The Royal London Hospital came to a halt on Saturday after 12-year-old Archie Battersbee’s parents fought a legal battle to stop the hospital.
Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, found the boy unconscious when returning home in April. He put a leash around her neck as a result of participating in a dangerous online suffocation game.
Dance told reporters on Saturday that her son died two hours after the resuscitation was stopped.
“What a beautiful kid. He fought to the end.” She said.
Archie’s care has been the subject of legal debate for weeks.
People left flowers, cards and candles at the entrance to a hospital in East London.
Shelley Elias, 43, told AFP she had a son about the same age after leaving a donation at a makeshift all-night rally.
“I didn’t know what to write because there were no words to take the pain away,” Elias said.
Why was Battersbee’s life support withdrawn?
In June, a judge agreed with the doctor’s diagnosis that Archie was “dead in the brainstem.” The judge agreed that his family could revoke the life support, although his family had opposed the ruling and argued in court.
Battersbee’s family sued the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, claiming that he could benefit from seeking treatment in Italy or Japan, but earlier this week refused to intervene a second time in the case.
His parents also lost a last minute fight that forced him to move his last hours into hospice care.
High Court Judge Lucy Theis said in Friday’s ruling: “
“I hope now Archie can have a chance to die in peaceful circumstances with his family, who has meant as much to him as he has made it clear to them,” she added.
“All legal pathways have been exhausted,” said a spokesperson for Christian Concern, a campaign group that has supported families.
What is the situation in the UK around these cases?
The case is the latest in a family fight against the National Institutes of Health in the UK. Courts often intervene when doctors and families of sick children quarrel.
The involvement of groups such as Christian Concern has been the subject of criticism from those who claim that the group prolongs the suffering of everyone involved in such events.
23-month-old Alfie Evans died in April 2018 after doctors in Liverpool, northwest England, withdrew life support. Evans’ parents, with the support of Pope Francis, took him to a Roman clinic, but lost their final appeal to do so.
Perhaps the most famous case was the case of Charlie Gard.
Gard was born in August 2016 with a rare form of mitochondrial disease. His illness made his muscles weak.
He died a week before his first birthday after doctors withdrew his life support. His parents fought a legal battle for months and have since pushed for adoption of “Charlie’s Law.”
The proposed legislation would strengthen parents’ rights in disputes about their children’s care.
ar/fb (AFP, AP, Reuters)
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