Judge authorizes hospital to shut down comatose boy in UK

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BBC General

posted on 06/13/2022 21:33 / updated on 06/13/2022 21:33

A judge has ruled that treatment in England for a boy who is in a coma after suffering a brain injury be stopped.

Archie Battersbee, 12, was found unconscious at his home in Southend-on-Sea on April 7.

Doctors at the Royal London Hospital in the British capital, where the boy is hospitalized, told the court that it was “highly likely” that Archie is “brain dead” and requested permission to turn off the devices.

Hollie Dance, the boy’s mother, said she was “devastated” and that the family planned to file a court appeal for Archie’s treatment to continue.

The 12-year-old boy suffered brain injuries at his home. His mother says she believes her son took part in an online challenge that knocked him unconscious more than two months ago.

Hollie and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, are being supported by the Christian Legal Center in their bid to get the devices to be kept in working order.

During a three-day hearing last week, experts said clinical tests showed no “discernible” brain activity.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot then said she gave “permission to medical professionals at the Royal London Hospital to stop mechanically ventilating Archie Battersbee”.

Mother criticizes court decision

In a statement released after Judge Arbuthnot’s ruling, Archie’s mother said she was “devastated and extremely disappointed with the decision after weeks of fighting a legal battle, when my desire was to be at my son’s bedside.”

“Basing that decision on an MRI test and finding him ‘probably’ dead is not enough. This is believed to be the first time someone has been declared ‘probably’ dead based on an MRI test.” .

She said she felt “disgusted” that the hospital and judge had not taken into account the family’s wishes and added that she doesn’t believe “Archie has had enough time.”

“His heart is still beating, he held my hand and as a mother I know he is still there,” she said.

“Until it’s God’s will, I won’t let him go. I’ve heard of miracles where people are brain dead and come back to life.”

“We plan to file an appeal and we’re not giving up on Archie.”

Judge Arbuthnot said Archie’s family’s devotion was “extraordinary”.

“If Archie remains on life support, the likely outcome for him is sudden death and the prospects for recovery are nil,” she said.

“He takes no pleasure in life and his brain damage is unrecoverable,” Arbuthnot said. According to the magistrate’s decision based on the MRI records, Archie’s death occurred on May 31.

The situation, according to Arbuthnot, made it impossible for “his dear and beloved family to say goodbye”.

“The steps I set out above are legal,” he added.

Alistair Chesser, medical director of the group that runs the hospital, said his thoughts are with Archie’s family and he is “ensuring there is time for the family to decide if they want to appeal. [na Justiça] before any changes in care are made.”


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