Archie Battersbee: Judges rule that a boy in a coma needs a brain test

Archie Battersbee’s parents plead with doctors to give their son more time (Picture: SWNS)

Doctors must establish whether a child who has been in a coma since suffering “catastrophic” brain injuries more than a month ago is dead, judges ruled.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that a brainstem test would be in Archie Battersbee’s best interest, at a hearing at the High Court in London today.

Specialists treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, believe it is “very likely” the 12-year-old is dead and say life-sustaining treatment should end.

Heads of the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, asked the judge to rule that a brainstem test would be in Archie’s best interest.

A specialist told the judge that the brainstem was responsible for the functions that keep people alive.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance, 46, and Paul Battersbee, 56, who are separated and both from Southend, Essex, are concerned about the doctors’ proposals and want him to continue treatment.

They questioned the reliability of the test, feared it could cause more harm, and asked why Archie, who lives with his mother, was not receiving treatment to ease the swelling in his brain.

Miss Dance has recounted how she found Archie with a ligature to his head on April 7 and believes he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

She had urged the judge to give her son, a great gymnast, ‘more time’. The boy’s mother told reporters: ‘Everyone is in such a hurry.

“I’m asking the judge to give him more time, to give him time to defend himself.”

She added: ‘It’s only been five weeks, it took me longer to get over the flu. What’s the rush?’

A campaign organization called the Christian Legal Center said it is supporting Archie’s family.

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