Parents of brain-injured boy plead to be allowed to remove him from the hospital and spend his final hours in hospice

By Dave Andrusko

Having lost in several courts, the family of Archie Battersbee, the severely brain-injured 12 year old boy, have asked the High Court in London to be allowed to move Archie from the Royal London Hospital to a hospice to die. 

Their request follows the refusal by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to stop doctors from withdrawing Archie’s life support. 

“His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, submitted the application to the Strasbourg-based court just a couple of hours before Barts Health NHS Trust was expected to withdraw Archie’s life support,” Rochelle Barrand reported. [Barts Health is Royal London Hospital’s governing trust.]  “Prior to the refusal, Ms Dance said: ‘I am hoping that they will step in and give Archie a right to live. I think that he deserves that.’” Ms. Dance, said she wanted her son to “spend his last moments” together with family privately.

Archie’s parents had been granted a Court of Appeal hearing last Monday  “after the government asked judges to urgently consider a request from a UN committee to keep treating Archie while it reviews his case,” Barrand explained. “However, three judges refused to postpone the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment beyond midday on Tuesday, and also refused to grant permission to appeal against their ruling at the Supreme Court.”

Ms. Dance, speaking to Times Radio on Thursday morning,  said “Hospital are obviously coming across to everybody you know – their deepest thoughts are with the family and everything they can do to etc, etc.”

“This really isn’t the case and I think that the letter that went out quite sort of late yesterday evening saying that just again, a bit of a blackmailing letter, you know: ‘You’ve got till nine o’clock’, leaving the lawyers again under pressure, which is what this hospital has done from day one of being here really. Everything’s just been so high-pressured.”

She said the hospital previously told them they would be able to move Archie to a hospice but then they “just totally went back on their word”.

Family friend Ella Carter, speaking to the PA news agency before the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision was made, said “the family would prefer for Archie to be in a hospice if his treatment were to end.”

She said: “If this is Archie’s last couple of days it needs to be peaceful and it needs to be a calm atmosphere, and it’s the complete opposite really.

“We would really like it to be in a hospice – I mean that’s exactly what they’re designed for, they’re so well-equipped to deal with situations like this.

“If the trust can work with us and co-operate with us in working towards getting him in a hospice we would be forever grateful for that.”

She added: “They (Archie’s family) are constantly talking to him and telling him what’s been going on with the family and his friends.

His mom found Archie unconscious at home on April 7.

The young boy was found with a ligature on his head, with his mum believing that he may have been trying to partake in an online challenge called the ‘Blackout Challenge’.

Archie has not regained consciousness since the accident, and has remained in a coma since he was found.