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British child brain dead: justice refuses a transfer, parents' last fight

British child brain dead: justice refuses transfer, last stand of parents


LONDON | British justice refused on Friday to transfer a brain-dead 12-year-old child to a palliative care home, the last fight for parents who have already exhausted all remedies to continue the care that keeps their son alive.  

Archie Battersbee has been kept in a coma in a London hospital since April. He is considered brain dead by doctors and the British courts had authorized the hospital in mid-July to end treatment.

His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, who are supported by a Christian organization, had to resolve to let their son die after having exhausted all legal remedies, in the United Kingdom and before the European Court of Human Rights.

They are now fighting for their son to be able to leave the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, and be transferred to a hospice for the withdrawal of care.

“By taking taking into account the wishes of the family and their motivations, the equipment in the care home, what Archie would have wanted, the risks of a transfer and his increasingly fragile health, (…) I think he is in his interest to stay in the hospital for the cessation of treatment, “said the judge at the High Court in London on Friday.

The hospital believes that he is too unstable for a transfer, which would “very likely accelerate the deterioration feared by the parents”.

The parents have filed an appeal, but this has been refused Friday evening.

“All our wishes as a family have been denied by the authorities”, reacted Archie's mother after the trial judgment. “We are broken, but we will carry on because we love Archie and we refuse to give up on him.”

Archie was found unconscious at his home on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. According to his mother, he took part in a social media challenge to hold his breath until he passed out.

His parents claimed to have seen signs of life, but for the medical profession, his case is hopeless, justifying the cessation of care.

“His body, his organs and his heart are being extinguished”, underlined Monday the judge Andrew McFarlane of the Court of Appeal .

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