LONDON (LifeSiteNews) – Britain’s High Court ruled Friday that 12-year-old Archie Battersbee cannot be moved from the hospital – where he is currently residing – to a hospice for private palliative care. His mother called the ruling “sick” and “outrageous” and looks to appeal the decision.
After the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) refused to intervene Wednesday against the decision of Archie’s doctors to turn off his life support – a move his parents have fiercely opposed – the boy’s mother, Hollie Dance, and father, Paul Battersbee, requested to have their son moved to a hospice where he would be provided palliative care and could “spend his last moments” with his family in private, but were blocked by hospital staff.
Archie’s parents petitioned the U.K.’s High Court on Thursday to allow their son to be moved to “a peaceful hospice to say goodbye.” The hearing went late into the evening, but the court handed down a ruling Friday afternoon determining that it would not be in the boy’s “best interests” to allow the transfer.
Arguing against keeping her son in the hospital where staff plan to remove his life support, Dance said that “[t]here’s absolutely no privacy, which is why, again, the courts keep going on about this dignified death – why aren’t we allowed to take our child to a hospice and spend his last moments, his last days together privately? Why is the hospital obstructing it?”
UPDATE (8/6/22): We are heartbroken to tell you that Archie's life-support was switched off on Saturday 6 August.
We ask you to add your name to the prayerful message we are sending Archie's parents, Hollie and Paul, who are suffering the most devastating time of their lives.
Both the European Court of Human Rights and a UK High Court turned down respective applications by Archie's parents to halt the withdrawal of life-support and allow them to transfer their son to hospice care.
This cruel betrayal by the legal and medical establishment, who even denied Archie the right to travel abroad where treatment was being offered to him, represents another blow to the notion that human rights and parents' wishes really matter.
We can only hold Archie and the entire family in our prayers now.
Thank you for your support.
May God have mercy on them all.
Archie Battersbee (12) is on life-support in a UK hospital following a tragic accident, but doctors now want to end his treatment despite his distraught parents begging medics to let God decide when he dies.
Archie's heartbroken mother has submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that prevented the hospital turning off her son's life-support earlier today.
SIGN this urgent petition in support of Archie and his family - tell the ECHR to Let Archie Live.
Lawyers for the hospital last night told Archie's family that he cannot be moved to a hospice, and that if an application to the ECHR was not received by 9am on 3 August, life support would be withdrawn at 11am.
Thankfully the family's lawyers submitted the ECHR application, or Archie would now be dead.
Archie Battersbee's mother Hollie Dance tells Julia about the emotional challenges of trying to extend her son's life support care.— TalkTV (@TalkTV) August 3, 2022
"I'm putting my sons fight before myself and my emotions. I promised Archie I would fight until I can't anymore."@juliahb1 pic.twitter.com/HdRPaPbLAc
Archie’s mother Hollie Dance said: “We are very relieved (that Archie's machine was not turned off), we are having to battle every decision with the hospital. We now hope and pray that the ECHR will look favorably on the application."
"We will not give up on Archie until the end. Heartbreakingly, the hospital Trust have told us that we cannot move Archie to a hospice....This is cruel and we are absolutely appalled,” she added.
The family are also receiving offers from doctors abroad to treat Archie, but they are not allowed to transfer their son from the hospital.
‘If this country can’t treat him where is the harm in allowing him to go to another country?— GB News (@GBNEWS) August 3, 2022
Mother of Archie Battersbee, Hollie Dance, says the family have filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to postpone the withdrawal of his life support. pic.twitter.com/oc7SrX6GGh
On Tuesday government lawyers also convinced the UK's Supreme Court to dismiss the interim measures injunction issued by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), which said Archie’s treatment should not be removed.
Archie's life is on the line - he needs us to raise the alarm throughout the world today.
SIGN AND SHARE this urgent petition today.
It is unspeakably cruel to drag Archie's mother through the courts when her son is in such a devastating condition - she should be allowed to spend this precious time with him, not having to fight tooth and nail to prevent doctors from withdrawing treatment.
While Archie's doctors claim he is "brain-stem dead", not one medic would testify before the courts that this is definitely the case.
In fact, Archie's parents have footage of their son gripping their fingers, contrary to the doctors' claim he is "brain-stem dead".
‘There’s been many occasions where he’s held my fingers.’— GB News (@GBNEWS) July 16, 2022
Hollie Dance vows to fight the court ruling that her son, Archie Battersbee, is dead and his treatment should stop.
📺 Freeview 236, Sky 515, Virgin 626
💻 GB News YouTube: https://t.co/Wa58gYYAod pic.twitter.com/IRo5PdeWaI
Instead, Archie's mom is insisting that God should decide when her son passes, not doctors, lawyers, judges and politicians.
Archie's dad, Paul Battersbee, fell ill outside the Court of Appeals on 25 July as he awaited a ruling that upheld the hospital's right to withdraw life-support treatment.
Such is the stress, anxiety and pain that is being inflicted on these poor parents.
Please stand with this sorrowful mother and father today as they fight for their beloved son.
Sign The Petition: Let Archie Live.
And please say a prayer for Archie and his family - this was the scene before lawyers managed to submit the ECHR application:
His parents 🥺🙏 pic.twitter.com/QANNFkcgtG— 🇦🇺🇳🇿 ♀️Emma ♀️ 🇭🇺🇬🇧 (@TheCynicalHun) August 3, 2022
UK Supreme Court refuses more time for Archie's parents to appeal to UN court - LifeSiteNews
According to a report from Sky News, Archie was granted a stay of execution until 2 p.m. Friday to give the family time to file a legal challenge at the Court of Appeal. The Barts Health NHS Trust hospital at which Archie currently resides has stated that doctors will not remove any life support until all legal matters have been settled.
Although vying for the removal of Archie’s life support after declaring him “brain-stem dead,” doctors argued against taking Archie out of the hospital and into an ambulance for transfer, since it would “hasten premature deterioration.”
Justice Theis, who handed down Friday’s decision, declared that “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court,” while denying his parents’ request.
“When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted … the risks involved in a transfer … and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that … he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn,” Theis said.
Describing the decision as “outrageous,” Dance lamented that “our wishes as a family have been denied by the authorities.”
“We are broken, but we are keeping going, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him,” the ailing boy’s mother vowed. She told reporters present she wished to appeal the decision.
Friday’s decision is the latest development of the ongoing battle between Archie’s parents and the hospital and British legal system, which have blocked them at every turn.
The family had fought at the Court of Appeal to have the hospital’s decision to remove life support against their wishes overturned, but were refused. They then sought assistance from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, but were denied extra time to pursue their case by the Supreme Court, subsequently petitioning the ECHR to intervene, only to be denied assistance in the fight to give their son a chance to recover.
The family have also received offers from doctors in Japan and Italy to treat Archie. The young boy has remained unconscious after he was found in that condition by his mother on April 7 with a ligature round his neck, in what his mother believes to have been a prop for a social media challenge known as the “blackout challenge.”