Doctors tell High Court judge it is ‘very likely’ 12-year-old Archie Battersbee is ‘brain-stem dead’ as they bid to turn off life support
- 12-year-old Archie Battersbee was found unconscious with cord around his neck
- Doctors treating him at The Royal London Hospital say it’s likely he is brain-dead
- His parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, disagree
- At the High Court, a specialist said tests showed no discernible brain activity
- Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is overseeing a final hearing which is due to end tomorrow
Doctors treating a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a High Court battle over whether to continue his life-support treatment think it is ‘very likely’ that he is ‘brain-stem dead’.
Giving evidence yesterday, a specialist listed a series of concerns about Archie Battersbee, who lost consciousness after suffering brain damage in an incident at his home on April 7.
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, say life-support treatment should end and the youngster should be disconnected from a ventilator.
Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, disagree.
Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide what moves are in Archie’s best interests.
Hollie Dance, 46, pictured with Archie before his accident, is refusing to give up hope for her son and has so far resisted doctors’ suggestions that his life support should be turned off
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot is overseeing a final hearing – due to end tomorrow – in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
The specialist, who cannot be named, told the judge about a number of concerns noted by Archie’s treating team.
She said tests had shown no ‘discernible’ brain activity, but revealed ‘significant areas of tissue necrosis’, and added: ‘We believe that it is very likely that he is brain-stem dead.’
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot has heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.
Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, say life-support treatment should end and the youngster should be disconnected from a ventilator
Ms Dance has told how she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.
The youngster has not regained consciousness.
Lawyers representing Archie’s family have told the judge that his heart is still beating.
They also say there was an issue as to whether ‘the correct procedure’ had been followed, and whether the ‘family’s views’ had been taken into account.
The judge had been told by a specialist at an earlier hearing that the brain stem was responsible for the functions that kept people alive.
A campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre is supporting Archie’s family.
The hearing continues.