Archie Battersbee's case referred back to High Court just hours before life support is due to be stopped

The case has been referred to the High Court just hours before his treatment was due to be stopped

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Government lawyers referred Archie Battersbee's case back to the High Court for urgent consideration on Sunday, just hours before his treatment was due to be stopped.

It is understood that the case has been referred to an out-of-hours judge, who is likely to respond within a few hours.

Archie Battersbee's family have been fighting to keep his life support treatment running.
Archie Battersbee's family have been fighting to keep his life support treatment running.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which is caring for Archie Battersbee, said in a letter to his parents that “all fluid infusions, medications, including vasopressin will be stopped” at 2pm on August 1.

It comes after Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, urged the Health Secretary to “act immediately” to stop the treatment ending, saying it would be “a flagrant breach” of his rights.

The letter, sent over the weekend, read: “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.”

Ms Dance and Paul Battersbee, the youngster’s parents, will be told on Monday morning how the withdrawal process is to be performed, with the aim to “preserve Archie’s dignity”, the letter read.

It went on: “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 had ruled that ending treatment is in Archie’s best interests, after reviewing evidence.

Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, who are separated but both live in Southend, Essex, failed to persuade Court of Appeal judges to overturn that ruling and Supreme Court justices have refused to intervene.