Archie Battersbee case: Life support for 12-year-old boy with brain damage should end, UK judge rules

London, UK Updated: Jun 14, 2022, 02:21 AM(IST)

Representative image for Archie Battersbee case. Photograph:( Others )

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On April 7 this year, a 12-year-old boy Archie Battersbee was seriously injured in an incident at his home in Southend, Essex 

In the United Kingdom, the High Court has ruled that life support treatment for a 12-year-old boy with brain damage should be stopped as he is "brain-stem dead". Brain death (also known as brain stem death) is a state in which a person is on an artificial life support machine and no longer has any brain functions. In such a state, experts have claimed that the person will never regain consciousness or be able to breathe without support. A person whose brain is dead is legally confirmed as dead. 

On April 7 this year, a 12-year-old boy Archie Battersbee was seriously injured in an incident at his home in Southend, Essex. He was found unconscious. Since then he has been at the centre of a legal dispute. 

UK media outlets state that the doctors who were treating him at the Royal London Hospital in east London told the High Court it was "highly likely" he was "brain-stem dead". They even asked that the life support should end. 

"I find that Archie died at noon on 31 May 2022, which was shortly after the MRI scans taken that day. I find that irreversible cessation of brain stem function has been conclusively established," the judge said in a written ruling. 

On the other hand, his parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee wanted the treatment to continue. They have claimed that their's son, who has not regained consciousness after the accident, had gripped his mother's hand as his heart is still beating. 

His mother was "devastated and extremely disappointed" by the ruling. She issued a statement after the court decision. She wrote: "I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge's ruling after weeks of fighting a legal battle when I wanted to be at my little boy's bedside." 

"Basing this judgement on an MRI test and that he is 'likely' to be dead, is not good enough. This is believed to be the first time that someone has been declared 'likely' to be dead based on an MRI test," she added. 

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