Archie Battersby’s Parents Demand Supreme Court Intervention

The parents of a 12-year-old boy who is in a comatose state after brain damage are demanding that the Supreme Court intervene in the fight for life support.

A spokesperson for Archie Battersby’s mother and father, Holly Dance and Paul Battersby, says they have asked Supreme Court Justices to give them more time to continue fighting.

Ms Dance and Mr Battersby, who live separately but both live in Southend, Essex, want the United Nations to take up the case after losing in the London courts.

They want the justice of the Supreme Court to prevent hospital leaders from stopping treatment until they have time to apply to the UN.

Archie’s parents say the UN has a protocol that allows “individuals and families” to file complaints about violations of the rights of people with disabilities.

They say the UN could ask the UK government to delay shutting down Archie’s life support system while the complaint is investigated.

Three Court of Appeal judges on Monday upheld the decision of a High Court judge who ruled that doctors could legally stop Archie’s treatment.

Lawyers representing Archie’s parents asked the appellate judges to “suspend” the discontinuation of treatment to allow time for the appeal to be heard by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg, France.

The appeals judges have suspended the discontinuation of treatment and said that Archie’s parents can file an application with the European Court of Justice until 14:00 Thursday.

PA News Agency understands that nothing in any ruling by the Court of Appeal judges will prevent Archie’s parents from filing their application with the UN.


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

Archie’s parents are supported by a campaign group called the Christian Law Center.

A representative of the center indicated that Archie’s parents wanted to appeal to the UN, and not to the European Court of Justice.

“The family’s legal representatives have urgently petitioned the Supreme Court to suspend enforcement of an order authorizing the shutdown of Archie’s life support system,” a spokesman said Thursday.

“This is done so that parents can bring their case to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

He added: “The UK has joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which gives people the right to complain about any violation of the Convention to the UN Committee.

“The committee has previously criticized the British system for allowing the life support of people with disabilities to be terminated based on a court decision in their best interests, rather than of their own free will.

“The family’s lawyers will argue that by making a delay that only allowed an appeal to the ECtHR, the Court of Appeal erroneously put pressure on the family not to accept one international human rights procedure in place of another.”


Father Archie Battersby Paul Battersby (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The judges heard that on April 7, Miss Dance found Archie unconscious with a bandage on his head. She thinks he may have entered online competitions.

The young man did not regain consciousness.

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.