Archie Battersbee’s mother says the hospital will end treatment soon in case it pits parents against doctors

Archie Battersbee’s mother says the hospital will end treatment soon in case it pits parents against doctors

The family to a 12-year-old boy who has been in a coma for four months expects a London hospital to begin withdrawing life-sustaining treatment on Saturday after his parents used their legal options in a battle over his care.

Archie Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, said hospital officials informed the family they would stop the boy’s treatment at 10 a.m. British courts on Friday rejected the family’s request to transfer Archie to a hospice, and the European Court of Human Rights refused for a second time to intervene in the case.

Britain Life Support Battle
Undated family handout photo of Archie Battersbee, whose parents have made an application to the European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to delay the withdrawal of his life support.

Hollie Dance / AP


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

“I’ve done everything I promised my little boy I would do,” she said through tears.

The Royal London Hospital, where Archie was treated, has not confirmed Dansen’s statement.

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

The family asked for permission to move Archie to a hospice after British courts ruled it was in his best interests to end treatment. The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that moving him would hasten his death.

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Lucy Theis rejected the family’s request, saying Archie should remain in hospital while treatment was withdrawn.

“I return to where I started, recognizing the enormity of what lies ahead for Archie’s parents and family. Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case,” Thies wrote in his decision. “I hope now Archie can have the opportunity for him to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family that meant as much to him as he clearly does to them.”

The dispute is the latest British case to pit the judgment of doctors against the wishes of the family. Under British law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree about a child’s medical treatment. In such cases, the child’s best interests come before the parents’ right to decide what they think is best for their offspring.

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