Life support

Archie Battersbee’s parents win battle in appeals court in survival case | Right

Archie Battersbee’s parents have won an appeal against the end of the 12-year-old’s life-saving treatment.

A High Court judge had ruled that Archie, who suffered brain damage around three months ago, was ‘brain stem dead’ after a hospital trust asked him to decide what was in his best interest .

However, the Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday that the evidence should be reconsidered by another judge in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Speaking after the appeal hearing, Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, said: ‘We are delighted. We wanted another audience and we got everything we wanted.

His father, Paul Battersbee, added: “Thrilled. It really couldn’t have gone better today. »

Archie was treated by medics at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, where doctors believe it is ‘very likely’ he is ‘brain stem dead’.

Madam Justice Arbuthnot initially ruled doctors could legally stop providing treatment, but now another judge, Justice Hayden, will oversee another hearing on July 11.

Archie Battersbee. Photograph: Hollie Dance/PA

Lawyers representing Dance and Battersbee argued that Arbuthnot made mistakes. Edward Devereux QC, who led the legal team for Archie’s parents, said they had not carried out a full analysis of the evidence relating to continued life-sustaining treatment.

He suggested the analysis had not been of a “gold standard” and told the appeal judges: “In matters of life or death, the gold standard should be met.”

Judges of Appeal Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls; Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division of the High Court and longest serving family court judge in England and Wales; and Lady Justice King granted the parents’ appeal.

They made no criticism of Arbuthnot and said they would give reasons for their decision at a later date.

A specialist, who cannot be named, previously said the tests showed no “discernible” brain activity but revealed “significant areas of tissue necrosis”. She added: “We think it’s very likely that he died of the brainstem.”

However, lawyers representing the family argued that Archie’s heart was still beating and raised questions about whether “the correct procedure” had been followed and whether the family’s views had been fully considered.

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The Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked Arbuthnot, through his lawyers, to decide what action to take in Archie’s best interests.

His mother said she found him unconscious at home with a ligature on his head on April 7 and thought he may have participated in some sort of internet challenge.

He has not regained consciousness since being admitted to hospital.


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