United Kingdom: young Archie, at the heart of a legal battle over the cessation of care in the United Kingdom, is dead

The young Briton had been kept in a coma since April and considered brain dead after taking part in a challenge on Tik Tok. Justice had authorized the end of treatment in mid-July.

12-year-old Archie has died, after treatment was stopped and kept him alive, his mother announced on Saturday. The Briton was brain dead, his case stirring a legal battle between the family, opposed to the cessation of care, and the hospital.

“Archie died at 12:15 p.m. (this Saturday),” Hollie Dance, the boy’s mother, told television.

Archie Battersbee had been kept in a coma in a London hospital since April. He was considered brain dead and British justice had authorized the hospital in mid-July to end the treatments that keep him alive.

His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, who are supported by a Christian organization, had to resolve to let their son die after having exhausted all legal remedies, in the United Kingdom and before the European Court of Human Rights. (ECHR).

“No other options”

The hospital was “very clear” that there is “no other option left” and that the care keeping him alive would be interrupted this Saturday at 11 a.m. French time, said the mother of the child in an interview on Friday evening.

“It was very hard,” she said, “I’m broken.” “I did everything I promised my little boy I would do,” she said.

The parents had taken final legal challenges to have their son discharged from the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, and transferred to a hospice for the termination of treatment, to no avail.

“Taking into account the wishes of the family and their motivations, the facilities in the care home, what Archie would have wanted, the risks of a transfer and his increasingly fragile health, (…) I think that it is in his interest to stay in the hospital for the cessation of treatment”, had estimated the judge at the High Court of London on Friday.

The hospital considered his condition too unstable for a transfer, which could “very likely accelerate the deterioration feared by the parents”.

A social media challenge

Archie was found unconscious at his home on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. According to his mother, he participated in a social media challenge to hold his breath until he passed out.

His parents claimed to have seen signs of life but for the medical profession, his case is hopeless, justifying the cessation of treatment.

In a statement Friday evening, the hospital group in charge of the care of Archie Battersbee expressed its “deep sympathy” towards the family of the young boy. “As ordered by the courts, we will work with the family to prepare for the cessation of treatment, but we will not make any changes to Archie’s care until outstanding legal issues are resolved,” the statement continued. .

A series of similar cases in the UK

The United Kingdom has in the recent past already been marked by two other comparable cases.

In April 2018, a 23-month-old child, Alfie Evans, suffering from a rare neurodegenerative disease died after a long legal battle by his parents against the cessation of treatment. His parents had notably received the support of Pope Francis, who had launched several appeals for the maintenance of the boy’s life.

In 2017, Charlie Gard, suffering from a rare genetic disease, died shortly before his first birthday, after the cessation of artificial ventilation despite the multiplication of appeals by his parents.

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