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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Brian Farmer

Relatives remember 12-year-old Archie Battersbee at touching funeral service

Relatives mourned the death of Archie Battersbee at a funeral for thew 12-year-old who was at the centre of a life-support treatment fight during the summer.

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 to the youngster, who suffered brain damage in an incident at his home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, in April.

Doctors stopped treatment in early August after Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, and father, Paul Battersbee, failed in bids to overturn Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling.

Archie’s funeral took place at St Mary’s Church in Prittlewell, Southend.

Archie Battersbee with his mother Hollie Dance (Family handout/PA)

His family have been supported by a campaign group called the Christian Legal Centre.

Reverend Paul Mackay oversaw a service featuring music and poetry.

Judges were told Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster did not regain consciousness.

Archie’s funeral at St Mary’s Church (PA)

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, thought he was brain-stem dead and said continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, asked a High Court judge to make decisions on what medical moves were in Archie’s best interests.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot initially considered the case and concluded that Archie was dead.

But Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge, by Archie’s parents, against Mrs Justice Arbuthnot’s ruling and said evidence should be reviewed by a different High Court judge.

Mr Justice Hayden then ruled, after a further hearing, that ending treatment would be in Archie’s best interests.

Ms Dance is preparing to discuss the implications of Archie case with a health minister.

Mourners arriving at St Mary's Church (PA)

She wrote to Steve Barclay, who was health secretary when Archie died, asking if she and her MP Anna Firth could meet for talks.

Mr Barclay, who is no longer health secretary, replied to say a minister would discuss Archie’s case.

The Christian Legal Centre spokesman said no date had yet been fixed for a meeting.

An inquest will be held at a later date.

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