Archie Battersby family ‘given time to come to terms with decision’

The head of the NHS trust says staff are giving relatives of the 12-year-old boy, who fell into a comatose state after suffering brain damage, time to “come to terms” with the judge’s decision that life-support treatment should be stopped.

ut Alistair Chesser, Chief Medical Officer of the Barts Health NHS Trust, said on Friday that a “further delay” in starting Archie Battersby’s “palliative care” would be “inappropriate” without a court order.

Archie’s parents, Holly Dance and Paul Battersby, have asked the UN to intervene.

We are giving Archie’s loved ones time to come to terms with the courts’ decision that treatment should not continue, and we are engaging them every step of the way.Alistair Chesser, Barts Health NHS Trust

They say they have filed a “final” application with the UN committee after losing out in the London courts.

A spokesman for the family said they wanted the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to look into the boy’s case.

He said a UN official had written a letter confirming the request.

Mr. Chesser said the staff had “deep sympathy” for the Archie family.

“We are giving Archie’s loved ones time to come to terms with the decision of the courts that treatment must not continue, and we are engaging them at every stage,” he said in a statement.

“Any further delay in starting palliative care would be inappropriate without a court order.”

A High Court judge, after examining the evidence, ruled that it was in Archie’s best interest to stop treatment.

The boy’s parents, who live separately but both live in Southend, Essex, were unable to convince the Court of Appeal judges to reverse the decision, and the Supreme Court judges refused to intervene.

Archie’s parents are supported by an organization called the Christian Law Center.

A spokesman for the center announced its latest move and said it had made its “final announcement”.

“Archie’s parents want a UN committee to look into Archie’s case, arguing that it has a protocol that allows ‘individuals and families’ to file complaints about disability rights violations,” the spokesman said.

“The family argues that stopping treatment would be in violation of the UK’s obligations under articles … of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and an article of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Archie’s parents have asked the hospital authorities to continue treatment until the UN reviews the case.

The judges heard that on April 7, Miss Dance found Archie unconscious with a bandage on his head.

She thinks he may have taken part in an online challenge.

The young man did not regain consciousness.


Holly Dance speaks to the media in front of the Crown Court (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, believe he is brain stem dead and say it is not in his best interest to continue with intensive care.

The bosses at the hospital’s fund manager, the Barts Health NHS Trust, were asked to make a decision about what medical action would be in Archie’s best interests.

High Court Judge Ms. Justice Arbuthnot initially reviewed the case and concluded that Archie was dead.

But the judges of the Court of Appeal upheld his parents’ protest against the decisions made by Judge Arbuthnot and said the evidence should be considered by another High Court judge, Judge Hayden.

Archie’s parents released a letter they received from the UN representative in Geneva after applying.

The letter stated that the “State Party” had been asked to “refrain from withdrawing life-sustaining treatment” while the case was “under consideration by the committee”.

It states that the request “does not imply that any decision has been made on the merits of the matter under consideration.”