SO SAD: Archie Battersbee’s parents to move him to hospice before 9am deadline

The mum of Archie Battersbee has filed another application to the High Court to have the schoolboy moved to a hospice.

Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee insist they should be allowed to choose where the 12-year-old takes his last moments.

Shortly after the 9am deadline, it was confirmed the parents submitted the application to move him to a hospice.

The schoolboy has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April.

Archie is currently being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London.

This morning Ms Dance told Times Radio said: “Hospital are obviously coming across to everybody you know – their deepest thoughts are with the family and everything they can do to etc, etc.

“This really isn’t the case and I think that the letter that went out quite sort of late yesterday evening saying that just again, a bit of a blackmailing letter, you know: ‘You’ve got till nine o’clock’, leaving the lawyers again under pressure, which is what this hospital has done from day one of being here really.

The Mirror contacted Barts Health NHS Trust for a comment.

Yesterday, the Barts Health NHS Trust explained moving Archie to hospice would come with “considerable risk”.

They explained because he is in an “unstable condition” there is a risk of even moving him within his hospital bed.

It explains: “This means that in his condition, transfer by ambulance to a completely different setting would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey. We have explained this to his family.”

The hospital adds that the High Court order from July 15, which has been upheld on an appeal, requires Archie remains at The Royal London Hospital while his treatment is withdrawn.

Christian Concern, a religious group representing the family, said the family has also applied for palliative oxygen to be given to Archie if and when life-support is removed.

They noted that in 2018, Alfie Evans wasn’t legally allowed to be given oxygen when life-support had been withdrawn, leading to the family giving him mouth-to-mouth.

Ms Dance said: “If Archie is denied oxygen if and when life-support is removed I will continue to give him oxygen. I pray that the High Court will do the right thing.

“If they refuse permission for us to take him to a hospice and for him to receive palliative oxygen it will simply be inhumane and nothing about Archie’s ‘dignity.’

“The whole system has been stacked against us. Reform must now come through Charlie’s Law so that no parents have to go through this.”

Yesterday, the family faced another blow after the European Court of Human Rights rejected their 11th-hour application to postpone withdrawing treatment for Archie.

Doctors treating him have said he was brain-stem dead and that continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

The parents of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee (left) and Hollie Dance ( Image: PA)

It follows a dramatic week after Archie’s parents were granted a Court of Appeal hearing on Monday after the Government asked judges to urgently consider a request from a UN committee to keep treating Archie while it reviews his case.

Ms Dance claimed the hospital previously told them they would be able to move Archie to a hospice but then they “just totally went back on their word”.

Asked what today is going to be like, she grew tearful and said: “It’s going be awful today.

“I woke up absolutely sick to my stomach. Like I just feel this hospital have so much to answer for and I don’t really know what else to say today.”

Ms Dance also said the UK has treated her son’s injury as “black and white” and has alleged that the wrong MRI scan may have been submitted to the courts during proceedings.

She further said Japan and Italy have offered him stem cell treatment, adding: “We seem to be so behind in our medical stuff over here – it’s just very sort of straightforward, you know.

“It’s a brain injury; they say it’s death. It’s very black and white over here, very cut and sharp.

“Other countries are offering treatment. They said he is a prime candidate for treatment because he’s only 12 years old.

“He should be given that option to actually take that treatment and I agree he should be given that option.

“Although Archie’s got 10% necrosis of the brain stem, it’s 5% of the overall brain and although the necrosis is not reversible, the 5% damage to the whole brain is reversible.

“It’s going to come out in the future, and obviously we haven’t had a chance to put none of this forward in the court because we’ve been blocked from speaking.

“But there’s strong, strong doubts that the MRI imaging that was put across into the court was actually Archie’s MRI.

“The MRI that was put forward had nine bottom teeth – Archie’s got 12.

“So there’s lots of things that the court hasn’t had the chance to look at because we haven’t been allowed to put any.”

Ms Dance said their ordeal has been “absolutely heartbreaking” and that she does not believe the hospital will allow them to take him to a hospice to die.

Speaking to Times Radio, she said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking. It’s really taking its toll.”

Ms Dance added that the family has not been able to have privacy at the hospital, saying: “We can’t even have the chance to be in a room together as a family without nurses.”

Asked if they feel the hospital will relent and let them move Archie to a hospice, Ms Dance said: “I don’t think that they will, I think they will do everything they can to stop that.”

On whether this might be because the hospital believes it can give Archie the best care, she said: “They haven’t given Archie any care, so no it’s not.

“They’ve made it very clear that Archie needs to die in this hospital.”

Attorney General Suella Braverman said the case was an “incredibly heartbreaking situation” but insisted the courts had “reached the right decision”.

She told Sky News this morning: “I must just put on record my deepest sympathies for the family of Archie Battersbee, I cannot begin to imagine what he and his family have been going through.”

She added “in highly complex – both legally and morally – issues like these ones” there were competing factors such as medical opinion.

She continued: “That has to be weighed against the parents wishes as well, and many other factors in in these cases.

“These are not straightforward. They’re highly, highly complex matters involving detailed issues of medicine, and medical ethics, as well as the child’s welfare.


“And I have confidence that our courts and our judges will have looked at these issues incredibly thoroughly, incredibly sensitively, and have reached the right decision.”

This week, Archie’s life support was due to be switched off on Monday, but the Court of Appeal hearing didn’t conclude until late afternoon.

The three judges considering the matter then refused to postpone the withdrawal of treatment beyond midday on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee dramatically submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court asking for treatment to continue while the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – and was denied.

Yesterday, the family submitted an 11th-hour application to the European Court of Human Rights – but it was rejected.

Ms Dance also told Times Radio she is going to “continue to make sure Archie’s name lives on”.

She said: “I don’t think any other parent should have to go through this and I’ve said from day one I totally understand and respect that some parents out there might choose to do things differently, and I as a person totally respect other people’s decisions and other people’s views.