Parents of brain-damaged 12-year-old boy set for latest legal battle

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot recently ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to Archie Battersbee.

Parents of brain-damaged 12-year-old boy, Archie Battersbee, set for latest stage of legal battle iStock

The parents of a 12-year-old boy who suffered brain damage three months ago are preparing for the latest stage of a life-support treatment battle.

Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee are hoping a High Court judge will rule that doctors should keep providing treatment to their son Archie Battersbee, after reviewing evidence.

Mr Justice Hayden is due to begin overseeing a review hearing, in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Monday, after another High Court judge had earlier ruled that Archie was dead.

The 12-year-old suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April and he has not regained consciousness.

Ms Dance said she found her son unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, have told judges that they think Archie is “brain-stem dead”.

They say treatment should end and Archie say should be disconnected from a ventilator.

Archie’s parents say his heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.

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

She concluded that Archie was dead and ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment, but Archie’s parents challenged Mrs Justice Arbuthnot’s decisions in the Court of Appeal.

Three appeal judges upheld their challenge and ruled that evidence relating to what was in Archie’s best interests should be reconsidered by a different High Court judge.

A barrister representing Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, had argued that Mrs Justice Arbuthnot had made errors.

Edward Devereux QC argued that Justice Arbuthnot had not carried out a “comprehensive” analysis of evidence relating to whether life-support treatment should continue.

Mr Devereux also argued that evidence had not shown “beyond reasonable doubt” that Archie was dead.

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