Life support

Archie Battersbee’s life support system should be removed, judge says

Archie’s parents are fighting for his life.(Photo: GoFundMe)

A High Court judgment on Friday ruled it was in Archie Battersbee’s “best interests” to have his life support system removed.

Judge Hayden said further treatment would be “unnecessary”.

“It compromises Archie’s dignity…and only serves to prolong his death rather than prolong his life,” he said.

Archie, 12, was found unconscious at his home in April with a ligature around his neck in what is believed to be a tragic accident.

Her parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, fought against doctors’ wishes to remove her ventilator.

Doctors argued that a “planned death” would be in Archie’s best interests.

Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee plan to appeal against the High Court judgment.

Ms Dance said today’s decision was ‘a huge blow’ to Archie and his family, and it was not in her son’s best interest to die.

“‘Planned death’ is another name for euthanasia, which is illegal in this country,” she said.

“The ‘planned’ removal of the ventilator is definitely the worst thing that can happen from my point of view. I don’t see how that’s worthy.

“We do not agree with the idea of ​​dignity in death. To impose it on us and to hasten his death for this purpose is deeply cruel.

“It’s up to God to decide what should happen to Archie, including if, when and how he should die.

“As long as Archie is fighting for his life, I can’t betray him. Until Archie gives up, I won’t give up.

“I’m living every parent’s worst nightmare. There needs to be change in the NHS and in the justice system before another family has to go through what we have.

“We will be appealing this decision and we ask for your prayers and support.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Center, which is supporting Archie’s parents in their legal battle, said the judgment was a “devastating blow” for the family.

“Unfortunately, that’s what we expect from the courts in end-of-life cases,” she said.

“What Archie’s case has shown is that systematic reform is needed to protect vulnerable people and their families in end-of-life matters. ordeal at the most traumatic times in their lives when they need compassion, support and respect from the NHS and the legal system.

“Behind the backs of Parliament and the public, the courts seem to have developed a concept of ‘dying with dignity’ which is equivalent to euthanasia except in name.

“These sensitive ethical issues should be debated and decided in the democratic parliament, not by judicial activists.

“Life is the most precious gift we have.

“Anyone who follows this story over the past few months will have seen what it takes to defy the will of hospital bosses once they decide to scrap the life support system.

“This family has fought bravely to get to this point in taking a stand for Archie’s life. We continue to stand side by side with them as they appeal this decision.”

At a hearing this week, Ms Dance described how her son had expressed an interest in Christianity and baptism, and because of this she felt he would not want a planned death.

“Archie was asking me to have him baptized a few years before his accident, especially after he started watching a lot of boxing fights on TV,” she said.

“A lot of boxers pray for protection when they step into the ring. The more fights he watched with his brother, the more he pestered me to get him baptized.

“Every time we walked past St Mary’s Church he shouted his most predictable line without fail: ‘Mum, when can we go get baptized in there’.”

Archie would, she continued, “feel like it’s only up to God to come and take him out of this world when the time is right for it.”.

“Until then, Archie would want to stay with me and the rest of the family, even without knowing it himself,” she said.


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