Archie Battersbee WILL NOT be transferred to hospice after High Court REJECTS final appeal by parents
Time is running out for Archie Battersbee, who is currently dependent on life-support services after suffering catastrophic brain damage. In the latest development, the High Court has denied the application of Archie’s parents to transfer their kid from Royal London Hospital to a hospice.
After battling the legal fight, the family of a 12-year-old UK boy claimed that they should be allowed to choose where their kid will take his last breath. Archie’s mother Hollie Dance said that she wanted her brain-damaged son to "spend his last moments" together with family privately as they had no privacy at the Royal London Hospital.
The application for Archie’s transfer was made by the family after a last-ditch application to the European Court of Human Rights to postpone the withdrawal of his life support system was rejected. However, the High Court has even rejected the transfer application of Archie’s family. Ruling that the 12-year-old should remain in the Royal London Hospital, Mrs. Justice Theis said: "Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court. When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted, … the risks involved in a transfer … and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when looking at the balancing exercise again his best interests remain as set out (in the ruling of July 15), that he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn."
The decision of the court was somewhat influenced by the warnings given by the medical experts. Experts had warned about how there are unpredictable and major risks associated with the transfer of Archie to a hospice facility. The experts described Archie as being in a "difficult and increasingly compromised position". Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has said that Archie's condition is too unstable for him to be transferred. They argued that moving him to a hospice "would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wishes to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey".
While the court turned down Archie’s parents’ application, the hospital has agreed to make several arrangements to make sure that the little boy takes his last breaths peacefully and privately in the embrace of his loving family. Justice Theis concluded: "I return to where I started, recognizing the enormity of what lays ahead for Archie's parents and the family. Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case," adding, "I hope now Archie can be afforded the opportunity for him to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family who meant so much to him as he does to them."
The 12-year-old Archie has been in a coma since being found unconscious by his mother at their home in Southend, Essex, in April. Hollie revealed that she found the boy with a ligature over his head and deduced that he was taking part in an online asphyxiation challenge. Since then, Archie has been receiving medical treatment at the Royal London Hospital and has been kept alive with the help of a life-support system.