Archie Battersbee’s tearful mom begs for 'dignified death' in hospice as family files FINAL legal appeal
In a bid to provide their son a comfortable and peaceful death, Archie Battersbee’s family has filed a legal application to the High Court, requesting their son be shifted to a hospice. The 12-year-old boy’s family was reportedly asked to submit the plea before 9am local time on Thursday, August 4, otherwise the Royal London Hospital had all the right to turn off the life support treatment for him.
Earlier, the parents — Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee — of the child had some hope from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They had requested the institution in Strasbourg, France, to delay the removal of his life support. But it was dismissed Wednesday, August 3. After this, the hospital, where Archie is currently being cared for, mailed a letter to the family telling them they had till 9 am the next day to take any further steps.
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Referring to the court’s usage of the word, “dignified death” for the child, the mother of Archie, Hollie Dance, said: “What is dignified in dying in a busy hospital room full of noise with the door open, people coming in and out continuously, when Archie could be in a very peaceful garden with squirrels and wildlife running around to have his life support withdrawn there.”
An emotional Dance told Times Radio, “Hospitals are obviously coming across to everybody you know – their deepest thoughts are with the family and everything they can do to etc, etc. This really isn’t the case and I think that the letter that went out quite sort of late yesterday evening saying that just again, a bit of a blackmailing letter, you know: ‘You’ve got till nine o’clock’, leaving the lawyers again under pressure, which is what this hospital has done from day one of being here really. Everything’s just been so high-pressured.”
The mother also said that the hospital had initially told them they could transfer Archie to a hospice but later they “just totally went back on their word”. When Dance was questioned how she was feeling about the present situation, she explained: “It’s going be awful today. I woke up absolutely sick to my stomach. Like I just feel this hospital has so much to answer for and I don’t really know what else to say today.”
On Wednesday, Dance had said that doctors from other countries, like Japan, Italy and Turkey, had contacted her and wanted to treat her son, who was found unconscious in April after taking part in the deadly online 'Blackout Challenge'. She stated, “I'm now considering options to move him outside the UK. Yesterday was a very down day for me. People that know me know I won't stay down for long, especially when it comes to fighting for my son's life. I promised Arch, same with his dad, that we will fight 'til the bitter end, and that's exactly what we're going to do. We're going to fight for the right for my son to live.”
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Dance continued, “We seem to be so behind in our medical stuff over here – it’s just very sort of straightforward, you know. It’s a brain injury; they say it’s death. It’s very black and white over here, very cut and sharp,” before adding, “Other countries are offering treatment. They said he is a prime candidate for treatment because he’s only 12 years old. He should be given that option to actually take that treatment and I agree he should be given that option.”