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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ryan Merrifield

Archie Battersbee's family demand inquiry saying no parents must 'go through this again'

The family of tragic schoolboy Archie Battersbee have called for an inquiry following his death, saying "no parent must go through this again".

The 12-year-old's life support was switched off on Saturday morning at the Royal London Hospital months after he suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

Archie's parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, had fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of treatment and in recent days made bids to the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die.

A last-ditch plea to the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in the case was rejected late on Friday, following a High Court ruling that he must remain at the hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

Archie Battersbee's life support was switched off on Saturday (PA)
Archie's family released this photo as a tribute after his death (haveyoursaystories)

This timeline shows the harrowing ordeal his parents were subjected to as a total of seven courts ruled against them in less than four months.

The child had been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mum Hollie in April and was being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.

The handling of his death was yesterday slammed by a family friend as "barbaric", as she described Archie's loved ones having to watch him "suffocate" and turn blue.

Mum Hollie Dance (left) hugs family friend Ella Carter outside the hospital on Saturday (PA)

In a family statement released through Christian Concern, Archie's family said he "fought against all the odds".

They went on to say: "We want something good to come out of this tragedy and the horrendous experience we have been put through by the system.

"No parent or family must go through this again.

"We have been forced to fight a relentless legal battle by the Hospital Trust while faced with an unimaginable tragedy.

"We were backed into a corner by the system, stripped of all our rights, and have had to fight for Archie’s real ‘best interests’ and right to live with everything stacked against us.

"This has now happened too often to parents who do not want their critically ill children to have life-support removed."

They added that the "pressure of the process has been unbelievable".

"There must be an investigation and inquiry through the proper channels on what has happened to Archie, and we will be calling for change."

Archie's parents Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance fought the legal system (PA)

In a High Court ruling on Friday morning, Mrs Justice Theis concluded it was not in Archie's best interests to be moved to a hospice and the Court of Appeal rejected permission to appeal that decision later the same day.

Christian Concern said the family had wanted to challenge the High Court ruling by arguing there had been a violation of articles six and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article six is the right to a fair trial and article eight is the right to respect for private and family life.

Archie fell into a coma in April (Hollie Dance / SWNS)

A spokesman for the European court said it had received a request from representatives of Archie's parents under Rule 39, which allow it to apply "interim measures" in "exceptional" cases, and that the complaints "fell outside the scope" of that rule, and so it would not intervene.

The Court of Appeal judges said Mrs Justice Theis' ruling in the High Court dealt "comprehensively with each of the points raised on behalf of the parents".

The judges said they had "reached the clear conclusion that each of her decisions was right for the reasons she gave".

It is believed Archie may have been taking part in the dangerous "blackout" social media craze, where people choke themselves until they pass out at the time of the accident.

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