Archie’s parents then tried to have Archie transferred to a hospice so that their son could spend his final hours in a quieter, more peaceful environment. However, the hospital refused because of his unstable condition.
“All legal options have been exhausted”
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg, which the parents had turned on, said on Friday evening that the request to move Archie to a hospice does not fall within its jurisdiction. A spokesman for the Christian organization Christian Concern, which supports Archie’s family, told Sky News TV: “All legal avenues have been exhausted. The family is devastated and is spending a lot of time with Archie.”
The Court of Appeal in London upheld the decision, saying it was in Archie’s best interest for life support to be stopped in the hospital rather than another setting.
Archie was also an issue in the Vatican
The legal tug-of-war in the Archie case was even an issue in the Vatican. An opinion piece appeared on the official Vatican platform “Vatican News” arguing against the shutdown of the devices in the Archie case. A society must protect life – and also the weak and fragile – it says.
The case is reminiscent of similar disputes over terminally ill children in Great Britain. The financially squeezed British health service tends to withdraw life support much sooner than would be the case in Germany. In addition, the wishes of parents and relatives are not taken into account to the same extent. What is in the best interests of the patient is often decided by judges on the recommendation of medical professionals.