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Family of Archie Battersbee lose High Court case to move him to hospice

The 12 year old has been on life support in a Lodnon hospital since April
Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee. Family members are making a final plea for him to have "a dignified death", as the protracted legal battle over his life edges to its conclusion. Hollie Dance, the boy's mother, said she wanted her son to be allowed to be transferred from hospital to a hospice so he can "spend his last moments" with his loved ones privately. Issue date: Wednesday August 3, 2022.

Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee. Family members are making a final plea for him to have "a dignified death", as the protracted legal battle over his life edges to its conclusion. Hollie Dance, the boy's mother, said she wanted her son to be allowed to be transferred from hospital to a hospice so he can "spend his last moments" with his loved ones privately. Issue date: Wednesday August 3, 2022.© PA

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

The family of Archie Battersbee have lost their High Court bid to move him to a hospice.

His heartbroken mother Hollie Dance, brought a case to the high court so her son could spend his last moments with family privately.

However, the court ruled it was not in Archie’s best interest.

Lawyers for the boy’s family took part in an hours-long legal hearing on Thursday evening to appeal an order made in July that requires the young boy remains at the Royal London Hospital while his treatment is withdrawn.

Medical experts said that the risks involved in the transfer from Royal London Hospital to a hospice are "major and unpredictable”.

The NHS Trust which runs the hospital said that moving him to a hospice via ambulance "would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey".

A court-appointed guardian for the young boy also expressed concerns about moving him to a hospice.

The hospital in Whitechapel has agreed that arrangements can be made for the family that will "ensure that Archie's best interest will remain the focus of the final arrangements to enable him peacefully and privately to die in the embrace of the family he loved”.

"Archie's best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court," said Justice Theis.

Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee, 12. Family members are making a final plea for him to have "a dignified death", as the protracted legal battle over his life edges to its conclusion. Hollie Dance, the boy's mother, said she wanted her son to be allowed to be transferred from hospital to a hospice so he can "spend his last moments" with his loved ones privately. Issue date: Saturday May 14, 2022.

Undated family handout file photo of Archie Battersbee, 12. Family members are making a final plea for him to have "a dignified death", as the protracted legal battle over his life edges to its conclusion. Hollie Dance, the boy's mother, said she wanted her son to be allowed to be transferred from hospital to a hospice so he can "spend his last moments" with his loved ones privately. Issue date: Saturday May 14, 2022.© PA

"When considering the wishes of the family, why those wishes are held, the facilities at the hospice, what Archie is likely to have wanted, the risks involved in a transfer, and the increasing fragility of his medical condition, I am satisfied that when looking at the balancing exercise again his best interests remain as set out that he should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn.

"I return to where I started, recognising the enormity of what lays ahead for Archie's parents and the family.”

“Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case,” she continued.

“I hope now Archie can be afforded the opportunity for him to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family who meant so much to him as he clearly does to them."

Hollie Dance, mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, east London (James Manning/PA)

Hollie Dance, mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, speaks to the media outside the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, east London (James Manning/PA)

His mother Hollie has said that she wants her son to spend his last moments in privacy with their family.

She told Times Radio: "We can't even have the chance to be in a room together as a family without nurses.

"There's absolutely no privacy, which is why, again, the courts keep going on about this dignified death - why aren't we allowed to take our child to a hospice and spend his last moments, his last days together privately?”

His parents have fought a long-running legal battle over the withdrawal of his treatment.

After taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights, they refused to intervene.

12-year-old Archie Battersbee has been in a coma since April 7th when he was found unconscious by his mother at their home in Essex.

He has remained on life support for the last few months, but doctors treating him believe that he is brain-stem dead and have said that continuing on life support is not in his best interest.

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