British High Court decides comatose 12-year-old can’t be moved to hospice

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Aug. 5 (UPI) — Britain’s High Court Friday decided that comatose 12-year-old Archie Battersbee will remain in the hospital and not be transferred to a hospice, denying the family’s request.

“He should remain at the hospital when treatment is withdrawn. The circumstances outlined by Dr F of the physical arrangements at the hospital and the arrangements that can be made 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,” High Court Justice Lucy Theis wrote in the decision.

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The High Court decision granted a stay on withdrawal of treatment for Archie until 2 p.m. Friday local time.

Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, told Sky News she feels sick over what she called an outrageous decision.

“All our wishes as a family have been denied by the authorities. We are broken, but we are keeping going, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him,” Dance said in a statement.

Britain’s NHS Trust, in a letter excerpted in the High Court’s decision, said, “a transfer to a Hospice would not be in Archie’s best interests.”

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The family can appeal directly to the Court of Appeal.

As to the family’s request that palliative oxygen continue to be given when treatment is withdrawn, Justice Theis left that decision to the clinical team on the ground.

In the High Court decision, Justice Theis wrote of the family, “Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case. 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.”

But Justice Theis said in the decision that, “Archie’s best interests must remain at the core of any conclusions reached by this court.”

Archie has been in a coma ever since he was found unconscious at his home April 7. The medical team treating Archie at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel are convinced he is brain stem-dead.

His mother believes Archie was taking part in some sort of online challenge when he suffered injuries.