Lawyers reveal when appeal judges are expected to hear Archie Battersbee's case

·2-min read
Lawyers reveal when appeal judges are expected to hear Archie Battersbee's case (family handout / PA)
Lawyers reveal when appeal judges are expected to hear Archie Battersbee's case (family handout / PA)

The parents of 12-year-old boy Archie Battersbee who is at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute are preparing for a Court of Appeal hearing.

The hearing comes after a High Court judge concluded that the youngster from Southend was dead and doctors could lawfully stop treating him.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot recently ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to Archie Battersbee, after considering evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Lawyers involved say they expect Court of Appeal judges to consider the case, at a hearing in London, next week.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, have told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot that they think the youngster is “brain-stem dead”.

Read more >>> Archie's parents win right to appeal against ruling his treatment should end

They say treatment should end and think Archie should be disconnected from a ventilator.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, of Southend, say his heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.

Echo: Archie's parents Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance (PA)
Echo: Archie's parents Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance (PA)

Archie's parents Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance (PA)

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves were in Archie’s best interests Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that Archie was dead, and said treatment should end, but gave Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee permission to mount an appeal.

She said there was a “compelling reason” why appeal judges should consider the case.

A barrister leading Archie’s parents’ legal team argued that evidence had not shown “beyond reasonable doubt” that the youngster was dead.

Edward Devereux QC said the decision had been made on a balance of probabilities.

Read more >>> Archie Battersbee's life support treatment should end, High Court judge rules

He argued a decision of such “gravity” should have been made on a “beyond reasonable doubt” basis.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot decided that appeal judges should consider that standard of proof issue.

She said Court of Appeal judges had never considered that standard of proof issue in relation to “declaration of death” cases.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Ms Dance said she found her son unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

He has not regained consciousness.

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