Archie Battersbee's mother refuses to give up on son after latest appeal rejected

Hollie Dance, Archie Battersbee's mother, speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice.
Credit: PA
Hollie Dance said her son Archie Battersbee was "too good to give up on". Credit: PA

Archie Battersbee's mother has vowed to continue fighting for her son after Court of Appeal judges rejected the latest appeal over the 12-year-old's life-support treatment.

Hollie Dance called her son "too good to give up on" and called for sweeping changes in how cases like her son's are dealt with by health authorities and the courts.

She said she was taking legal advice about pursuing the case through the European Court of Human Rights, and claimed that she had video evidence of her son "trying to breathe".

Archie has been in a coma since being found unconscious at home on 7 April, after what his mother believes was an online challenge.

In a statement released after judges rejected the family's appeal, Ms Dance said: “All we have asked for from the beginning is for Archie to be given more time and for Archie’s wishes and ours to be respected. As long as Archie is alive, I will never give up on him - he is too good to give up on.

Archie Battersbee has been unconscious since being found with a ligature over his head in April. Credit: PA

“When he is to die, we believe it should be in God’s way and in God’s time. What is the rush? Why is the hospital and the courts so keen to push this through as fast as possible?

"I don’t believe there is anything ‘dignified’ about planning Archie’s death. For me, this would be the most traumatic outcome.

“Parents need support not pressure. It is exhausting what we have been through. We should not have to endlessly battle the hospital in the courts for what we believe is right for Archie. Top judges have told us, however, that this is the law, if this so, the law must change."

Hollie Dance said she had video evidence of her son trying to breathe in hospital. Credit: PA

She backed calls led by the family of Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old boy whose family fought a court battle to allow him to receive experimental treatment in the US, for families to be better supported in such cases.

“For five years Charlie Gard’s family have been trying to get a change in the law. We as a family support ‘Charlie’s Law’ and call on MPs to engage with the bill which if passed will mean parents would not have to endure court hearings over the hospital care of their children," said Ms Dance.

She also urged other parents to be aware of what she called "deadly online challenges".

"You can be protecting your child 24/7, but the nature of these challenges mean that your child can come to harm within minutes. I urge parents to have the conversation with your children, now, before it is too late," she said.

“Archie is making medical progression which we have not been allowed to address in court, but we are determined to present it as evidence as take this legal challenge forward. We will continue fighting for Archie and will not give up.”

Speaking outside court, she said: “We’ve been silenced I think for long enough on Archie’s progression, so we will continue this fight and this time I will make sure that Archie’s progression in court is actually stated.

“As I say I think we’ve been silenced for too long now. I’ve got video evidence of Archie trying to breathe on Friday and Saturday."

She said the family were assessing their options and would pursue further options. Asked if this included the European Court of Human Rights, she said: "Potentially."

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