Hollie Dance, the mother of Archie Battersbee, stood outside the hospital after doctors turned off her son’s life support, calling herself the “proudest mother in the world”. She added that the boy “fought to the end.”
The child’s family had said they felt “shattered” after exhausting all legal avenues to maintain the child’s assisted breathing mechanisms, who is admitted to a London hospital, according to the Christian Concern group.
The 12-year-old boy, whose case has received great media attention, was found by his mother, unconscious on April 7 at his home in Southend, in the county of Essex (south-east of England), with a rope tied around his head and believes that he may have suffered an accident when he participated in a viral challenge.
The challenge produced a severe brain injury leaving him in a coma.
In recent months, the family sought legal action to prevent the Royal London Hospital, where the minor was hospitalized, from withdrawing, as the health unit wanted, the assisted breathing apparatus, considering that there was no possibility of recovery.
After several appeals in the British courts and the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights, the family tried unsuccessfully in recent days to allow Archie to be taken from the hospital to a hospice so that he could die in this location, away from the noise of Royal London.
The last effort in this direction was exhausted last night after the European Court of Human Rights indicated that the case of transfer to a hospice was “outside” its jurisdiction.
The hospital argued that placing Archie in a hospice was a risk because a slight movement of the body could further aggravate the boy’s condition.
A spokesman for the group Christian Concern, which supports Archie’s family, acknowledged that “all legal routes have been exhausted” and that the relatives are “broken” but spend “valuable moments” with the child.
During the court proceedings, British judges reiterated that continuing to offer vital support to the boy was “against his best interests”.
Judge Lucy Theis, of the family division of the High Court of London, highlighted, when denying the transfer to the hospice, the “unconditional love and dedication” of the family and stressed that she hoped that the child had the opportunity to die in peace “with his family”.
This is the latest case in Britain in which the doctors’ judgment goes against the wishes of the family. Under British law, courts often intervene when parents and doctors disagree about a child’s treatment. In these cases, what is most convenient for the child prevails over the parents’ right to decide what is best for their children.
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