Health · August 3, 2022

Archie Battersbee’s life support machine will be shut down tomorrow

Archie Battersbee’s life support machine was switched off Wednesday morning local time (Thursday in Australia) after his parents lost their battle in the UK Supreme Court.

It comes as judges previously agreed it would be unlawful to keep the 12-year-old on life support. The sun Reports that would only “delay” his death.

According to his family, Archie’s life support is scheduled to be turned off at 11am.

He was due to finish his treatment at noon yesterday before an 11th hour appeal.

But after deliberation, the Supreme Court justices agreed that the brain-damaged boy had “no prospect of a meaningful recovery”.

Lord Hodge, the court’s deputy president, considered the application for leave to appeal alongside Lords Kitchin and Stephens – the same panel of Supreme Court justices who last week rejected an offer of appeal from Archie’s parents.

However, Archie’s mother Hollie has confirmed that her legal team will be filing another application to the European Court of Human Rights by 9am local time today to have his life support removed.

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“Our lawyers will file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. They’ve been given a strict 9am schedule. No time again,” Hollie said.

“We asked very nicely and in a very nice way, ‘Can we put Archie in a hospice?’ I think it’s every parent’s right to get their child out of a very noisy hospital for a peaceful, dignified – what they call it – dignified death, and that’s what Archie’s dignity is apparently at stake in all these court cases.

“Well, where are Archie’s dignity and rights now? He is not even allowed a peaceful death in a hospice. So our lawyer’s words were, ‘You were very brutal and you refused hospice.’”

Archie was found with a ligature over his head at home in Southend, Essex on April 7 this year following a social media scale.

The boy suffered brain damage and has since been unresponsive as he is kept alive on mechanical ventilation and fed through a tube.

Announcing the court’s refusal to hear the appeal earlier, the judges said: “The judges have great sympathy for the plight of Archie’s devoted parents who are faced with what is every parent’s nightmare – the loss of a beloved child .”

“It must be borne in mind that the key issue between Archie’s parents on the one hand and the NHS Trust, which is supported by Archie’s very experienced guardian, was unfortunately not Archie’s recovery but the timing and manner of his death,” they added added.

“There is no prospect of a meaningful recovery.

“Even if life support was continued, Archie would die of organ failure and then heart failure over the next few weeks.

“The maintenance of medical treatment ‘is only to delay his death.’

“The judge came to this conclusion only ‘with the deepest regret’.

“While there was evidence that Archie was a child with religious beliefs, was very close to his mother and did not want to leave her alone, these are just some of the factors courts must consider in their assessment of where Archie’s best interests are.” lie.

“Against this background, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that it was not lawful to continue on life support.”

The panel concluded: “Under the law of England and Wales, Archie’s best interests and welfare are paramount.

“It is with a heavy heart that the panel comes to this conclusion and would like to extend its deepest condolences to Archie’s parents at this very sad time.”

After the lunchtime deadline to turn off Archie’s life support was pushed back yesterday, his mum said: “I know Archie is still with us.”

“He’s showing very different signs than what clinicians are actually presenting to the courts,” she added.

“He’s very there, he’s progressing in so many ways. We have to argue with the hospital about every decision.

“It is not dignified how we are being treated as a family in this situation.

“We don’t understand what the rush is and why all our wishes are being denied.”

A High Court judge previously ruled that ending treatment was in Archie’s best interests after experts declared him “brain dead”.

That was delayed because a UN committee sent a request to the UK government on Friday, urging it not to take him off life support while his case is being reviewed.

However, Sir Andrew McFarlane said on Monday the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under which the UN committee made its application, was an “unincorporated international agreement” and not part of UK law.

“That every day [Archie] Remaining on life support is against his best interest and therefore staying, even for a short time, is against his best interest,” he added.

Archie’s care was due to end at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, on Monday, but his family was granted a short delay.

Then on Tuesday, barely 30 minutes after his life support was supposed to be turned off, the Supreme Court confirmed an appeal had been lodged.

Hollie has said she feels “extremely let down” by the justice system and remains “shocked and traumatized by the brutality of the UK courts and the Hospital Trust” – but hopes things will go their way after this latest appeal.

“We made a promise to Archie”

“We made a promise to Archie,” said Hollie, who, along with Archie’s father Paul, has repeatedly vowed to fight for their son “to the end.”

“I have my son’s wellbeing at heart – Paul and the siblings – no one else has Archie’s wellbeing at heart.

“And I say, and I still stand by it, Archie’s best interest would be to give this child time to recover.

“If he doesn’t recover, he won’t recover, but give him time to recover.”

Hollie today described how her son “showed” her that he’s improving, Hollie said Good morning Britain: “He has a very good, stable heartbeat, maintains his own blood pressure and is gaining weight.

“Archie held my hand. He squeezed my fingers so hard they turned red. All he needs is time.

“He hasn’t been given long enough. We just want time.”

A family friend said they were hopeful about the court’s decision.

“Hopefully, if not today, hopefully tomorrow, we should hear if that’s been accepted,” Ella Carter said outside the hospital.

“We hope that they will accept our appeal and listen to our case – it has been really frustrating.

“I think it’s hard to hope after repeated disappointments, but we’re as hopeful as we can be.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced with permission

Originally posted as Archie Battersbee’s life support machine to be shut down tomorrow