Archie Battersby’s parents lose High Court battle over hospice transfer


The parents of rchie Battersbee have lost a High Court bid to move him to a hospice before life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is currently being kept alive by medical interventions including ventilation and drug treatment at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London. . .

His parents have fought a long legal battle over his withdrawal from treatment, which finally failed on Wednesday when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene.

His mother, Holly Dance, and father, Paul Battersby, immediately launched a bid to have him transferred to hospital to die, with the hearing continuing late into Thursday night.

Holy Dance (James Manning/PA) / PA Wire

But, in a ruling on Friday morning, Mrs Justice Thies concluded it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved.

The judge said: “Archie’s best interests must be at the forefront of any conclusion reached by this court.

“Considering the family’s wishes, why those wishes are kept, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie wanted, … the risks involved in the transfer … and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when the exercise of balancing Again, his best interests as determined (in the July 15 order) that he should remain in the hospital when treatment is withdrawn.

“The circumstances described by Dr. F regarding the physical arrangements at the hospital and the arrangements that can be made will ensure that Archie’s best interests will be the focus of the final arrangements so that he can peacefully and privately be with his family.” could die in the embrace of loved

“The parents confirmed in an email to their solicitors on 2 August their willingness to cooperate in these arrangements, in principle.”

Mrs Justice Theis concluded her judgment by saying: “I return to where I began, recognizing the enormity of what lies ahead for Archie’s parents and family.

“Their unconditional love and devotion to Archie is the golden thread that runs through this case.

“I hope that Archie can now have the opportunity to die in peace, with the family that meant as much to him as he obviously does to them.”

After the verdict, Ms Dance said: “All our wishes as a family have been rejected by the authorities.

“We are broken, but we carry on, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him.”

Holly Dance, mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersby, speaks to the media outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, on Wednesday (James Manning/PA) / PA Wire

The judge refused to allow him to appeal the decision, although the family’s lawyers requested it.

Archie’s family then appealed directly to the Court of Appeal.

Mrs Justice Theis stayed the withdrawal until 2pm on Friday to allow time for an appeal to be filed.

The child has been in a coma since he was found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex, on April 7.

Ms Dance believes she was taking part in an online challenge when she fell ill. He has not regained consciousness since then.

Ms Dance said on Thursday she wanted her son to spend “his last moments” privately with family, complaining of a lack of privacy at the hospital.

She told Times Radio on Thursday: “We wouldn’t even have the opportunity to be together in a room as a family without nurses.”

She added: “There is absolutely no privacy, which is why, again, the courts go on and on about this dignified death – why we have to take our child to the hospital and have his last moments, his last days a Not allowed to spend time together?

“Why is the hospital interrupting this?”

Archie Battersby, 12, has been in hospital since April (Holly Dance/PA) / PA Media

Barts Health NHS Trust said Archie’s condition was too unstable to be transferred and moving him by ambulance to a different setting would “most likely accelerate the premature deterioration which the family will suffer”. wants to survive, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on board”. .

A High Court order in July ordered Archie to remain in the Royal London Hospital until his treatment was withdrawn.

A hospice has agreed to take him in, a family spokesman said.