Doctors can lawfully stop providing life support to Archie Battersbee, appeal judges rule

Archie's parents mounted an appeal after a High Court judge ruled that doctors could lawfully stop treatment

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Doctors can lawfully stop providing life support treatment to 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who is in a comatose state after suffering “catastrophic” brain damage three months ago, appeal judges have ruled.

Three Court of Appeal judges on Monday delivered a ruling about what moves are in the best interests of Archie.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson had considered arguments at a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London last week.

Archie Battersbee
Archie Battersbee
Archie and his mum Hollie Dance
Archie and his mum Hollie Dance

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, mounted an appeal bid after a High Court judge ruled that doctors could lawfully stop treatment.

Judges had been asked to postpone the ruling but refused.

A lawyer representing Archie’s parents said his mum Ms Dance thought her son had been trying to breathe independently.

Judges were also told that Archie’s dad had been taken ill shortly before the appeal court hearing and had gone to hospital, but the judges did not allow this to delay their ruling.

Judges heard how Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think he is brain-stem dead and say continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests. His parents disagree.