LONDON (LifeSiteNews) – 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who died Saturday after doctors removed him from life-support, was baptized on Easter Sunday after he was taken into hospital.
The young boy died on August 6, after the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel removed him from life-support. Archie had been unconscious since April 7, after he was found in that condition by his mother, Hollie Dance.
His family engaged in a series of legal battles to keep their son on life-support, but, like many other families fighting to keep their children alive, they ultimately lost. Based on a decision that he was “likely dead,” Archie was removed from life-support and died shortly thereafter.
However, Archie’s story has a unique silver lining: the young boy was baptized and received into the Catholic Church just days after he went into a coma.
According to his mother, Archie had long desired to be baptized, as he had been especially inspired by Christian boxers on television.
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
“Archie was asking me to get him baptized over a few years before his accident, particularly after he started watching a lot of box fights on TV,” Dance told Christian Today in July.
“Many boxers pray for protection when they go into the ring,” she continued. “The more and more fights he’d watch with his brother, the more he would be nagging me to get him baptised. Every time we drove past St. Mary’s Church, he shouted out his most predictable line without fail, ‘Mum when can we go and be Christened in there?’”
Accordingly, on Easter Sunday, ten days after he was found unconscious, Archie received a Catholic baptism by the hospital chaplain, according to Premier Christian News. Likewise, the following day, on Easter Monday, his mother and two his older siblings reportedly were likewise baptized and entered the Catholic Church.
In June, Dance revealed that, while with her son in the hospital, “[t]he chaplain came in, and instantly asked, ‘Oh, would you like me to pray?’”
“We’ve done that every single day since we’ve been here – every day for just over eight weeks,” she added.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.” (CCC 1213)
The Baltimore Catechism states that Baptism removes the eternal punishment for unforgiven mortal sins committed prior to Baptism, as well as the temporal punishment due for venial sins, or forgiven mortal sins. In Archie’s case, it would forgive any sin committed before he fell into a coma, providing he had remorse for those sins.
“Baptism properly speaking (…) signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ,” the Catechism teaches.
While Archie lost his temporal life on earth, his Baptism grants him access to the life of grace and the life of the Church. In addition to opening the way to his own salvation, Archie’s suffering led to his family’s reception of Baptism and acceptance into the Catholic Church.
It allows their souls to be flooded with grace so that they have the strength to overcome the challenges of earthly life, remaining in the friendship of God, so that they might one day hope to attain heaven.