Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Brian Farmer & Kieren Williams

Archie Battersbee's mum wants public inquiry and change of law after son's death

Archie Battersbee’s mum has written to Health Secretary Stephen Barclay to ask for a meeting, following the death of her 12-year-old son.

The brain-damaged youngster was at the heart of a long-running dispute after medical experts were given permission to stop providing life-sustaining treatment.

Archie suffered brain damage following an incident at home in Southend, Essex back in April, and died on August 6 after his life-sustaining treatment was switched off.

A judge based in the Family Division of the High Court in London ruled in July that doctors could lawfully stop providing life-support treatment.

Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, and father, Paul Battersbee, failed in their efforts to overturn Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling, despite repeated efforts.

Archie Battersbee pictured in April or May, months before he finally died after he was kept breathing by life-sustaining treatments (PA)
The mother and son pictured together (PA)

Now his mum has written to the Health Secretary because she wants a “public inquiry” into the "operation of this system" and a "change of the law".

She added that similar cases were subject to “severe reporting restrictions” and “therefore away from public scrutiny”.

Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, who are separated, are being supported by a campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre.

The organisation released Ms Dance's letter to Mr Barclay on Friday. It read: "I would like to meet with you ... to discuss how we can work together to ensure that no other family has to go through this.

"Archie's case has had a lot of publicity, but I know that many similar cases are heard in the Family Division subject to severe reporting restrictions, and therefore away from public scrutiny.

The youngster was found at home with a ligature over his head after he suffered a catastrophic accident (PA)

"There should be a comprehensive public inquiry into the operation of this system; and then a change of the law to protect the grieving families from cruelty."

Ms Dance had earlier said she felt "backed into a corner" by the legal system and said her family felt "stripped" of rights.

Back on April 7, Archie was found unconscious and never regained consciousness.

Doctors treating him said he was brain-stem dead and that further life-sustaining treatment was not in his best interests.

An inquest into his death has already opened with a date set for next year for the full hearing.

Hollie Dance, mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital (PA)

During the opening, Coroner's officer Paul Donaghy said: "Paramedics attended and they reported a Glasgow Coma Scale of only 3 and confirmed a cardiac arrest. CPR continued and Archie was transported to Southend Hospital.

"Archie was thereafter transferred to the Royal London Hospital and Great Ormand Street Hospital who were both in agreement that surgical intervention would not help Archie. He was reviewed by the Paediatric Neurology team during his admission.

"Second opinions were also provided by multiple professionals from the Royal London, Queen's and Great Ormond Street Hospitals who agreed that Archie had suffered severe irreversible brain injury.

"The High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court were involved in applications to determine the direction of care and the best interests of Archie."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.