High Court rules boy, 12, in coma must undergo tests to see if he is brain dead


Specialists should try to establish whether Archie Battersbee, who has not regained consciousness since suffering “catastrophic” brain damage in an incident at home more than a month ago is dead, a judge has ruled

The High Court has ruled a boy, 12, in a coma must undergo tests to see if he is brain dead.

Specialists should try to establish whether Archie Battersbee, who has not regained consciousness since suffering “catastrophic” brain damage in an incident at home more than a month ago is dead, a judge has ruled.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that a brain-stem test would be in Archie’s best interests, at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Friday.

Specialists treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it “highly likely” the youngster is dead and say life-support treatment should end.

Bosses at the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, asked the judge to rule that a brain-stem test would be in Archie’s best interests.

A specialist told the judge that the brain stem was responsible for the functions which kept people alive.

Archie’s parents Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, who are separated and both from Southend, Essex, have concerns about doctors’ proposals and want treatment to continue.

They questioned the reliability of the test, feared that it could cause more damage and asked why Archie, who lives with his mother, was not receiving treatment to relieve swelling on his brain

Miss Dance has told how she found Archie with a ligature over his head on April 7, and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

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She had urged the judge to give her son, a keen gymnast, “more time.”

“Everyone is in such a rush,” she told the PA news agency.

“I’m asking the judge to just give him more time – give him time to fight back.”

She added: “It’s only been five weeks – it took me longer to get over the flu. What’s the rush?”

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot oversaw a private hearing but said Archie could be named in media reports of the case.

A campaign organization called the Christian Legal Center said it is supporting Archie’s family.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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