The family of a 12-year-old boy who has been in a months-long coma have filed a legal action requesting permission to move their son into a hospice, after their legal fight to continue his life-support treatment was unsuccessful.
After Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee’s son Archie was found unconscious at their home on April 7, the couple were ruled against in a series of UK court hearings to keep their son on life support, with judges backing doctors who said Archie was brain dead and that further treatment wasn’t in his best interests.
The couple announced the decision to move Archie to a hospice on Wednesday, after the European Court of Human Rights rejected a request to intervene in the case.
“We’ve now got a fight to see whether we can get him out of here to have a dignified passing at a hospice. It’s just unfair,” Dance said following the decision.
His parents said the London hospital where Archie has been treated informed them that life support would be withdrawn at 11am on Thursday BST (8pm AEST or 6pm NZST) unless a legal challenge over the hospice move was submitted by 9am.
“I would like him out of here as quick as possible, really, and in a peaceful hospice to say goodbye and spend time with his family, uninterrupted by the noise and chaos,” Dance told the BBC.
However, Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital, said a previous High Court ruling requires that Archie remain in hospital until his treatment ends, and that moving him would cause him to deteriorate much faster because his condition is so unstable.
Alistair Chesser, the chief medical officer of the trust, said in a statement that they would work with Archie’s family to prepare to withdraw treatment, but that no changes will be made to his care until “outstanding legal issues are resolved”.
Images: Getty Images / Hollie Dance
This article first appeared on OverSixty.