Judge poised to decide future of 12-year-old boy at centre of treatment dispute

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee at the Royal London Hospital think it ‘highly likely’ he is dead and say life-support treatment should end.

Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee, 12, who is at the centre of a High Court life-treatment dispute (Hollie Dance/PA)
Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee, 12, who is at the centre of a High Court life-treatment dispute (Hollie Dance/PA)

A High Court judge is preparing to make decisions about the future of a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute.

Doctors treating Archie Battersbee at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it “highly likely” he is dead and say life-support treatment should end.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, disagree.

Mother of Archie Battersbee, Hollie Dance, outside the High Court (James Manning/PA)

Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, have asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to decide whether doctors should continue treating Archie.

The judge is scheduled to begin overseeing a final hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Monday.

She has heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.

Miss 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.

Father of Archie Battersbee, Paul Battersbee outside the High Court in central London (James Manning/PA)

One specialist told the judge at an earlier hearing that he thought scans showed that Archie had suffered “irretrievable” brain damage.

Two others said they thought tests showed that the youngster was “brain-stem dead”.

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