’ rulings. This came after the Supreme Court in the UK also rejected a plea from the family.

An earlier intervention from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) to keep Archie alive was also rejected this week.

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