A dispute over the future of a 12-year-old boy on life support will be heard in the High Court today.
Archie Battersbee is being treated at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and doctors believe it is ‘very likely’ he is dead and say treatment must end.
However, his parents, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance, from Southend, Essex, disagree.
Lawyers representing the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Judge Emma Arbuthnot to decide whether doctors should continue to treat Archie.
She is due to start overseeing a final hearing in the Family Division of London’s High Court on Monday.
The judge previously heard that Archie suffered brain damage in a home incident in early April.
His mother told the court how she found him unconscious with a ligature on his head on April 7 and thinks he might have taken part in an online challenge.
He has not regained consciousness since.
At a hearing in May, Judge Arbuthnot ruled doctors could try to establish if he was dead and said a a brainstem test would be in Archie’s best interest.
Ms Dance urged the judge to give her son ‘more time’ and said she was ‘disgusted’ by the verdict, adding that it was ‘absolute hell to watch my other children hearing again and again from the hospital trust that my child is already dead’.
A specialist told the judge at an earlier hearing he believed the scans showed Archie had suffered ‘irreparable’ brain damage and two others said they believed the tests showed he was ‘dead of the brainstem”.