Archie Battersbee: Family of brain-damaged boy, 12, set for Court of Appeal hearing

Archie Battersbee
Credit: Hollie Dance
Archie Battersbee has been in an induced coma since 7 April. Credit: Family photo/PA

The parents of Archie Battersbee - the 12-year-boy at the centre of a legal battle over life-support treatment - are due in court on Wednesday as they bid to overturn a judge's ruling that he is dead.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot recently ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to the youngster, after considering evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

But his parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, of Southend in Essex have appealed the ruling and will present their case to Court of Appeal judges at a hearing on Wednesday.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, have told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot they think he is “brain-stem dead”.

They said treatment should end and Archie should be disconnected from a ventilator.

His parents say his heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.

Hollie Dance has been at her son's bedside almost constantly since April. Credit: PA

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves were in Archie’s best interests

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded Archie was dead, and said treatment should end.

But she said there was a “compelling reason” why appeal judges should consider the case.

A barrister leading Archie’s parents’ legal team had argued evidence has not shown “beyond reasonable doubt” that he is dead.

Edward Devereux QC said the decision had been made on a balance of probabilities.

He argued a decision of such “gravity” should have been made on a “beyond reasonable doubt” basis.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot decided appeal judges should consider that standard of proof issue.

Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Ms Dance said she found her son unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge. He has not regained consciousness.

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