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British court fight boy dies after life support system ends

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A 12-year-old boy, who had been in a coma for four months, died Saturday at a London hospital after doctors ended a life-sustaining treatment that his family had been fighting.

Archie Battersbees’ mother, Hollie Dance, said her son died at 12:15 PM, about two hours after the hospital stopped treatment. A British court has rejected both the family’s efforts to extend treatment and a request to move Archie to hospice.

I’m the proudest mom in the world,” said Dance, standing outside the hospital crying. Such a beautiful boy and he fought to the end.”

The legal battle is the latest in a series of highly publicized UK cases in which parents and doctors quarrel over who is better qualified to make decisions about their children’s health care. This has sparked debate over whether there is a more appropriate way of resolving these discrepancies in courts.

Archie was found unconscious at home on April 7th, tied with a ponytail. His parents think he may have participated in the wrong online challenge.

Doctors concluded that Archie’s brainstem died shortly after the accident, and they tried to put an end to the long list of things that kept him alive, including artificial respiration, medications to regulate body functions, and 24-hour nursing. However, his family objected, arguing that Archie showed signs of life and would not want them to give up hope.

The disagreement sparked a legal debate for weeks as Archie’s parents forced the hospital to continue life-sustaining treatment. Doctors at the Royal London Hospital insisted there was no chance of recovery and that he had to die.

After a series of courts ruled that it was in Archie’s best interest to allow Archie to die, the family requested permission to move him to hospice. The hospital said Arches’ condition was so unstable that moving him would haveten his death.

On Friday, High Court Judge Lucy Thes dismissed the family’s request, ruling that Archie must remain in the hospital while treatment is suspended.

Their unconditional love and devotion to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this case, Thes wrote in her decision. I hope now Archie will get the chance to die in peace with his family, which means as much to him as he makes it clear to them.”

The ruling came on Saturday after the UK Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights refused to accept the case.

But Archie’s family said his death was never peaceful.

Archie’s eldest brother, Tom’s fiance, Ella Carter, said Archie was stable for about two hours after she stopped taking all medications at the hospital. Turning off the ventilator changed the situation, she said.

He’s completely blue,’ she said. Watching a family member or a child suffocate is not at all dignified. No family needs to go through what we went through. It’s barbaric.

Carter rested her head on the dance’s shoulder and sobbed as the two women embraced.

The hospital expressed its condolences and thanked the doctors and nurses for caring for Archie.

Alistair Chesser, Chief Medical Officer of the Bart Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said, “They have provided high-quality care with special compassion for months, often in difficult and painful situations. This tragic event not only affected families and caregivers, it touched the hearts of many people across the country.”

Legal experts argue that cases like Archie are rare. But there have also been debates over the doctor’s judgment against his family’s will, such as a legal battle over Charlie Gard, an infant with a rare genetic disorder in 2017. His parents fought for an treatment before he died, but failed.

Under British law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors do not agree on a child’s treatment. The best interests of the child take precedence over the parent’s right to decide what they believe is best.

Illora Finlay, senator and professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University, said this week she hopes the Conservative government will conduct an independent investigation into the different ways of handling these cases. Resolving such disputes through adversarial court proceedings does not help anyone, she said.

Parents do not want to go to court. Doctors don’t want to go to court. Managers don’t want to go to court, Finlay told Times Radio. My concern is that these cases go to court too quickly and too soon, and we need other ways to manage communication between doctors and parents.”

Finlay said the difficulty parents face is that they want to deny the fact that they have suffered traumatic and often fatal brain damage.

When they have brain damage, often their children appear intact, so their faces look as they always have been,’ she said. So understanding what’s going on inside the brain and the extent of the injury is something that needs to be carefully explained to parents and takes time.”

Archie’s family was supported by Christian Concern, who campaigns on the issue of death and the role of religion in society. The group said it was a privilege to stand next to the family.

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said: “The events of the past few weeks raise many important issues, including questions about how death is defined, how those decisions are made and where the family is located.” said

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