Archie Battersbee's parents want to move him to hospice care for 'peaceful' last days

The family filed an emergency application on Wednesday, August 3, to the European Court of Human Rights to continue his life support treatment


                            Archie Battersbee's parents want to move him to hospice care for 'peaceful' last days
Archie Battersbee's (L) parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee (R) reportedly want to move him to hospice care (Carl Court/Getty Images, GoFundMe)
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A relative of Archie Battersbee has said his parents want the 12-year-old boy to be moved to a hospice in his final days if his life support must be turned off.

The embattled family filed an emergency application earlier on Wednesday, August 3, to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg (also known as the Strasbourg Court) to continue his life support treatment. The parents — Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee — took the matter to ECHR after the UK Supreme Court did not rule in their favor on Tuesday, August 2, to block the withdrawal of life support and rejected their application to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision. The apex court allowed Barts NHS Health Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital where Archie is admitted, to take the boy off the ventilator at 11 am on Wednesday.

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Archie's sister-in-law Ella Carter told the PA news agency outside the Royal London Hospital that having “seven or eight” security guards around Archie's room resulted in a chaotic environment. "If this is Archie's last couple of days it needs to be peaceful and it needs to be a calm atmosphere, and it's the complete opposite really," she said. "We would really like it to be in a hospice - I mean that's exactly what they're designed for, they're so well-equipped to deal with situations like this. If the trust can work with us and co-operate with us in working towards getting him in a hospice we would be forever grateful for that."

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Ella Carter, the sister-in-law of Archie Battersbee, is interviewed by media outside the Royal London Hospital on August 02, 2022 in London, England. Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, the parents of Archie Battersbee, 12, have been fighting against the Doctors treating their son who have concluded that he is brain-stem dead and that continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests.
Ella Carter, the sister-in-law of Archie Battersbee, is interviewed by media outside the Royal London Hospital on August 02, 2022, in London, England (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Barts NHS Health Trust previously said they would start withdrawing treatment from midday on Tuesday, August 2, but Archie's parents bought him more time by filing an urgent appeal to the Supreme Court. However, the apex court announced at around 4.30 pm local time that the family had lost its bid to prevent the withdrawal of treatment pending a review of the case by a UN committee.

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“As this panel stated in its note of determination last week, the justices have great sympathy with the plight of Archie’s devoted parents who face a circumstance that is every parent’s nightmare – the loss of a much-loved child," the Supreme Court said of its refusal to hear the appeal. “While there was evidence that Archie was a child with religious beliefs, was very close to his mother, and would not have wished to leave her alone, those are only some of the factors which the courts have to consider in their evaluation of where Archie’s best interests lie. It was against that background that Mr. Justice Hayden held that it would not be lawful to continue life-sustaining treatment. The Court of Appeal upheld that judgment and this court refused permission further to appeal."

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The justices continued, "Now the application is for a stay of the order authorizing the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment to give time for the (UN) committee to consider Archie’s case, as the committee has requested. The panel is satisfied not only that the Court of Appeal has not erred in the sense mentioned above but that it made the correct decision.” The panel concluded, “According to the law of England and Wales, Archie’s best interests and welfare are the paramount consideration. The panel reaches this conclusion with a heavy heart and wishes to extend its deep sympathy to Archie’s parents at this very sad time.”

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Archie's parents had said prior to the ruling that they want him to be moved to a hospice where he can pass away in a "peaceful" environment, should the court decide to cut off his life support. The tragic 12-year-old has been in a comatose state since April 7, when he sustained a "catastrophic brain injury" after purportedly participating in a viral asphyxiation challenge. Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, declared him "brain-stem dead" and that continuing life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

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Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.