Boy, 12, on life support should undergo test to try and establish whether he is dead, High Court judge rules

Archie Battersbee has not regained consciousness after suffering “catastrophic” brain damage in an incident at home more than a month ago

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A High Court judge has ruled that a 12-year-old boy who has not regained consciousness after suffering “catastrophic” brain damage in an incident at home more than a month ago should undergo a test so doctors can try to establish whether he is dead.

Specialists treating Archie Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, think it “highly likely” the youngster is dead, and say life-support treatment should stop.

Ms Justice Arbuthnot made a ruling after considering the latest stage of Archie’s case at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Friday.

Archie Battersbee
Archie Battersbee
Archie's mum Hollie Dance
Archie's mum Hollie Dance

The decision comes after bosses at the Royal London Hospital's governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, on Thursday asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to rule that a test to establish whether Archie was brain-stem dead would be in the youngster’s best interests.

Archie’s parents Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, who are separated and both from Southend, Essex, have raised concerns about doctors’ proposals and want treatment to continue.

Ms Dance urged Mrs Justice Arbuthnot not to approve the brain-stem test.

“Everyone is in such a rush,” she told the PA news agency.

“I’m asking the judge to just give him more time – give him time to fight back.”

She added: “It’s only been five weeks – it took me longer to get over the flu. What’s the rush?”

Speaking exclusively to GB News, Ms Dance explained how she sees signs of life in her son in hospital, where he tightly grips her hand.

She told us: "He's gripped my hand very tightly he's drawn blood where he's been squeezing so hard.

"He's tried to open his eyes and i just feel like he's there and he needs time."