Boy dies after life support stopped at end of long legal battle
UK: A London hospital withdrew life support for 12-year-old British boy Archie Battersbee after his parents lost a long, emotive and divisive legal battle.
Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, said her son passed away just over two hours after the artificial ventilation was stopped.
One of these, Ella Carter, denounced Archie’s final moments as “barbaric”, however. She said that after his ventilation was switched off, “he went completely blue”.
“There is absolutely nothing dignified about watching a family member or a child suffocate,” she said.
Dance found Archie unconscious at home in April with signs he had placed a cord around his neck, possibly after taking part in an online asphyxiation challenge.
The hospital trust’s chief medical officer, Alistair Chesser, said in a statement that “Archie died after treatment was withdrawn in line with Court rulings about his best interests”.
At the entrance to the hospital in east London, well-wishers left flowers and cards, and lit candles in the shape of the letter “A”.
A judge in June agreed with doctors that Archie was “brain-stem dead”, allowing life support to be discontinued, but the family fought through the courts to overturn that.
Arguing that Archie could benefit from treatment in Italy or Japan, they took their case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which this week declined to intervene.
The parents also lost a last-ditch legal bid to have Archie transferred to a hospice for his final hours.
“All legal routes have been exhausted,” a spokesman for the campaign group Christian Concern, which has been supporting the family, said late Friday. The case is the latest in a series that have pitted parents against Britain’s legal and healthcare systems.
– THE MALAY MAIL