WorldThe young Briton at the heart of a legal...

The young Briton at the heart of a legal battle over the cessation of care is dead


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Archie Battersbee, the 12-year-old Briton who had been brain dead for four months, died on Saturday after the end of the care that kept him alive, after a bitter legal battle led by his parents against the system of health.


“Archie died at 12.15pm today,” Hollie Dance, the boy’s mother, who had been kept in a coma in a London hospital since April, told TV. “He fought until the very end,” she said, in tears, “so proud to be his mom.” The treatments that kept the young boy alive had been interrupted about two hours earlier, after his parents had exhausted all legal remedies, before British and European justice, to oppose the cessation of treatment and then to request his transfer to a palliative care facility.

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British justice had authorized the hospital in mid-July to end the treatments that kept him alive. His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, supported by a Christian organization, had to resolve to let their son die after having exhausted all legal remedies, in the United Kingdom and before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). ).

” I am broken “

The hospital was “very clear” that there is “no other option left” and that the care that was keeping him alive would be interrupted on Saturday at 10 a.m. (11 a.m. in Paris), the mother had said. of the child in an interview on Friday evening with Sky News. “It was very hard”, she said, “I am broken”. “I did everything I promised my little boy I would do,” she said.

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The parents had taken final legal challenges to have their son discharged from the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, and transferred to a hospice for the termination of treatment, to no avail.

“Taking into account the wishes of the family and their motivations, the equipment in the care home, what Archie would have wanted, the risks of a transfer and his increasingly fragile health, (…) I think that it is in his interest to stay in the hospital for the cessation of treatment, “said the judge at the High Court in London on Friday. The hospital considers his condition too unstable for a transfer, which could “very likely accelerate the deterioration feared by the parents”.

Archie was found unconscious at his home on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. According to his mother, he participated in a social media challenge to hold his breath until he passed out. His parents claimed to have seen signs of life but for the medical profession, his case was hopeless, justifying the cessation of treatment.

“Deep Sympathy”

In a press release on Friday evening, the hospital group in charge of the care of Archie Battersbee expressed its “deep sympathy” towards the family of the young boy. “As ordered by the courts, we will work with the family to prepare for the cessation of treatment, but we will not make any changes to Archie’s care until outstanding legal issues are resolved,” the statement continued. .


The United Kingdom has in the recent past already been marked by two other comparable cases. In April 2018, a 23-month-old child, Alfie Evans, suffering from a rare neurodegenerative disease died after a long legal battle by his parents against the cessation of treatment. His parents had notably received the support of Pope Francis, who had launched several appeals for the maintenance of the boy’s life. In 2017, Charlie Gard, suffering from a rare genetic disease, died shortly before his first birthday, after the cessation of artificial ventilation despite the multiplication of appeals by his parents.

Source: 20minutes

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