Archie Battersbee : Brain-damaged 12-year-old’s life support to be turned off at 2PM tomorrow doctors tell parents


STRICKEN Archie Battersbee ‘s life support will be switched off at 2pm tomorrow despite his parents’ heroic legal fight.

Archie Battersbee , 12, was found with a ligature over his head after a social media dare at home in Southend, Essex on April 7 this year.

The youngster suffered brain damage in the “freak accident” and hasn’t woken since.

His parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee have been battling to keep his life support switched on while he remains in hospital.

They argued his treatment should continue unless his heart stops beating.

But medics have said in a letter to his parents his treatment will end at 2pm tomorrow.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which is caring for Archie, added: “We understand that any discussions around the withdrawal of Archie’s treatment are very difficult and painful.

“However, we want to ensure that you and your family are involved as much as you wish to be.”

Doctors will explain how life support withdrawal works with the aim to “preserve Archie’s dignity”.

The letter adds: “You or any of the family may wish to lie on Archie’s bed with him or have him in your arms, if that should be practically possible.”

A High Court judge previously ruled doctors can lawfully stop the “futile” treatment as it is in Archie’s “best interests”.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Hayden said the treatment “compromises his dignity” and “deprives him of his autonomy”.

The judge added: “It serves only to protract his death, whilst being unable to prolong his life.”

Hollie and Paul have failed to persuade Court of Appeal judges to overturn the ruling and the Supreme Court will not intervene.

The United Nations issued an injunction on Friday to block doctors from turning off Archie’s life support while they investigate.

The parents had begged the committee to intervene – but the UN made clear the request “does not imply that any decision has been reached”.


Hollie also wrote to Health Secretary Stephen Barclay yesterday for help.

She said: “If this happens, this will be an extraordinary cruelty, and a flagrant breach of Archie’s rights as a disabled person.

“Archie Battersbee is entitled to have the decisions about his life and death, taken by the NHS and UK courts, to be scrutinised by an international human rights body. Hastening his death to prevent that would be completely unacceptable.

“I trust that you will now act immediately, as a member of the Government responsible for the NHS, to ensure that this does not happen, and our country honours its obligations under the international human rights treaties which we have signed and ratified.”

Mum Hollie claims Archie has squeezed her hand from his bed at the Royal London Hospital.

Earlier this week, she released a video of Archie which she says proves he could breathe without his respirator.

She begged medics to give the schoolboy a chance to recover and says she knows with her “mother’s instinct” that he is still alive.

Hollie added: “His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother and by my mother’s instinct, I know my son is still there.”

But the court heard previously how the teen has shown no “discernible” brain activity with medics believing he is “brain-stem dead”.

Archie was rushed to hospital after being discovered by Hollie in his bedroom at the family home.

She believes he was participating in an online “blackout challenge” when he accidentally starved his brain of oxygen.

The cause of the horror is still under investigation but Hollie says her son was not trying to take his own life.

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