Parents lose court appeal to keep child on life-support

The parents of a 12-year-old boy who is in a coma have lost an attempt at the UK Supreme Court to block the withdrawal of his life-sustaining support.

Three judges on the Court of Appeal dismissed arguments from the family of Archie Battersbee that doctors at Barts Health Trust should be blocked from a breathing machine and other forms of life-support until a UN committee on disability rights had a chance to assess the case. The family may yet appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, said: “We are having to battle over every decision with the hospital. There is nothing dignified in how we are being treated as a family in this situation. We do not understand what the rush is and why all of our wishes are being denied.”

Archie, from Southend, Essex, was found unconscious at his home with a ligature next to his head on April 7 after taking part in what his parents suspected was an online challenge. He suffered brain damage and has never regained consciousness. A mechanical ventilator is helping to keep him alive.