Archie Battersbee’s parents want to take legal action against the treatment in a European court

The parents of a 12-year-old boy left in a comatose state after suffering brain damage are set to ask judges at the European Court of Human Rights to intervene after losing the latest round of a treatment fight in London, a lawyer says.

Three Court of Appeal judges on Monday upheld a ruling by a High Court judge who had ruled that doctors could lawfully stop treating Archie Battersbee.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee – who are separated but both live in Southend, Essex – had appealed, arguing that Mr Justice Hayden made mistakes after the High Court hearing.

A lawyer representing her said after the appeal verdict that her fight would continue.

“Archie’s family is devastated,” said David Foster of the law firm Moore Barlow.

“The family maintain that a fair and reasonable balance has not been struck when it comes to Archie’s best interests and will therefore appeal directly to the European Court of Human Rights or the United Nations.”

Archie Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, addresses the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Ms Dance had asked the appeal judges to adjourn their decision.

She said she saw evidence that Archie, who is on a ventilator, had tried to breathe on his own twice in the past few days.

The judges were also told that Mr Battersbee was ill outside of court before the hearing began.

Attorney Edward Devereux QC, who led Archie’s parents’ legal team, told the judges that Mr Battersbee, who is in his 50s, has been taken to hospital and is feared he may have suffered a heart attack or stroke.

But appeal judges Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the High Court’s family division and senior family court judge in England and Wales, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson, said it was in Archie’s best interest that her decision was planned.

Mr Foster said Archie’s parents also now intend to “reapply” to Mr Justice Hayden and ask him to reconsider his decision in light of “new evidence” about Archie’s breathing.

Archie Battersbee's father Paul Battersbee Archie Battersbee’s father Paul Battersbee (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“We will continue this fight,” Ms Dance said after the appeal verdict.

“We are discussing options with our lawyers.”

She said she thought the appeal judges should have adjourned the verdict once they knew Mr Battersbee was ill, adding: “I think it was insensitive.”

Ms Dance said Mr Battersbee had checks and would remain in hospital overnight.

Mr Judge Hayden recently made a decision after examining evidence at a hearing in the High Court’s Family Division in London.

He described what happened to Archie as a “tragedy of immeasurable proportions” but said medical evidence was “convincing and unanimous” and painted a “grim” picture.

Archie’s parents wanted the Court of Appeal to refer the case back to another High Court judge for a further hearing.

They complained that Mr Justice Hayden based his decision on Archie’s “medical best interests” rather than his “broader best interests”.

Archie Battersbee's mother, Hollie Dance, outside the Royal Courts of Justice, LondonHollie Dance outside the Royal Courts of Justice (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

But Sir Andrew said Archie’s parents’ challenge had no “reasonable chance” of success.

“I realize that (Mr Justice Hayden) has diligently discharged the important responsibilities that have been placed upon him,” he said.

“I do not accept that the decision could turn out to be wrong or unjust.”

Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Jackson said they agreed.

Judges have heard Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he may have taken part in an online challenge.

The youth has not regained consciousness.

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, believe he is brain dead and say continued life support is not in his best interest.

Chiefs of the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked for decisions on what medical steps were in Archie’s best interest.

Another High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, first looked at the case and concluded that Archie was dead.

However, the Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge by his parents to decisions made by Ms Justice Arbuthnot and said the evidence should be reviewed by Mr Justice Hayden.

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