British hospital cuts boy from livelihood after parents lose court battle | TUSEN | 06.08.2022

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The Royal London Hospital on Saturday took 12-year-old Archie Battersbee off the ventilator after a months-long legal battle by his parents to stop the hospital from doing this.

Hollie Dance, Battersbee’s mother, found the boy unconscious when she returned home in April. He had a cord around his neck, possibly as a result of participating in a dangerous online choking game.

Dance told reporters on Saturday that her son died just over two hours after the artificial respiration stopped.

‘Such a beautiful little boy. He fought to the end,’ she said.

Archie’s concern has been the subject of weeks of legal discussions

At the entrance to the hospital in East London, people left flowers, cards and candles.

Shelley Elias, 43, told the TUSEN news agency after making sacrifices during the impromptu vigil that she had a boy the same age.

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“I didn’t know what to write because there are no words that take the pain away,” Elias said.

Why was Battersbee’s life support withdrawn?

In June, a judge agreed with doctors’ diagnosis that Archie was “brainstem dead.” The judge agreed that livelihood could be withdrawn, although the family objected and challenged the ruling in court.

Battersbee’s family claimed he could benefit from treatment in Italy or Japan and took their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which refused to intervene for a second time earlier this week.

His parents also lost a last-minute battle to have him transferred to a hospice for his final hours.

Supreme Court Justice Lucy Theis wrote in her decision Friday: “I return to where I began and recognize the enormity of what lies ahead for Archie’s parents and family. Their unconditional love and devotion to Archie is a golden thread running through this case.”

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She added: “I hope Archie now gets the chance to die in peaceful conditions, with the family who meant as much to him as he clearly does to them.”

A spokesperson for the Christian Concern campaign group, which supports the family, said: “All legal routes have been exhausted. The family is devastated and is spending precious time with Archie.”

What are the circumstances in the UK surrounding such cases?

The case is just the latest in which families will face the UK’s National Health Service. Courts often intervene in cases where families of sick children and doctors are in dispute.

The involvement of groups such as Christian Concern has been a target for criticism by those who claim the group prolongs the pain for all involved in such cases.

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In April 2018, 23-month-old Alfie Evans died after doctors in Liverpool, northwest England, withdrew life support. Evans’ parents had the support of Pope Francis to take him to a clinic in Rome, but they lost one last call to do so.

Perhaps most notable was the Charlie Gard case.

Gard was born in August 2016 with a rare form of mitochondrial disease. His illness weakened his muscles.

He died just a week before his first birthday after doctors withdrew his life support. His parents fought a months-long legal battle and have been pushing for Charlie’s Law to be approved ever since.

That bill would strengthen the rights of parents in disputes about the treatment of their children.

ar/fb (TUSEN, TUSEN, Reuters)

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