Archie Battersbee's parents' final fight to keep son alive

Archie Battersbee’s parents’ final fight to keep son alive: Judge will today hear family’s closing pleas to stop 12-year-old’s life support being turned off by medics who say he is ‘brain dead’ and his chances of recovery are ‘very low’

  • Parents of Archie Battersbee will make closing plea in High Court today
  • Archie, 12, suffered ‘catastrophic’ brain damage in incident at home in April
  • He has not regained consciousness and doctors say his life support should end
  • Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee are fighting to keep him alive 

The parents of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a High Court battle over whether doctors should continue his life support treatment will make their closing pleas today.

Archie Battersbee has not regained consciousness after suffering ‘catastrophic’ brain damage when he was found unresponsive with a ligature around his neck at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7.

Specialists treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London think it is ‘highly likely’ that Archie is brain dead and argue that life support treatment should end. 

However, parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee disagree and are fighting to keep him alive.

This photo shows Archie Battersbee and his mother Hollie Dance

Undated handout photo of 12-year-old Archie, a keen gymnast

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves are in Archie’s best interests. 

Giving evidence this week, a specialist told the judge about a number of concerns noted by Archie’s treating team.

She said tests had shown no ‘discernible’ brain activity, but revealed ‘significant areas of tissue necrosis’, and added: ‘We believe that it is very likely that he is brain-stem dead.’

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot has heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee 

Ms Dance has told how she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head in April and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge. The youngster has not regained consciousness.

Lawyers representing Archie’s family have told the judge that his heart is still beating.

They also say there was an issue as to whether ‘the correct procedure’ had been followed, and whether the ‘family’s views’ had been taken into account.

The judge had been told by a specialist at an earlier hearing that the brain stem was responsible for the functions that kept people alive.

A campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre is supporting Archie’s family.

The hearing continues.

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