English courts to reconsider life support for Archie

Archie Battersbee (Supplied)

England’s High Court must hold another hearing to determine whether ending the life support of severely-injured 12-year-old Archie Battersbee is in the boy’s best interest, an appeals court has said. Source: CNA.

“The ruling shows the critical importance of never giving up,” Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said on Wednesday. “In these difficult moments, nerves and principles are important. This judgment upholds life and will protect many more people from a slippery slope in which the legal definition of death is expanded.”

“Where there’s life, there’s hope. We keep praying that Archie will be able to recover, given more time.”

The Christian Legal Centre, a specialist ministry of Christian Concern, has been supporting the Battersbee family.

Archie has not been conscious since he was injured in April at his Essex home in what is believed to have been an accident.

His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, have asked hospital leaders and the courts for more time and more medical tests to assess whether their son’s condition improves. They note that Archie’s heart continues to beat.

However, doctors at the Royal London Hospital have argued that it is “highly likely” he is medically brain dead.

The High Court ruled that on the balance of probabilities, the boy had already died and his life support should be removed.

The parents’ attorneys argued that the High Court judge had made errors and had not given enough weight to the family and to Archie’s beliefs.

The three judges on the appeals court sided with the family and set the next hearing for July 11.

Edward Devereux, who is leading the parents’ legal team, told appellate court judges it would be “unconscionable” not to use a standard of certainty beyond a reasonable doubt in “matters of life and death”.


English courts to reconsider life support for Archie Battersbee, severely brain-injured boy (By Kevin J Jones, CNA)

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