Mother urges judge to give her 12-year-old son ‘more time’ as ruling is due today on doctors’ bid to test boy’s brain stem before turning off his life support
A mother fighting in the High Court to keep her 12-year-old son alive against a hospital who want to end his life support has urged a judge to give him ‘more time’.
Specialists treating Archie Battersbee at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it ‘highly likely’ that the youngster is dead and say life-support treatment should end.
Bosses at the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, yesterday asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to rule that a test to establish whether Archie was brain-stem dead would be in the youngster’s best interests.
A doctor told the judge that the brain stem was responsible for the functions which kept people alive.
Archie’s parents Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, who are separated and both from Southend, Essex, have raised concerns about doctors’ proposals and want treatment to continue.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is due to deliver a ruling this afternoon.
Miss Dance has told how she found Archie with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.
His parents, Hollie Dance (above) and Paul Battersbee, have insisted on more time before switching off Archie’s life support
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital believe that he is brain-stem dead but his parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee oppose switching off his life support treatment
She urged Mrs Justice Arbuthnot not to approve the brain-stem test.
‘Everyone is in such a rush,’ she said.
‘I’m asking the judge to just give him more time – give him time to fight back.’
She added: ‘It’s only been five weeks – it took me longer to get over the flu. What’s the rush?’
Archie’s sister Lauren set up an Instagram page ‘Spread the purple wave’ with regular updates on Archie’s condition
Fiona Paterson, for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, told the judge the ‘priority’ is a decision on whether Archie should have the brain-stem test
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot oversaw a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, but said Archie could be named in media reports of the case.
A campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre said it is supporting Archie’s family.
‘We are standing with Archie and his family every step of the way,’ said the centre’s chief executive, Andrea Williams.
‘We want to give him every chance of life.’
Archie was found unresponsive at home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, with a ligature around his neck on April 7 and has not awoken since.
Archie’s brother Tom, 22 and sister Lauren, 20 come every day to visit him and try to get him to respond. His family talks to him and plays his favourite song, Lucis Dreams by Juice WRLD , along with voice notes from his friends.
Archie’s sister Lauren set up an Instagram page ‘Spread the purple wave’ with regular updates on Archie’s condition.
Miss Dance has speculated that Archie may have been taking part in a ‘online challenge’ when he was hurt.