This is the case that has captivated the British nation for several weeks. Archie Battersbee, a young boy in a state of brain death, should soon be unplugged, but his parents remain determined to keep him alive, as told by the BBC this Friday, August 5. (source 1)
Last April, Archie was found unconscious by his mother after trying the blackout challengea TikTok challenge that involves holding your breath for as long as possible.
On arrival at a London hospital, the 12-year-old boy is placed in a coma and kept alive artificially. Doctors attempt several neurological exams, without success. Archie’s brain isn’t reacting.
A series of appeals rejected
If hospital staff say that the boy’s condition will not improvehis family continues to multiply the recourse to justice to prevent him from being disconnected.
On Wednesday August 3, the British Supreme Court rejected their request and ordered the cessation of treatment at midday. (source 2)
“There is no no prospect of recovery significantunderlines the Court in a press release. Even if life support was continued, Archie would die over the next few weeks from organ failure and then heart failure. Maintaining the medical regime…only serves to prolong his death.”
Archie’s parents then turned to the European Court of Human Rights. They argued that the plan to discontinue treatment would violate a series of human rights guaranteesincluding the right to life and the right to a fair trial.
Judging “the complaints of the applicants inadmissible”the ECHR announced on Thursday 4 August that it “will not interfere in the decisions by which the national courts have authorized the cessation of care” of Archie.
For Hollie Dance, her mother, this decision announces the end of a long fight.
“That was the last thing, wasn’t it? And once again our country has let down a 12-year-old child”she said. “We now have to fight to see if we can get him out of here to have a dignified death in a hospice.”
But there again, she risks clashing with the hospital staff. Doctors have indeed warned that there is a “considerable risk” in moving Archie to his current condition.
For the time being, the boy should remain at the Royal London Hospital, as wanted by the British Supreme Court.