Doctors treating a 12-year-old boy on life support told a court he was “brain dead” and should be allowed to die.
Archie Battersbee’s parents disagree, telling the judge who will decide his future that his heart is still beating and they are praying for a miracle.
Archie has been receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, since losing consciousness after suffering brain damage in an incident at his home two months ago.
Doctors say he should be taken off a ventilator, but his parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, say they want treatment to continue.
Lawyers representing Royal London’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, Asked judges Ms. Justice Arbuthnot to decide what is in Archie’s best interest.
A medical expert told the High Court on Tuesday that the tests showed no “discernible” brain activity and revealed “significant areas of tissue necrosis”.
“We think it’s very likely that he’s brain dead,” she said.
At a previous hearing, another expert explained that the brainstem is responsible for the functions that keep people alive.
He said Archie’s prognosis was “very serious” and told the judge his chances of recovery were “very low”.
A spokeswoman for Archie’s family told the court that everyone hoped he would recover.
His mother said 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 did not regain consciousness.
“Correct procedure” problem
Lawyers representing Archie’s family told the judge his heart was still beating.
They also said there was an issue as to whether “the correct procedure” had been followed and whether the “opinion of the family” had been taken into account.
A campaign organization called Christian Legal Center supports Archie’s family.
The hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London is due to end on Wednesday.