The 12-year-old boy has been unconscious since early April
The parents of a 12-year-old boy left in a comatose state have lost their latest court battle to stop his life support being turned off.
His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, were allowed to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal but have now lost the latest legal fight.
Three Court of Appeal judges ruled that the High Court judge’s previous decision was not wrong.
In Mr Justice Hayden’s original ruling, he described what had happened to Archie as a “tragedy of immeasurable dimensions”, but said that the medical evidence was “compelling and unanimous”.
Evidence presented to court showed that Archie is in a “comatose state”.
However barrister Edward Devereux QC, who is representing Archie’s parents, argued that Mr Justice Hayden had not given “real or proper weight” to Archie’s previously expressed wishes and religious beliefs.
He had also said that the judge had been wrong to conclude that life-support treatment was burdensome and futile.
The court heard that Ms Dance found her son unconscious on 7 April and that she thought her son may have been taking part in an online challenge.
The 12-year-old has not regained consciousness since that date. Doctors who are treating him think that he is brainstem-dead and are arguing that it is in his best interests for life-support to be removed.
Three Court of Appeal judges ruled on Monday that doctors can lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to Archie.
Sir Andrew McFarlane said in the ruling that medical staff had seen “no signs of life” from Archie. Referring to the ongoing media attention, 他加了: “Archie is no longer the boy in the photograph. He is someone whose every bodily function is now maintained by artificial means.”
The judges’ decision came after lawyers told the court that Ms Dance believed that her son has tried to breathe independently while in hospital.
Her lawyers said that Ms Dance had seen indications that Archie, who is attached to a ventilator, has twice tried to breathe independently in the last few days.
High Court judge Ms Justice Arbuthnot had initially considered the case in June and concluded that Archie was already dead.
Ms Dance said after that initial ruling: “His heart is still beating, he has gripped my hand, and as his mother, I know he is still in there. Until it’s God’s way I won’t accept he should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead.
“We intend to appeal and will not give up on Archie.”
The case then went back to the High Court before reaching the Court of Appeal.
Archie’s parents are being supported by the campaign organisation the Christian Legal Centre.
Andrea Williams, its chief executive, said outside court on Monday: “I am very disappointed that they have not adjourned this decision given that Mr Battersbee has been taken to hospital.
“I’ve been in touch with Archie’s mother – she is disgusted.”