Archie Battersbee: Judge backs test to determine if boy is dead – mum claims ‘he’s there’

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Archie suffered brain damage during an incident at home. He was found with a ligature over his head on April 7. His mother explained that while it was thought to be an accident at first, it could have been part of an online challenge.

Specialists treating the 12-year-old boy think it is “highly likely” he is dead, adding that his life-support treatment should stop.

His parents want treatment to continue and have questioned the test’s reliability.

Archie’s mum, Hollie Dance, told GB News: “He’s gripped my hand very tightly, he’s drawn blood where he’s been squeezing so hard.

“He’s tried to open his eyes and I just feel like he’s there and he needs time.”

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot stated that a brain-stem test would be best in Archie’s interest.

This was recommended by Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital treating the boy.

Mrs Arbuthnot’s ruling was made on Friday at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

A specialist has informed the judge that the brain stem was responsible for the functions which keep a person alive.

The NHS notes that for this diagnosis, three criteria must be met:

  • The person must be unconscious and fail to respond to outside stimulation
  • The person’s heartbeat and breathing can only be maintained using a ventilator
  • There must be clear evidence that serious brain damage has occurred and it cannot be cured.

The doctors also have to carry out different checks to ensure that symptoms are not triggered by different factors.

Prior to the ruling, Ms Dance urged Mrs Justice Arbuthnot not to approve the brain-stem test.

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