Boy’s parents join life-saving battle in European court

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LONDON (TBEN) – The family of a comatose British boy at the center of a life-sustaining struggle said on Wednesday it has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in a latest attempt to prevent a hospital from stopping treatment .

Archie Battersbee, 12, was found unconscious at home on April 7 with a ligature over his head. His parents think he may have taken part in an online challenge that went wrong.

Doctors believe Archie is brainstem dead and say continuing life-sustaining treatment is not in his best interest.

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His parents have fought in vain to get British courts to blockade the Royal London Hospital by turning off the boy’s ventilator and stopping other interventions that keep him alive.

Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, said the family’s lawyers filed a petition with the European human rights court hours before the hospital planned to begin withdrawing Archie’s life support on Wednesday morning.

“We now hope and pray that the ECtHR will consider the application favorably,” she said. “We won’t give up Archie until the end.”

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She also said the family is considering offers from other countries to treat Archie.

The case is the latest in the UK in which doctors’ judgment has gone against families’ wishes. In several cases, including this one, the families were supported by a religious pressure group, Christian Concern.

Under UK law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree about how to treat a child. In such cases, the rights of the child take precedence over the right of the parents to decide what is best for their offspring.

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The British Supreme Court said on Tuesday Archie had “no prospect of any meaningful recovery”, and would die of organ and heart failure even with continued treatment in the coming weeks. The judges agreed with a lower court that continued treatment “only serves to prolong his death”.

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