UK court rules to switch off 12-year-old Archie Battersbee’s life support

The life support for Archie Battersbee can be switched off by the doctors from 12 pm (local time) on Tuesday, a UK court ruled on Monday (August 1). The final decision was made by the court despite opposition from his parents and a last-minute intervention by the United Nations. 

Archie Battersbee is a 12-year-old boy in the United Kingdom, who suffered catastrophic brain damage. Archie got seriously injured at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7, 2022. He was found unconscious with a ligature over his head. It is assumed that the ligature could have been his participation in an online asphyxiation challenge. 

IN PICS | Should Archie Battersbee’s life-support treatment stop? UK court says yes, but his parents disagree

Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, found him unconscious. He received medical treatment at the Royal London Hospital. Since the accident, he is in a comatose state and has not regained consciousness. 

Doctors have said that Archie is ‘brain-stem dead’. Brain death (also known as brain stem death) is a state in which a person is on an artificial life support machine and no longer has any brain functions. Doctors also claimed that the continued life support treatment is not in his best interests. 

His parents, Hollie and Paul Battersbee, disagreed when earlier the High Court ruled that life support treatment for Archie should be stopped as he is “brain-stem dead”. They said they will keep fighting. 

WATCH | Archie Battersbee: Emotional story of a 12-year-old boy in UK whose life support could end

Archie’s parents had also appealed to the Health Secretary to prevent his life support treatment from being withdrawn “as early as Monday”. As quoted by media outlets, Archie’s mother wrote a letter to Stephen Barclay, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Hollie explained the trust intends to “proceed to remove life support from Archie as early as on Monday 1 August”. 

When all the doors appeared to be close, Archie’s parents applied to the United Nations and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a last resort. 
 
On Friday, the UN committee requested that his treatment be continued while Archie’s case was under consideration. After that, the UK government asked the Court of Appeal to “urgently consider” his case. 
 
It is understood that an appeal court judge argued the UN request was not enforceable but granted a delay until 12 noon tomorrow. 

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