February 7, 2023

family A 12-year-old boy was in a coma For four months, a London hospital is expected to start withdrawing the life-sustaining treatment on Saturday after his parents exhausted their legal options in a battle over his care.

Archie Battersby’s mother, Holly Dance, said hospital officials had told the family they would suspend the boy’s treatment at 10 am. British courts on Friday rejected the family’s request to move Archie to a nursing home, and the European Court of Human Rights rejected that for a second time. intervene in the case.

Life support battle in Britain
An undated family photo of Archie Battersby, whose parents have filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to delay the withdrawal of his life support devices.

Holly Dance/AFP

Britain’s Dance told Sky News there was nothing else the family could do and they were “extremely devastated” after the ordeal that began on April 7, when Archie was found unconscious.

“I did everything I promised my little son to do,” she said, crying.

The Royal London Hospital, where Archie was being treated, did not confirm the dance statement.

Archie’s care became the subject of weeks of legal arguments as his parents sought to force the hospital to continue life-sustaining treatments and doctors argued there was no chance of recovery and should be allowed to die.

The family requested permission to move Archie to a shelter after British courts ruled it was in his best interest to end the treatment. The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that his transfer would hasten his death.

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Lucy Theiss rejected the family’s request, saying Archie must remain in the hospital while treatment is withdrawn.

“I return to where I began, aware of the enormity of what awaits Archie’s parents and family. Their unconditional love and devotion to Archie is a golden thread running through this affair,” Teese wrote in her decision. “I hope now Archie will be given the opportunity to die in peaceful conditions, with the family who meant as much to him as he clearly does to them.”

The dispute is the latest case in the UK that puts doctors’ rulings against families’ wishes. Under British law, it is common for courts to step in when parents and doctors disagree about a child’s medical treatment. In such cases, the best interests of the child take precedence over the parents’ right to decide what they think is best for their offspring.

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