A High Court judge ruled last week Archie had no chance of a full recovery, saying doctors could legally remove life support – but now his parents can take their fight to the Court of Appeal
The family of stricken Archie Battersbee spoke of their joy after being given the green light to contest a decision that medics could turn off his life support.
The 12-year-old schoolboy has been in a coma for more than 10 weeks after he was found on a social media scale with a ligature over his head.
A Supreme Court judge ruled last week that Archie had no chance of a full recovery, saying doctors could legally turn off life support.
But today Archie’s parents Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, were given the green light to take their fight to the Court of Appeal.
Speaking last night, Hollie revealed how she sat at her son’s hospital bed while watching the hearing from a distance.
The former fitness trainer said: “I’m so relieved that someone is giving him a chance. That’s all we ever wanted, more time to heal. I’m so emotional
“I saw it from Archie’s bed – I made sure he couldn’t hear or see it, but I was with him the whole time.
“When it was done, I held his hand and told him he’d been given more time.
“I can’t stress this enough, if parents don’t want to hold on to hope or believe it’s not in their child’s best interest, that’s absolutely fine.
“But I’m not going to give up hope and it should be the parents’ decision.”
Archie was taken to hospital after he was discovered at the family home in Southend, Essex, with a dressing gown cord tied over his head on April 7.
She believes he was participating in an online “blackout challenge” when he accidentally deprived his brain of oxygen.
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, last week argued the boy was “brain dead”.
They say treatment should be ended and think Archie should be off a ventilator.
Archie’s parents say his heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.
Yesterday, Ms Justice Arbuthnot said there was a “compelling reason” why appeal judges should consider the case.
A lawyer who led Archie’s parents’ legal team argued that the evidence had not “become clear” that the boy was dead.
Edward Devereux QC outlined a total of nine grounds for appeal – eight of which were dismissed as “unfounded”.
But Mr Devereux said the decision was made after weighing the probabilities that Archie was dead.
He argued that a decision of such “gravity” should have been made on a basis “beyond any reasonable doubt”.
Ms Justice Arbuthnot said the appeals court judges had never considered that standard of proof in relation to “declaration of death” cases.
Archie Battersbee’s parents are supported by a campaigning organization called the Christian Legal Centre.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Center, which supports Archie’s family, said: “A ruling that says death can be declared on a balance of probabilities sets a disturbing precedent for our society and must be challenged.
“This case is the first of its kind before an English court and has raised significant moral, legal and medical questions in relation to the death of a person.
“Archie’s parents believe the time and manner of his death should be determined by God and claim the right to pray for a miracle until it happens. This belief must be respected.
“The ideology of the ‘dignity of death’, that is, a planned time of death as determined and implemented by doctors, should not be brutally imposed on families who do not believe in it.
“We will continue to stand with the family as they appeal the verdict and continue to pray for a miracle.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/archie-battersbee-mum-lad-ruled-27284816 Archie Battersbee: Boy's mum declared brain dead 'so emotional' as judge backs appeal bid