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Wales Online
Wales Online
Kirstie McCrum

Archie Battersbee's family told European Court of Human Rights will not intervene in case

The European Court of Human Rights has said it will not intervene in the case of Archie Battersbee after a request from his family. The 12-year-old's mum and dad had approached the court in a bid to have him transferred from hospital to a hospice to die.

The latest move, on Friday (August 5) night, came after a day of legal disappointments for the family. Parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee have fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of treatment, which ultimately failed on Wednesday when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene, reports PA.

Their focus then shifted to trying to get their son moved to a hospice but, in a ruling at the High Court this morning, Mrs Justice Theis concluded it was not in Archie’s best interests to be moved. The boy has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April and is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

They had approached the Court of Appeal to appeal Mrs Justice Theis' ruling, but the Court of Appeal confirmed on Friday shortly after 6.30pm that permission to appeal had been refused. The family then approached the European Court of Human Rights about the hospice move.

A spokesman for the European Court of Human Rights 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 where it “considers that the applicant faces a real risk of serious, irreversible harm if the measure is not applied”.

But, the spokesman said: “The submissions did not appear to contain an explicit request for the Court to take a specific action under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. In relation to the Convention complaints under Articles 6 and 8, as they related to the request to transfer of Archie Battersbee into hospice care for his withdrawal of treatment, the President of the Court decided that these complaints fell outside the scope of Rule 39.”

A spokesman with campaign group Christian Concern, which is supporting Archie Battersbee’s family, told PA: “All legal routes have been exhausted. The family are devastated and are spending precious time with Archie.”

The campaign group said earlier on Friday evening the family has been told his life-sustaining treatment will be withdrawn from 10am on Saturday. Barts Health NHS Trust said its position remains the same in that no changes will be made to Archie’s care “until the outstanding legal issues are resolved”.

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