By Sheila Mckenzie-
Archie Battersbee’s parents have submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in a bid to postpone the withdrawal of his life support.
Life-sustaining treatment for the 12-year-old was due to be withdrawn on Wednesday, but an appeal against the decision to end treatment was refused by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Archie has been in a coma since suffering a catastrophic brain injury on 7 April in Southend, Essex. His mother believes it resulted from him choking while taking part in a viral social media challenge. He has never recovered since then.
The unyielding parents of the youngster decided to take their court battle to the next level, but really don’t have time on their side.
Barts NHS Health Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital where Archie has been cared for since April, said changes to his treatment would not be made with instructions from the legal authorities.
Doctors have diagnosed Archie as being brain-stem dead with no chance of recovery and it is in his best interest for life support to end. A High Court judge previously said that continuing treatment was “futile”, and further attempts by the determined parents to take the case to the Supreme Court have failed.
An intervention by the UN and Health Secretary, Stephen Barclay have produced no favourable result, with the trust stating that the United Nations law had not been incorporated into domestic law.
Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, said she has been told his treatment will not be withdrawn whilst the application is being considered.
Speaking to reporters outside the hospital, Ms Dance said: “I’m hoping that they (ECHR) step in and give Archie the right to live. I think he deserves that.
“We will not give up on Archie until the end.”
Ms Dance said Archie had a “stable night again” and that she has been contacted by doctors in Japan and Turkey who say they have medical interventions that will help Archie recover.
She added that she is now considering options that involve moving him outside of the U
Archie Battersbee’s mother: “I’m hoping that they (EHCR) step in and give Archie the right to live”
On the ECHR application, Archie’s mum Hollie Dance said: “We are very relieved, we are having to battle every decision with the hospital.
“We now hope and pray that the ECHR will look favourably on the application. We will not give up on Archie until the end.”
Speaking outside the hospital, she said: “I am hoping that they will step in and give Archie a right to live. I think that he deserves that.”
Ms Dance said she had received offers to care for her son from health providers in two other countries – Japan and Italy.
“If this country can’t treat him or they’re not willing to treat him, where is the harm in allowing him to go to another country?” she said.
The Christian Legal Centre, which has been supporting the action taken by Archie’s parents, said the application submitted to the ECHR is asking it to impose interim measures to postpone life-support being withdrawn, while the UN considers the case.
In a statement, the ECHR confirmed it had received an application, which was being processed.
Archie was found unconscious at home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, on 7 April.
He has never regained consciousness and his mother believes he may have been taking part in an online challenge when he suffered brain damage.
Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Our deepest sympathies remain with Archie’s family and we aim to provide the best possible support to everyone at this difficult time.
“As directed by the courts, we will work with the family to prepare for the withdrawal of treatment, but we will make no changes to Archie’s care until the outstanding legal issues are resolved.”
Court of Appeal judges had previously ruled that his life-sustaining treatment should not continue beyond 12:00 on Tuesday.
But this was delayed while the Supreme Court heard an appeal application from Archie’s parents.
The family had asked that court to assess whether more time should be given for the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to look at the case.
But it said the Court of Appeal had “made the correct decision”.
A previous High Court ruling heard “every bodily function [of Archie’s] is now maintained by artificial means”, while another heard he had not “regained awareness at any time”.