Critically ill Archie Battersbee, 12, dies after life support is withdrawn

Critically ill Archie Battersbee, 12, dies after life support is withdrawn

LONDON – Archie Battersbee, a 12-year-old British boy whose life support was withdrawn after a legal battle between his parents and doctors, died on Saturday, his mother said, ending another extortion case about who made life and death. decisions for a seriously ill child.

Archie has been in a deep coma since his mother found him unconscious at their home in Essex, south-east England, on April 7, with something tied around his neck. His mother, Hollie Dance, has said he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

In a series of decisions, the judges found that Archie had suffered serious brain damage and that the burdens of treating his condition “together with the complete lack of prospect of recovery” outweighed the benefits of continuing to keep him alive. ventilator.

Archie’s family appealed against the rulings, saying they wanted to let him die at a time “of God’s choosing”. They argued that because of his Christian beliefs and the views he had expressed in the past, Archie’s intention would be to continue on life support.

On Wednesday night, after unsuccessful appeals to three different courts in a week, the family requested that Archie be transferred to a hospice. Doctors at London’s Royal Infirmary refused to move him because of the risks, saying they were likely to cause “premature deterioration,” and the family’s legal efforts to overturn the decision were also rejected.

Ms. asked. Dance on the doctors’ decision to schedule a time to withdraw life support “choreographed execution of my son.” She asked why “parents are deprived of their decisions and their rights.”

In Britain, when parents and doctors disagree about what is in the best interests of the child, a court is asked to make a decision. In recent years, similar high-profile cases have arisen, such as those of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans. Pope Francis considered those two cases, and Donald J. Trump, when he was president, offered help from the United States for 11-month-old Charlie.

Experts said that such painful dilemmas showed a change from when doctors made the final call, and considered the decisions not only medical but also ethical. If parents disagree with doctors, almost impossible questions are asked, such as what kind of life is worth living and how serious a child’s condition needs to be before it is considered irreversible.

In Archie’s case, doctors said they believed his brain stem was dead. However, due to the lack of response, doctors were unable to perform a full brainstem test, so he was not legally declared brain dead.

In the hearings, the judges supported the medical evidence which supported the conclusion that Archie had no prospect of recovery. They ruled that the medical support only prolongs his death, and is unable to prolong his life,” according to court documents.

It has been said by Ms. Dance that Archie’s condition was better than the doctors described in court. She said he showed signs of improvement, saying he even squeezed her hand.

Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, kept a lower profile during the legal battles, but supported the efforts to continue life support.

Dominic Wilkinson, professor of medical ethics at the University of Oxford, said the issue came down to a fundamental question.

“It’s about what medicine is,” he said. It is to improve us, to make us able to live and enjoy our lives. But sometimes what healing can do is prolong the dying stage. And sometimes medicine, frankly, does more harm than good.”

But, he said, on this matter, sometimes doctors and families disagreed.

“Families may want to prolong life at all costs,” he said, “while health professionals recognize that medicine has reached its natural limits.”

Last week, after the British Supreme Court refused to intervene to postpone the withdrawal of life support, Ms. Send an application to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a branch of the organization’s human rights agency. The agency said it had asked the British government to refrain from withdrawing treatment while the case was being considered.

“The only thing we asked for was more time,” said Ms. Dance in a statement at the time. “The urgency at the hospital and the courts is inexplicable.”

“I don’t believe there is anything ‘dignified’ about planning Archie’s death,” she said. “Parents need support not pressure.”

But on Monday, the court refused to extend a recess beyond noon on Tuesday, arguing that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under which the United Nations committee had applied, was an “unincorporated international treaty” and that the decision. to withdraw life support could stand.

The family asked on Tuesday to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court, but the request was rejected. The following morning, they filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights, which refused to intervene.

On Saturday, after his life support was withdrawn, Archie died.

“I don’t want any other parents to go through what we’ve gone through,” Ms Dance told Times Radio on Wednesday, adding that she intends to continue raising awareness of issues such as the challenges of line involving children, and “using Archie’s story we hope to save their lives.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.