Sunday, October 2, 2022

Archie case: Parents fail in UK Supreme Court

Twelve-year-old Archie has been in a coma for months. The doctors want to turn off the devices, the parents fight against it – but ultimately in vain.

There are many pictures of Archie Battersby on the internet. Some show a happy blond boy on the border line between child and teenager: smiling in the car with his mother, proudly holding an athletics trophy, the typical picture most children see. Other photos show Archie in a hospital bed. The stuffed animal is lying next to his face, a tube in his nose supplies him with oxygen, and he is fed artificially through another. Archie Battersby looks like he’s sleeping. But a twelve-year-old boy from England has been in a coma for months.

Earlier in April, Archie’s mother, Holly Dance, found her son unconscious in her room with a noose around his neck. Dance believes that Archie wanted to participate in the “Blackout Challenge”, an Internet test of courage, in which children and teens strangle themselves and film it.

Archie Battersby’s parents are moving the Supreme Court

Archie hasn’t woken up since the incident in which he was declared brain dead at the end of May. Royal Hospital doctors London, where the boy is being treated, has been pleading for weeks to turn off the devices that ventilate him and feed him. However, Archie’s parents are fighting in court to extend life support. The mother, Holi Dance, has repeatedly insisted that her son needs more time to recover. He squeezed her hand once, knowing she was “still there”. Dance, a devout Christian, said, “It is up to God to decide what happens to Archie, if, when, and how he dies.”

A court decided in mid-June that the devices should no longer be allowed to operate. Dance and her husband Paul Battersby appealed to the United Nations for relief. Lifesaving measures were to be suspended on Tuesday. Shortly before that, the parents brought the matter to the Supreme Court, the highest British court, but it was dismissed there as well. The hospital can now turn off the equipment. According to Archie’s mother, Dance, that should happen at 11 a.m. local time on Wednesday—there probably won’t be enough time to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The case of Archie Battersby is reminiscent of some similar cases Great Britain, also heard in court: Parents of little Alfie Evans fought for half a year to keep their child alive. After shutting down the devices in early 2018, Alfie’s father accused several employees of the Liverpool hospital where his son was treated for murder – but later withdrew his charge. Charlie Gard’s parents went to the European Court of Human Rights in 2017 to put their 10-month-old son on life support. The infant was suffering from a fatal hereditary disease due to which his organs gradually died. In the summer of 2017, doctors switched off the devices.

The case of Archie Battersby is reminiscent of other cases in Britain

The case of infant Charlie Gard attracted worldwide attention – as British and later Strasbourg judges settled the big questions: Who knows what is better for the child: the parent or the court? And who decides when life ends?

As a rule, if there is no advance directive, the relative and the doctor decide together. Even in the UK, most decisions to discontinue life support are made this way. When both sides disagree, a case like Archie Battersby ends up in court. When it comes to children, judges in Great Britain refer to the best interests of the child in these types of cases, which is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which means that in their decisions they mostly use a medical point of view. follow. See and not the will of the parents. Even in the Archie Battersby case, the judges ruled that turning off the devices was “in the best sense” of the boy—as it would save him from further suffering.

In Germany, the legal situation is slightly different: in the Federal Republic, the right to life is specifically protected in Article 2 of the Basic Law. If a case goes to court, judges vote for life-saving measures more often than if there is least chance of improvement. However, this does not apply to cases involving people who, like Archie Battersby, have already been declared brain dead.

Britain is now looking for ways to avoid such heated lawsuits altogether. Lady Illora Finlay, a doctor and member of the House of Lords, told the British broadcaster times radioThe government is currently exploring options such as independent mediation between the hospital and relatives. Because a process often makes these tragic matters even more tragic. “If both sides face each other like opponents, it doesn’t help anyone.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -