Archie Battersbee’s parents have suffered a major blow in their legal battle to keep their son hooked to life support after the Supreme Court refused to intervene.
The story of 12-year-old Archie went viral after the boy’s parents, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance, opened up about their struggles to continue their son’s life-saving treatment.
As the heartbroken parents revealed, Archie was left in a coma after suffering major brain damage. Hospital bosses at the Royal London Hospital have since claimed that it would be in the boy’s best interest to turn off his life support and let him pass away due to his state.
While the parents fought back at the hospital’s conclusion, the decision was upheld by a High Court judge who suggested that Archie was brain dead.
Following the distraught parents’ appeal, the case went to the Court of Appeals where the ruling deciding Archie’s fate was upheld by three judges, meaning that doctors at the London hospital could stop the boy’s treatment at any time.
In a desperate bid to give their boy more time to fight, Dance and Battersbee pleaded with the Supreme Court to review their case and stop the hospital from turning off Archie’s machines.
Three justices of the Supreme Court, however, have since refused the family’s application.
“The parents of Archie Battersbee filed their application to appeal to the Supreme Court earlier today. They were seeking a stay of the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow withdrawal of life-support treatment from their child,” a spokesperson for the Supreme Court revealed.
“Aware of the urgency of this matter, the court convened a panel of three Justices who considered submissions from the parties ‘on paper,’ in the usual way.
“Having considered the careful judgment of the Court of Appeal… the panel has refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.”
With Archie’s time running own, the family has taken one last stand as lawyers requested the Court of Appeals to ‘stay’ Archie’s life support termination until his parents could take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.
While the court imposed a stay of the termination until Thursday afternoon, it is understood that Archie’s parents want a stay on termination until they approach the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities rather than the EU court.
“The UK has joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which gives individuals a right to complain about any violations of the Convention to the UN Committee,” a spokesperson for Christian Legal Centre, a group helping the family, said.
“The committee has previously criticized the UK system of authorizing withdrawal of life support from disabled people based on the court determination of their best interests rather than on their own wishes.”
Lawyers for the family have since filed an application to the Supreme Court to request a stay on termination until the parents had the chance to present their case to the UN Committee.
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