Archie Battersbee's fate decided as judge rules his life support should be turned off

The decision to turn off Archie's life support was made following a High Court battle

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The High Court battle between the parents of Archie Battersbee and lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital's governing trust, Barts health NHS Trust, has concluded with the judge ruling his life support should be switched off.

A judge has ruled that 12-year-old Archie is dead and that life support treatment should stop.

Archie Battersbee, 12, was found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex, on 7 April.

Doctors believe the 12-year-old at the centre of the dispute is "very likely" to be "brain-stem dead", a High Court judge has heard.

Archie's parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee disagree with the doctors.

The 12-year-old sustained a catastrophic injury following an accident at home
The 12-year-old sustained a catastrophic injury following an accident at home
Archie Battersbee, 12, is at the centre of a High Court life-treatment dispute over his life-support care
Archie Battersbee, 12, is at the centre of a High Court life-treatment dispute over his life-support care

The court previously heard that Archie sustained brain damage during an incident at home, which his mum believes was related to an online challenge.

The 12-year-old has remained unconscious since.

Archie has been receiving treatment from doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London, since the incident.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that Archie had died “at noon on 31st May 2022”, shortly after the most recent MRI scans had been taken.

“I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established,” she said in a written ruling.

“I give permission to the medical professionals at the Royal London Hospital to cease to ventilate mechanically Archie Battersbee; to extubate Archie Battersbee; to cease the administration of medication to Archie Battersbee and not to attempt any cardio or pulmonary resuscitation on Archie Battersbee when cardiac output ceases or respiratory effort ceases.”

She added: “The steps I have set out above are lawful.”

A specialist, who cannot be named, told a High Court judge on Tuesday that tests had shown no “discernible” brain activity, but indicated “significant areas of tissue necrosis”.

She added: “We believe that it is very likely that he is brain-stem dead.”

Lawyers representing the family pleaded with the judge, emphasising the fact Archie's heart is still beating.

They raised questions about whether "the correct procedure" had been followed, and if the "family's views" had been given full consideration.

Ella Carter told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot that relatives were aware he had suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury and a "natural" death.

A campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre was supporting Archie's family.