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Daily Record
Daily Record
Alahna Kindred & Peter Diamond

Archie Battersbee’s parents in final court bid just hours before life support ends

Archie Battersbee’s mum and dad have attempted to stop doctors from turning off the schoolboy‘s life support at the last minute. Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee had until 9am today to complete an application to the European Court of Human Rights. The boy’s machine is due to be turned off at 11am.

This morning the chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust confirmed they are cooperating with the family to prepare for the withdrawal of treatment. Alistair Chesser said in a statement: “Our deepest sympathies remain with Archie’s family and we aim to provide the best possible support to everyone at this difficult time.

“As directed by the courts, we will work with the family to prepare for the withdrawal of treatment, but we will make no changes to Archie’s care until the outstanding legal issues are resolved.” Archie's parents submitted an urgent referral to the ECHR just before 9am, but it hasn’t been made clear if it has been received.

The application follows last night’s Barts Health NHS Trust lawyers brutally telling Archie’s family that he cannot be moved to a hospice and that if an application to the ECHR is not received by 9am life-support will be withdrawn at 11am. Ms Dance said they are now waiting for the European Court of Human Rights to get back to them.

Speaking outside the hospital, she said: “I am hoping that they will step in and give Archie a right to live. I think that he deserves that.”

She said two countries have come forward to offer her son treatment, adding: “If this country can’t treat him or they’re not willing to treat him, where is the harm in allowing him to go to another country?”

Hollie says she’s received offers of help from Japan and Italy, report Mirror Online. She added she is now considering options that involve moving him outside the UK.

Archie's mum, Hollie Dance, claims Italy and Japan have come forward to offer her son treatment (PA)

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April. Archie is currently being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London.

Doctors treating him have said he was brain-stem dead and that continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests. Ms Dance told reporters this morning that she is “running on empty”.

She added: “Yesterday was a very down day for me. People that know me know I won’t stay down for long, especially when it comes to fighting for my son’s life.

“I promised Arch, same with his dad, that we will fight ‘til the bitter end, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to fight for the right for my son to live.”

She added: “I’m not going to lie, I am broke, and at some point I am going to need serious therapy, but I haven’t got time to think about me at the minute.

“This is a serious fight for my son’s life and I’m up against the biggest system and a trust that I haven’t got time to break down at the moment.” It follows a dramatic week after Archie’s separated parents were granted a Court of Appeal hearing on Monday after the Government asked judges to urgently consider a request from a UN committee to keep treating Archie while it reviews his case.

At that time, Archie’s life support was due to be switched off on Monday afternoon, but the Court of Appeal hearing didn’t conclude until late afternoon. The three judges considering the matter then refused to postpone the withdrawal of treatment beyond midday on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee dramatically submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court asking for treatment to continue while the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) - and was denied.

Archie’s separated parents have been battling to keep him alive after doctors agreed his ventilator should be switched off (Hollie Dance/SWNS)

Yesterday evening, the parents said they were refused to move Archie to a hospice and were told his life support will be turned off at 11am on Wednesday unless they submit an application to the European Court of Human Rights by 9am.

Ms Dance said: “The courts are going on and really focusing in on the word dignity. What is dignified in dying in a busy hospital room full of noise with the door open, people coming in and out continuously, when Archie could be in a very peaceful garden with squirrels and wildlife running around to have his life support withdrawn there.”

But she said that is “worst case scenario”, reiterating there “other countries” that “want to take Archie and they want to treat him”.

Archie was found unconscious at his home by his mother on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. She believes he was taking part in an online challenge.

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