Doctors want unconscious boy, 12, to undergo test to see if he is brain dead

Archie Battersbee's mum believes he may have been taking part in an online challenge before he was found with a ligature over his head

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Hospital bosses want an unconscious 12-year-old boy tested to see if he is brain dead – and have asked a High Court judge for permission.

Archie Battersbee has not woken up since being found with a ligature over his head at home over a month ago.

His mother, Hollie Dance, of Southend, Essex, thinks he may have been taking part in an “online challenge”.

Specialists treating the schoolboy at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, say brain death is “highly likely” and want a procedure carried out to check.

Archie Battersbee
Archie Battersbee

Archie’s mother and father, Paul Battersbee, have raised their concerns about the proposal.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is considering the case at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

She was told Archie lives with his mother and was hurt on April 7.

Fiona Paterson, for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, told the judge the “priority” is a decision on whether Archie should have the brain-stem test, which she said is “endorsed nationally” and would be done in a way that ensures any risk is “minimised”.

Hollie Dance, 46, whose 12-year-old son was left in a coma after suffering brain damage in an incident at home might have been taking part in a "online challenge"
Hollie Dance, 46, whose 12-year-old son was left in a coma after suffering brain damage in an incident at home might have been taking part in a "online challenge"

Ms Paterson wants the judge to rule that the test is in Archie’s best interests.

But Bruno Quintaville, for his parents, said they are “very concerned” that their son had not received treatment to relieve swelling on his brain.

“The concern is that he may be suffering every day more damage which could have been avoided,” he said.

Andrea Williams from the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Archie’s family, said before the hearing that the campaign group is “standing with” the boy and his parents.

She added: “We want to give him every chance of life.”