Judge will visit boy, 12, to decide if life support should be stopped

·2 min read
Archie Battersbee, 12,
A High Court judge will visit Archie Battersbee, 12, to decide if his treatment should be stopped. (SWNS)

A High Court judge will visit a schoolboy at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute before deciding if his life support should be stopped.

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee, 12, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it “highly likely” he is dead and treatment should end.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, disagree.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, overseeing Archie’s case at private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London, is scheduled to decide whether doctors should continue treating him at a final hearing on June 6 and 7.

At the latest hearing on Friday, she said she would visit Archie in hospital before then.

Watch: Boy, 12, who suffered brain damage should have test to establish if he is dead

Archie's mum found him unconscious on 7 April. (SWNS)
Archie's mum found him unconscious on 7 April. (SWNS)

The judge also ruled that Archie should undergo a further scan on his brain and spine before the last hearing.

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had told the judge that specialists thought Archie had been “extensively investigated” but were prepared to carry out further tests for “the sake of no stone being left unturned”.

The judge has heard Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

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Miss Dance has told how she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head on 7 April and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster has not regained consciousness.

At an earlier hearing, one specialist told the judge that he thought scans showed that Archie had suffered “irretrievable” brain damage.

Two others said they thought tests showed that the youngster was “brain-stem dead”.

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Archie Battersbee
Doctors think Archie Battersbee's treatment should end but his parents disagree. (SWNS)

Miss Dance has previously asked the judge to give Archie “more time” to get better.

She said earlier this month: “He has squeezed my fingers with a tight grip. I think that's his way of letting me know he's still here and just needs more time.

"Only a few days ago, he began to open his eyes. When his ventilator tube was being replaced, tears appeared in his eyes.

“Until it's God's way I won't accept he should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead.

“He may not be the same as he was but if there's a possibility he could live a happy life after this, I want to give it to him."

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