Archie Battersbee’s story has moved and shocked Britain in recent weeks.
For 121 agonizing days, his family has been willing him to pull through and show signs that he may one day awaken from the deep coma he fell into on April 7th.
But try as they might, doctors and scientists couldn’t find even a shred of hope that the 12-year-old would ever wake up.
The team that treated him said it was in his best interest to turn off the array of devices that were keeping his heart beating.
His family tried to prevent this and started a legal battle that would wrestle with the most difficult questions about life, death and the rights of parents over the experts in charge of care.
Archie’s heartbroken family announced he died on Saturday afternoon, the culmination of a horrible few months for them.
This is how this trip unfolded.
7th of April
Archie is found unconscious at her home in Southend, Essex by his mother, Hollie Dance. He has a ligature around his neck. She thinks he took part in a TikTok challenge.
26th of April
Barts Health NHS Trust, responsible for Archie’s care at the Royal London Hospital, is asking the High Court for permission to test his brainstem, which is responsible for keeping people alive, and halt mechanical ventilation.
Doctors think it’s “very likely” that the boy is in fact dead and say it’s in his best interests to have his life support removed.
High Court Judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot rules that a brainstem test would be in Archie’s best interest.
Two specialists try a nerve stimulation test on Archie, but no response is detected.
Ms Justice Arbuthnot, who sits in the High Court’s Family Division, is overseeing a three-day hearing at which doctors say it’s “very likely” he is “brain dead”, but solicitors representing Archie’s family argue that his is heart is still beating and want the care to continue.
Mrs. Justice Arbuthnot decides that Archie is dead and gives the green light to doctors to lawfully stop treating him. Archie’s family plans to appeal.
Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee are granted leave to appeal the decision.
Three appeal judges rule that the case should be re-examined by another High Court judge. Archie’s parents say they are “delighted” with the decision.
High Court Judge Mr Justice Hayden is hearing evidence from doctors that continuing treatment for Archie will only “delay the inevitable”. Archie’s mum says her son is a ‘natural born fighter’ and urges doctors to keep looking after him.
15th of July
Mr Justice Hayden rules in favor of the Hospital Trust, saying the medical evidence is “strong and unanimous” and paints a “gloomy” picture, adding: “There can be no hope of recovery at all.”
Archie’s parents say they will ask the appeals court judges to overturn the verdict.
Three of the UK’s most senior judges are told during a two-day hearing that medical evidence shows Archie is in a “comatose state”.
The three appeals court judges rule that doctors can lawfully stop Archie’s life support. The family again announced that they would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
Archie’s family fails to persuade the Supreme Court to intervene in the case.
29th of July
With legal options dwindling, the family makes a “last-ditch” request for a UN committee to intervene.
The hospital caring for Archie was due to be withdrawn at 2pm on August 1 but was delayed with hours still left before a new court hearing was scheduled. It came about that the government asked the Court of Appeal to “urgently consider” an application while the UN committee was examining the case.
Court of Appeal denies motion to postpone ending Archie’s treatment It says his life support will end at noon the next day.
Archie’s parents are denied permission to appeal recent Supreme Court ruling. According to Ms Dance, Barts Health NHS Trust will begin removing Archie’s life support at 11am on August 3 unless the family files an application with the ECtHR by 9am that day.
The ECtHR rejected the application in the last need. Archie’s family are refocusing their legal efforts to place him in hospice and appeal to the High Court.
4th of August
A hearing lasts late into the evening, where the hospital decides it would not be in Archie’s interest to remove him from the hospital in his fragile condition.
5th of August
Mrs Justice Theis decides the boy should not be placed in a hospice. The High Court judge has refused the family permission to appeal their decision and has granted a stay of withdrawal from Archie’s treatment until 2pm on Friday so that they can proceed directly to the Court of Appeal.
6th of August
Archie died at 12.15pm after medical treatment was stopped at 10am.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/08/06/archie-battersbee-how-121-days-of-agony-for-boys-family-played-out-17137945/ Archie Battersbee: How 121 days of agony played out for the boy's family