Archie Battersbee: Judge agrees to visit brain-damaged boy, 12, before making life-support decision

Archie Battersbee was found unresponsive at home on 7 April. Credit: Family photo

A High Court judge has said she will visit a brain-damaged 12-year-old in hospital before she makes a decision on whether his life-support treatment should continue.

Archie Battersbee from Southend has been in hospital since being found unresponsive at home in early April.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is due to decide whether doctors should continue treating him after a final hearing on 6 and 7 June.

Specialists treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it “highly likely” he is dead and say life-support treatment should end.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee disagree, and asked the judge to visit him in hospital before making her decision.

At the latest hearing on Friday, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said she would visit Archie in hospital before overseeing a final hearing.

The judge also ruled that Archie should undergo a further scan on his brain and spine before the last hearing.

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had told the judge that specialists thought Archie had been “extensively investigated” but were prepared to carry out further tests for “the sake of no stone being left unturned”.

The judge has heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home on 7 April.

Miss Dance has told how she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

One specialist told the judge at an earlier hearing that he thought scans showed that Archie had suffered “irretrievable” brain damage.

Two others said they thought tests showed that the youngster was “brain-stem dead”.

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