Archie Battersbee: Mourners gather in Essex for funeral of 12-year-old after life-support battle

Archie Battersbee's funeral will be held in Southend in Essex. Credit: Family photo

A funeral will take place on Thursday of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who was at the centre of a court battle over his life-support treatment.

Archie did not regain consciousness after suffering brain damage during an incident at his home in Southend-on-Sea in April.

A high court judge ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to the youngster in July. Doctors stopped treatment in early August after Archie's mother, Hollie Dance, and father, Paul Battersbee, failed in bids to overturn Mr Justice Hayden's ruling.

Archie's funeral is due to take place at St Mary's Church in Prittlewell, Southend, at 12 noon on Thursday, following his death on 6 August.

His family have been supported by a campaign group called the Christian Legal Centre, and a spokesman for the centre said Rev Paul Mackay would oversee a service featuring music and poetry.

Archie Battersbee was given life-support treatment after suffering brain damage.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, thought he was brain-stem dead and said continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, asked a High Court judge to make decisions on what medical moves were in Archie's best interests.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot initially considered the case and concluded that Archie was dead.

But Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge, by Archie's parents, against Mrs Justice Arbuthnot's ruling and said evidence should be reviewed by a different High Court judge.

Mr Justice Hayden then ruled, after a further hearing, that ending treatment would be in Archie's best interests.

Archie's mum Hollie Dance wanted her son to remain on life-support treatment.

Ms Dance is preparing to discuss the implications of Archie case with a health minister.

She wrote to Steve Barclay, who was health secretary when Archie died, asking if she and her MP Anna Firth could meet for talks.

Mr Barclay, who is no longer health secretary, replied to say a minister would discuss Archie's case.

The Christian Legal Centre spokesman said no date had yet been fixed for a meeting.

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