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Archie Battersbee’s life support set to be switched off as hospital gives ‘brutal’ ultimatum

Archie, from Southend, Essex, was left in a comatose state after suffering brain damage believed to have taken part in an online challenge at his home on April 7.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which cares for the boy, had said they would not start stopping treatment until they received an order from the Supreme Court.

Doctors treating Archie have said it’s “very likely” he’s brain dead, arguing it’s in his best interests for life support to be removed.

A previous Supreme Court ruling said Archies “every bodily function is now maintained by artificial means”.

Archie’s care was due to end at 2pm on Monday at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, but the Government asked judges to consider a request from a UN committee for treatment to continue.

On the same day, Sir Andrew denied the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) injunction, ruling that it was in Archie’s best interest to remove the life support.

Sir Andrew delivered the Court of Appeal ruling, saying that “any day” that Archie continues to receive support to stay alive is “against his best interest” and “not in accordance with his well-being”.

He said he disagreed with the parents’ case, that Archie’s condition was “stable” and that he should continue to be on life support treatment.

Sir Andrew cited evidence heard from a doctor that Archie’s condition was indeed “unstable”, that he had suffered “very substantial weight loss” and that his “organs and ultimately his heart were closing”.

Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, argued that stopping treatment would breach the UK’s obligations under Articles 10 and 12 of the UNRPD and Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Andrea Williams, executive director of the Christian Legal Center, said: “What Archie’s case has shown is that systematic reform is needed to protect the vulnerable and their families in end-of-life matters. Laws must be passed to reform the system. Archie’s case represents a void. The precedent his case sets can go an incredibly long way in fixing a system that has no room for error.

“Parents believe in a miracle and there are many stories from people around the world of people who have made an extraordinary recovery against all odds and against all medical prognosis.”

The Supreme Court explained the judges’ decision in a statement: “The judges have deep compassion for the plight of Archie’s devoted parents as they face what is every parent’s nightmare – the loss of a beloved child.”

However, it added: “It is nonetheless the duty of the court to apply the law, which requires judges to have the highest regard for Archie’s well-being. This court may only override that exercise of discretion if it is satisfied that the appellate court erred in law or policy or otherwise erred in that exercise.

“The Panel is not satisfied that there is a reasonable instance in which the Court of Appeals made such an error and accordingly denies permission to appeal to that Court.”

Referring to a request by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to consider Archie’s case, it added: “The Court of Appeal treated the Committee’s request with great respect. But to remain the motion for a in the circumstances of this case would be an unlawful act contrary to the court’s duty under domestic law to put Archie’s best interests first.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/02/supreme-court-rejects-appeal-against-withdrawal-archie-battersbees/ Archie Battersbee’s life support set to be switched off as hospital gives ‘brutal’ ultimatum

Linh

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