A 12-year-old boy who had been in a coma for four months died Saturday in a London hospital after doctors stopped life-sustaining treatment which was the subject of a lengthy court battle.
Archie Battersbee’s mother Hollie Dance said he died at 12:15 local time, about two hours after the hospital began to suspend treatment.
British courts had rejected the family’s request to transfer Archie to a hospice and the European Court of Human Rights refused for the second time to intervene in the case.
“He fought to the end,” Dance said, crying outside the hospital. “I’m the proudest mom in the world.”
Archie’s care became the subject of weeks of legal discussion as his parents tried to force the hospital to continue life-sustaining treatments, while doctors argued that there was no chance of recovery and that he should have been authorized. to die.
The family asked for permission to transfer the boy to a hospice after British courts ruled that it was in his best interest to end treatment.
The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that moving him would hasten his death.
On Friday, High Court Judge Lucy Theis denied the family’s request, saying Archie should remain in the hospital while treatment was suspended.
The controversy is the latest case in the UK that pits doctors ‘judgment against families’ wishes.
Under UK law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree over a child’s medical treatment.
In these cases, the best interests of the child override the parents’ right to decide what they believe is best for their offspring.
Archie was found unconscious at home with a ligature over his head on April 7. His parents believe he may have taken part in an online challenge that went wrong.
Doctors concluded that Archie had died in the brain stem shortly after the accident and tried to end the long list of treatments that kept him alive, including artificial respiration, medications to regulate his bodily functions and assistance. 24 hour nursing.
But his family objected, claiming that Archie had shown signs of life and would not want them to give up hope.
Ella Carter, the girlfriend of Archie’s older brother Tom, said Archie remained stable for about two hours after the hospital stopped all medications. Things changed when the fan was turned off, she said.
“It turned completely blue,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing dignified about watching a family member or child choke. No family should ever go through what we’ve been through. It’s barbaric. “
Carter rested his head on Dance’s shoulder and sobbed as the two women embraced.
The hospital expressed its condolences and thanked the doctors and nurses who cared for Archie.
“They have provided high quality care with extraordinary compassion for several months in often difficult and distressing circumstances,” said Alistair Chesser, medical director of the Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.
“This tragic case has not only affected the family and their caregivers, but has touched the hearts of many across the country.”