Archie Battersbee: Mum of 12-year-old promises to fight judge's ruling over life-support treatment

The mother of Archie Battersbee has vowed to fight on for her son and other children who have been "sentenced to death", after a judge ruled that he should be allowed to die.

High Court judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot on Monday ruled that doctors at the Royal London Hospital in east London could legally withdraw ventilator treatment from 12-year-old Archie, saying that he was technically dead.

His family have already said they intend to appeal the ruling, with his mother Hollie Dance saying she was "devastated and extremely disappointed" that the decision.

But she said she would not give up the fight for her son, and that her "gut instinct" was that he was still alive.

The hospital trust sympathised with Archie's family at a "sad and difficult time", adding that doctors would continue to offer the best possible care for the youngster while the family made a decision over any appeal.

Speaking to journalists after the ruling was made, Ms Dance said: “I will keep going. I’m not giving up on my son.

“Archie is very much for justice, he always has been, and I’m his voice at the minute, and I will fight for justice and my son deserves that – he’s 12 years old.”

She added: “This hospital has got the biggest battle ever, because I refuse to give up the fight for my son’s life.”

Archie Battersbee was found unconscious at home on 7 April. Credit: Hollie Dance

She said she was not the only parent going through the same "agonising" process, adding that there were “a lot of kids being sentenced to death” by decisions made at the Royal London Hospital.

“There’s people up there (in the hospital) at the moment who have been told on day three that their child is brain dead," she said.

“There’s a lot of kids being sentenced to death through this hospital. This is not just for Archie now, it’s for the other children as well.”

Hollie Dance is supported by friends and family after making her statement following the judgement. Credit: PA

Archie has been in an induced coma since he was found unconscious at home with a ligature over his head on 7 April, after doing what his mother believes was an online challenge.

Doctors treating him said tests showed that the youngster was "brain-stem dead" and that he had a low chance of recovery.

The trust running the hospital asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot of the Family Division of the High Court to make a decision on what was in Archie's best interests.

On Monday, in a written statement, the judge said: “I find that Archie died at noon on May 31 2022, which was shortly after the MRI scans taken that day."

She added: “If Archie remains on mechanical ventilation, the likely outcome for him is sudden death and the prospects of recovery are nil.

“He has no pleasure in life and his brain damage is irrecoverable. His position is not going to improve."

Lawyers for Archie's family had earlier told the court that they believed his heart was still beating, that he had squeezed their hands, and that he should be given more time.

They also said there was an issue as to whether “the correct procedure” had been followed, and whether the “family’s views” had been taken into account.

Archie Battersbee is being treated at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Credit: Family photo

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