What next for Archie Battersbee? Family to take life-support bid to European Court of Human Rights

Archie Battersbee.
Credit: Family photo
Archie Battersbee has been unconscious since being found at home on 7 April. Credit: Family photo/PA

The parents of Archie Battersbee intend to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights as they fight for their son to be given more time to recover from a "catastrophic" brain injury.

Court of Appeal judges ruled on Monday that doctors could lawfully withdraw life-support treatment from the 12-year-old, agreeing with a decision from a High Court judge who said the youngster had "no hope at all of recovery".

Judges have given the family a 48-hour stay, expiring at 2pm on Wednesday, for them to make decisions over their next steps before further decisions are taken about turning off Archie's life support.

Immediately following the judgement, their lawyer indicated that the family planned to make a further appeal to the European court in a bid to get the decision overturned.

His mother Hollie Dance said afterwards that she would continue to fight and was considering legal options.

The youngster from Southend in Essex has been unconscious since he was found at home by his mother Hollie Dance on 7 April.

Archie Battersbee's parents Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance at the Royal Courts of Justice. Credit: PA

Doctors treating him at the Royal London Hospital say he is "brain-stem dead" and that treatment should be stopped, but his parents disagree. The hospital's governing trust asked for a High Court judge to rule on what moves were in Archie's best interests.

First, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot ruled at the High Court that the youngster was dead, and that treatment could begin, but that decision was overturned after his family took the case to the Court of Appeal.

The case was then sent back to the High Court again, where Mr Justice Hayden presided over a second hearing, reaching the conclusion that Archie had no hope of recovery.

Again, his family mounted an appeal to the Court of Appeal, which on Monday was rejected.

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