Archie Battersbee's mum hits out at decision to turn off 12-year-old's life support: 'It's not good enough'

Hollie Dance added "this case raises the significant moral, legal and medical questions as to when a person is dead"

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Archie Battersbee's mum has hit out at the decision to turn off her son's life support, labelling it "not good enough".

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, thought the youngster was “brain-stem dead”.

They said life-support treatment should end and Archie should be disconnected from a ventilator.

Hollie Dance
Hollie Dance
Archie Battersbee
Archie Battersbee

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, say the youngster’s heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot on Monday ruled that Archie was dead and said doctors could lawfully stop treating him.

Ms Dance said, after the ruling, in a statement: “I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge’s ruling after weeks of fighting a legal battle when I wanted to be at my little boy’s bedside.

“Basing this judgment on an MRI test and that he is ‘likely’ to be dead, is not good enough. This is believed to be the first time that someone has been declared ‘likely’ to be dead based on an MRI test.

“The medical expert opinion presented in court was clear in that the whole concept of ‘brain death’ is now discredited, and in any event, Archie cannot be reliably diagnosed as brain-dead.

“I feel sickened that the hospital and the judge have failed to take the wishes of the family into consideration. I do not believe Archie has been given enough time. From the beginning I have always thought ‘why the rush?’

“His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother, I know he is still in there. Until it’s God’s way I won’t accept he should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead.

“This case raises the significant moral, legal and medical questions as to when a person is dead. What does this ruling today tell us about where our society is at? We intend to appeal and will not give up on Archie.”

Ms Dance described receiving the High Court decision on her son’s life support online rather than having it read out in court by the judge as “shameful” and “insensitive”.

She told journalists outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London: “This would have been today, our ninth court appearance.

“I was actually told by the press that we weren’t to attend today – there was no formal email.”

When asked about the way she received the ruling, Ms Dance said: “It’s insensitive and it’s shameful but I am going to continue to fight.

“So this hospital has got the biggest battle ever, because I refuse to give up the fight for my son’s life.”