Archie Battersbee, a 12-year-old boy whose parents fought to keep him on life support after he went into a coma in April, died on Saturday morning after a British court ruled to suspend the treatment. treat.
His mother, Hollie Dance, said from outside the hospital: “It is with great sympathy and sadness that I tell you that Archie passed away at 12:15 today. “And I can just tell you, I’m the proudest mom in the whole world.”
Dance and Battersbee’s father has been fighting to keep the boy alive since the boy was found unconscious at his home on April 7 with severe brain injuries. Last month, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that hospitals should suspend life-sustaining treatment, calling it “futile”. His family sealed the decision to the Supreme Court, and even asked the United Nations for help, but their appeal was rejected.
The family requested that Battersbee be transferred to a hospice, but the Supreme Court ruled that he was too medically unstable. Treatment was suspended after the Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene.
“Such a beautiful boy and he fought until the very end and I am so proud to be his mother,” Dance said from outside the Royal London Hospital in east London.
The case is one of several in recent years where British courts intervened when doctors and families clashed over the best treatment. Dominic Wilkinson, professor of medical ethics at the University of Oxford, previously told The New York Times that there have been 20 such cases in the UK over the past decade.
In this case, Battersbee’s doctors believed he was brain dead, while his family argued that he was doing better than the doctors claimed. The court ultimately sided with the doctors, ruling that “there is no hope of recovery,” and that continuing treatment would “only prolong his death, while not prolonging his life.” his life.”
Family supporters held a memorial service outside the hospital with A-shaped candles, according to Guardians. Ella Carter, a family member, told the outlet that watching Battersbee die was “barbaric.”
“There is absolutely nothing decent about watching a family member or child suffocate,” she said. “No family has to go through what we went through.”
Alistair Chesser, medical director of the Barts Health NHS trust, said his “sincere condolences” remain with the family.
“This tragic case not only affects his family and caregivers, but also touches the hearts of many people across the country,” he said.