UK 12-year-old Archie dies following legal battle

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Archie Battersbee, the 12-year-old who had been at the centre of a legal battle between his parents and doctors, has died.

His mother, Hollie Dance, said: “Such a beautiful little boy, and he fought right until the very end.”

She said she was “the proudest mum in the world” as she spoke outside the Royal London Hospital in east London, where he died.

Her son’s life support was withdrawn earlier on Saturday.

He died at 12.15 BST, Ms Dance said, adding: “I’m so proud to be his mum.”

Archie Battersbee

Hollie Dance

Archie had been in hospital since being found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex, in April.

He suffered severe brain injuries and needed life-sustaining support, including mechanical ventilation and drug treatment. He never regained consciousness.

Ms Dance earlier said she had done everything she promised Archie she would do, but that the hospital had made it clear there were no more options for her son.

She and Paul Battersbee, Archie’s father, had asked the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in the case last week as they fought for life support to be continued, but were told it fell outside its scope.

They then wanted him to be moved to a hospice but the High Court, taking medical evidence into account, ruled he was too unstable to be transported by ambulance.

Ms Dance said: “It’s with my deepest sympathy and sadness to tell you Archie passed at 12.15 today.

“And can I just tell you, I’m the proudest mum in the whole world.

“Such a beautiful little boy and he fought right until the very end and I’m so proud to be his mum.”

Hollie Dance with her son Archie Battersbee

Hollie Dance

The High Court ruled Archie should remain at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.

The family sought permission to appeal against the decision, but that bid was rejected by three justices at the Court of Appeal.

They then asked the ECHR to intervene, but late on Friday, the court said the request could not be dealt with.

Hollie Dance (left) with Ella Carter outside the Royal London hospital

PA Media

In a statement after Archie’s death, Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Members of his family were present at the bedside and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences remain with them at this difficult time.

“The trust would like to thank the medical, nursing and support staff in the paediatric intensive care department who looked after Archie.”

The trust said staff had provided “high quality care with extraordinary compassion” in often “trying and distressing circumstances”.

“This tragic case not only affected the family and his carers but touched the hearts of many across the country” the trust added.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which has been supporting the family’s case, said: “Our thoughts, prayers and support are with Archie’s family at this tragic moment.”

Candles being placed next to piece of paper with Archie written on it inside a hand-drawn heart, outside the Royal London Hospital

PA Media

Timeline: How the story unfolded

Archie is found unconscious by his mother after an incident at their home in Essex. He is taken to Southend Hospital.

Archie is transferred to The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel where he has been treated ever since.

The NHS trust that runs the Royal London starts High Court proceedings by asking for Archie to undergo brain stem testing.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot rules that brain stem testing should be carried out.

Two specialists try to administer brain stem function tests, but they are unable to as Archie did not respond to a peripheral nerve stimulation test, a precursor to the brain stem test.

A hearing is held to decide if further MRI scans should be conducted. Archie’s parents did not consent on the basis that moving Archie could harm him.

The court approves further MRI scans, which are carried out on 31 May.

A final hearing is held to hear evidence on whether Archie’s life-support treatment should continue.

The High Court judge rules that Archie is “dead” based on MRI scan results and that treatment could be withdrawn.

Hollie Dance, Archie’s mother, outside the High Court

The family ask the Court of Appeal to reconsider the case.

The Court of Appeal says that a new hearing to determine Archie’s best interests should take place.

A new hearing is held in the High Court with evidence given before Mr Justice Hayden.

Mr Justice Hayden rules that life-support treatment should end, saying continuing it is “futile”.

Three Court of Appeal judges support the High Court ruling that treatment can end.

The Supreme Court rules out intervening in the case and supports the Court of Appeal ruling.

The family make an application to the United Nations.

Archie’s mother and father, Paul Battersbee, outside the Royal London Hospital

A UN Committee writes to the UK government asking for a delay in withdrawing treatment while they consider the case.

The government asks for an urgent hearing to review the case.

The Court of Appeal refuses to postpone withdrawal of treatment until the UN can hear the case.

The Supreme Court refuse the family’s application for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal ruling.

European Court of Human Rights refuses an application from the family to postpone the withdrawal of Archie’s life support.

Archie’s parents make a legal application to move their son to a hospice for end of life care.

A High Court judge rules that Archie cannot be moved to a hospice for withdrawal of treatment.

Archie passes away at the Royal London Hospital after treatment is withdrawn in line with court rulings about his best interests. Members of his family are at his bedside.

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