Archie Battersbee’s legal fight for life at “the end,” says mother
European Court. / Elvira Koneva / Shutterstock.
By Zelda Caldwell
Washington D.C., Aug 3, 2022 / 19:00 pm (CNA).
The mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee said that the family is “at the end” of their efforts to keep their son on life support after the European Court of Appeals (ECHR) refused to intervene in the UK case.
The latest setback may be the final one in the family’s fight to keep their son alive. Archie has been in a coma since April when he was found unconscious with a ligature around his neck. According to news reports, his family suspects he may have been taking part in a social media challenge.
The family is in a legal fight with Barts Health NHS Trust, which informed the parents that Archie will be taken off of life support. Doctors at Royal London Hospital, which is owned by Barts Health, have maintained that Archie is “very likely” brain-stem dead, with no chance of recovery. On Tuesday, Archie’s parents lost their appeal to the Supreme Court and decided to take their case to the ECHR.
When the ECHR announced on Wednesday they “would not interfere” with the UK court rulings, Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, said the application was “another heart-breaking development,” the BBC reported.
“It was the last thing, wasn’t it? And again our country has failed a 12-year-old child,” she said.
Dance is now focusing on Archie’s last moments, which she does not want to take place in the hospital where she believes he was condemned to premature death. The hospital has said they plan to take Archie off life support on Thursday, barring any legal intervention.
“We’ve now got a fight to see whether we can get him out of here to have a dignified passing at a hospice,” she said.
Catholic bioethics experts have condemned the decision by the hospital to take Archie off of life support. The Anscombe Bioethics Center, based in the UK, released a statement saying, “It seems extraordinary that questions of life and death should be matters of a balance of probability rather than determination beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“No one would suggest burying someone who was ‘more likely than not’ to be dead,” the statement said, as reported by the Catholic Herald.