Archie Battersbee dead: 12-year-old’s life support turned off after lengthy legal fight

Archie Battersbee’s life support set to be withdrawn

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The 12-year-old’s family confirmed at around 1.50pm Archie had died following his life support and treatement ceasing at 10am. Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee were told on Friday treatment for Archie will be withdrawn on Saturday morning. It came after they made a last-ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights on Friday night to intervene.

Speaking outside Barts Health NHS Trust, Ms Dance said: “He fought right until the very end, and I’m so proud to be his mum.”

Family members said Archie was taken off all medication at 10am, and his “vitals remained stable for two hours, until they removed ventilation”.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Ella Rose Carter, said: “They removed the ventilation and he went completely blue.

“There was nothing dignified about watching a family member or child suffocate.

“We hope no family has to go through what we went through. It’s barbaric.”

A spokesperson for the Christian Legal Centre, which backed the family’s legal effort, said on Friday: “All legal routes have been exhausted.

“The family are devastated and are spending precious time with Archie.”

Also speaking on Friday, Ms Dance, of Southend-on-Sea in Essex, said she was “pretty broken”.

She said: “The last however many weeks since April 7th, I don’t think there’s been a day that hasn’t been awful really. It’s been really hard.

“Despite the hard strong face and appearance obviously in front of the cameras up until now, I’ve been pretty broken.”

Asked if there was anything more she can do, Ms Dance said: “No. I’ve done everything that I promised my little boy I’d do. And I’ve done it.”

Archie has been in a coma since April 7 when he suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

He was found unconscious by Ms Dance with a ligature around his neck, prompting her to believe he was taking part in an online challenge gone wrong.

On April 26, Barts Health NHS Trust, responsible for Archie’s care at the Royal London Hospital, began High Court proceedings seeking to undertake a test of the brain stem.

After two specialists attempted a nerve stimulation test on Archie on May 16, no response was detected.

Between June 6 and 8, High Court Judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot oversaw three days of evidence and argument relating to Archie’s treatment.

Sitting in the Family Division of the High Court, she heard from doctors treating Archie that it “is “very likely” he is “brain-stem dead”.

She ruled on June 13 Archie is dead and said doctors can lawfully stop treating him, but Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee were granted permission to appeal against the decision seven days later.

June 29 saw three appeal judges rule that evidence relating to what is in Archie’s best interests should be reconsidered by a different High Court judge.

On July 11, Mr Justice Hayden hears evidence from doctors that continuing to treat Archie will only “delay the inevitable”, and four days later he rules in favour of the hospital trust, saying the medical evidence is “compelling and unanimous” and paints a “bleak” picture.

July 29 saw three Court of Appeal judges rule that doctors can lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to Archie.

Archie’s parents then made “last-ditch” attempts to persuade the Supreme Court and UN committee to intervene.

This week, on Monday, the Court of Appeal rejected a request to postpone stopping Archie’s treatment.

Tuesday saw Archie’s parents refused permission to appeal against the latest ruling at the Supreme Court, and Wednesday saw the European Court of Human Rights refuse the last-ditch application.

On Thursday, Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee formally lodged High Court proceedings over the move to hospice care.

Mrs Justice Theis ruled on Thursday it is not in Archie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice, and the High Court judge refused the family permission to appeal against her ruling.

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