Life support

Archie Battersbee family wins appeal to maintain life support

His parents are said to have requested a review after a High Court judge found the 12-year-old to be dead. Mrs Justice Arbuthnot recently ruled that doctors could legally stop treating Archie, by removing his life support, after reviewing evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Three appeal judges today ruled that evidence relating to what was in Archie’s best interests should be reconsidered by another High Court judge, Online mirror reports.

It comes after High Court Judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot ruled Archie Battersbee was dead and doctors could legally stop providing care.

The schoolboy’s parents have been given the green light to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

Today the Court of Appeal judges considered the arguments at the hearing in London. Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, told Judge Arbuthnot they believed he was ‘brain stem dead’.

They said the treatment had to end and Archie had to be taken off a ventilator.

Parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, said her heart was still beating and wanted treatment to continue.

Ms Dance also said he felt him shake her hand and she received a “ray of hope” after Archie responded to the music and the smell.

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide which steps were in Archie’s best interest.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot found Archie dead and said the treatment should end, but she said there was a ‘compelling reason’ why the appeals judges should look into the case.

A lawyer leading the legal team for Archie’s parents had argued that the evidence had not shown “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he was dead.

Edward Devereux QC said the decision was made on a balance of probabilities.

He argued that such a “serious” decision should have been made “beyond reasonable doubt”.

Madam Justice Arbuthnot decided that appellate judges should consider this question of the standard of proof.

Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Ms Dance said she found her son unconscious with a ligature on his head on April 7 and believes he may have taken part in an online challenge.

He did not regain consciousness.


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