Mother of comatose British boy says hospital to end treatment soon Healthy Aging

By DANICA KIRKA – Associated Press

LONDON (AP) – The family of a 12-year-old boy who has been in a coma for four months are expecting a London hospital to begin removing life support on Saturday after his parents exhausted their legal options in a battle over his care to have.

Archie Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, said hospital officials had told the family they were suspending treatment for the boy at 10am. British courts rejected the family’s request for Archie to be placed in a hospice, and the European Court of Human Rights refused a second time to intervene in the case.

Dance told Britain’s Sky News that there was nothing else the family could do and that they were “quite heartbroken” after the ordeal, which began on April 7 when Archie was found unconscious.

“I did everything I promised my little boy,” she said through tears.

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The Royal London Hospital, where Archie was treated, has not confirmed Dance’s statement.

Archie’s care became the subject of weeks of legal battles as his parents tried to force the hospital to continue life support treatments, and doctors argued there was no chance of recovery and he should be allowed to die.

The family asked permission to place Archie in a hospice after British courts ruled it was in his best interests to end treatment. The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that moving would hasten his death.

On Friday, High Court Judge Lucy Theis rejected the family’s request, saying Archie should remain in hospital while treatment is halted.

“I’m going back to where I started and I recognize the enormity of what lies ahead for Archie’s parents and family. Her unconditional love and devotion to Archie is a common thread running through this case,” Thies wrote in her decision. “I hope Archie can now give him the opportunity to die peacefully, with the family that meant as much to him as he clearly did to them.”

The dispute is the latest British case in which the judgment of doctors has been pitted against the wishes of families. Under UK law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree about a child’s medical treatment. In such cases, the child’s best interests take precedence over the parents’ right to decide what they believe is best for their offspring.

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