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Monday, August 15, 2022

Archie Battersbee’s parents turn to Appeal Court after losing bid to have him transferred to a hospice

Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee. Family members are making a final plea for him to have “a dignified death”, as the protracted legal battle over his life edges to its conclusion. Hollie Dance, the boy’s mother, said she wanted her son to be allowed to be transferred from hospital to a hospice so he can “spend his last moments” with his loved ones privately. Issue date: Wednesday August 3, 2022.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is currently being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

Ruling that the schoolboy should remain in hospital while his life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn, Mrs Justice Theis said: “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court.

“When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted, … the risks involved in a transfer … and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when looking at the balancing exercise again his best interests remain as set out (in the ruling of July 15), that he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn.

“The circumstances outlined by Dr F of the physical arrangements at the hospital and the arrangements that can be made will ensure that Archie’s best interest will remain the focus of the final arrangements to enable him peacefully and privately to die in the embrace of the family he loved.

“The parents in the email from their solicitors on August 2 confirmed, in principle, their willingness to co-operate in these arrangements.”

A judiciary spokesperson said that the grounds of Archie Battersbee’s family’s appeal have been provided to the President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan.

Archie’s family’s application for permission to appeal will be decided by the three judges considering the written arguments without a hearing.

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