The United Kingdom's Royal Courts of Justice Family Division ruled on Monday that the life support on a 12-year-old from Essex be removed by a London hospital on account of the child being medically dead.
UK Court Decides To Pull The Plug
According to a press release of Christian Concern, the Royal High Courts Justice Emma Arbuthnot handed down the decision that "tragically on the balance of probabilities, Archie (Battersbee) is dead." Arbuthnot authorized the Royal London Hospital's medical professionals to cease ventilating Battersbee mechanically along with the administration of medication.
The hospital was also ordered to extubate the 12-year-old and not "to attempt any cardio or pulmonary resuscitation on" the child "when cardiac output ceases or respiratory effort ceases." The judge stressed that the steps she ordered the hospital to undertake "are lawful."
Arbuthnot elaborated that she personally visited Battersbee in the hospital to review the evidence presented to her. The justice said, based on the evidence, her judgment showed that the pre-teen's condition gradually deteriorated from the time of his admission to his present state where severe brain injury is already detected.
Accordingly, blood and oxygen supply are already blocked from reaching the brain because of the injury. The justice concluded that her decision was based on careful and anxious scrutiny of the various evidence presented by clinicians from five hospitals on the case.
Christian Concern, an organization empowering Christians in the U.K. by safeguarding their rights, said that Arbuthnot's decision is the first of its kind that declares a person "likely" dead based on an MRI test. The organization said the boy's parents, 46-year-old Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, have been fighting with the court since the accident happened two months ago.
A Mother's Plea For A Son On Life Support
Hollie found Battersbee on April 7 with a ligature around his neck and unconscious in their home. She believed that this was a result of her son following an online challenge. Battersbee was then rushed to the hospital and had been unconscious eversince.
The High Court heard oral arguments last June 7 where doctors expressed the belief that the boy is "very likely" to be "brain-stem dead," The Guardian said An unnamed specialist explained their tests revealed that the boy registered no "discernible" brain activity and that "significant areas of tissue necrosis" were already present.
Notwithstanding, the family's lawyers contested that the boy's heart is still beating and questioned if the hospital followed the correct procedure for the case. The lawyers said this included giving full consideration to the views of the family, especially with the parents repeatedly stressing to doctors that they want the child's treatment to continue.
Hollie actually begged the judge to give her son "more time to fight back" for it has "only been five weeks" and wondered why everyone was in a rush. She raised in an interview with local media about being knowledgeable that the hospital did not have "a lot of beds." She stressed that her gut instinct makes her believe her son is "in there" and that he only "needs time to heal."
This she particularly felt when the child during one instance squeezed her hand, but doctors said it was nerve impulse. The mother also described her family's ordeal with the hospital and the court as nothing but hell.
Christian Legal Center Chief Executive Officer Andrea Williams said that the "case raises the significant moral, legal and medical question as to when a person is dead."
"Archie's parents do not accept that he is dead and are fighting for his life," Williams underscored.