Archie Battersbee: Parents of brain-damaged 12-year-old boy set for latest stage of legal battle

Archie Battersbee's parents are preparing for the latest stage of a life-support treatment legal battle, after their 12-year-old son suffered brain damage three months ago.

Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee from Southend are hoping a High Court judge will rule that doctors should keep providing treatment to Archie, after reviewing evidence.

Mr Justice Hayden is due to begin overseeing a review hearing, in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Monday (11 July), after another High Court judge earlier ruled that Archie was dead.

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

Archie Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, right, with family friend Ella Carter outside the High Court Credit: ITV News Anglia

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

However, Archie’s parents say his heart is still beating and that they want treatment to continue.

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

She concluded that Archie was dead and ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment.

Archie’s parents had challenged Mrs Justice Arbuthnot’s decisions in the Court of Appeal.

Three appeal judges upheld their challenge and ruled that evidence relating to what was in Archie’s best interests should be reconsidered by a different High Court judge.

A barrister representing Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, had argued that Mrs Justice Arbuthnot had made errors.

Edward Devereux QC argued that Mrs Justice Arbuthnot had not carried out a “comprehensive” analysis of evidence relating to whether life-support treatment should continue.

Mr Devereux also argued that evidence had not shown “beyond reasonable doubt” that Archie was dead.

Archie Battersbee, 12, is at the centre of a life-treatment courts dispute Credit: Family handout/PA

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 since.

Speaking exclusively to ITV News Anglia recently, Ms Dance described the harrowing moment she found Archie unconscious, and her fight for her son's life.

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