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Life support for British boys stopped after long legal battle

#Life #support #British #boys #stopped #long #legal #battle

A London hospital was set to remove life support from 12-year-old British boy Archie Battersbee on Saturday after his parents lost a long and emotional legal battle.

Archie’s mother, Hollie Dance, found her son unconscious at home in April with signs he had put a cord around his neck, possibly after he took part in an online choking challenge.

“It was really hard,” Dance told Sky News late Friday, breaking down in tears before the family spent the night at Archie’s bedside at the Royal London Hospital.

“Despite the tough, strong face and appearance I’ve obviously had in front of the cameras up until now, I was pretty broken,” she said.

Life support was due to be taken off at 10:00 a.m. (0900 GMT), Dance said, although an hour later there was no word from the hospital.

At the entrance to the hospital in east London, well-wishers left flowers and cards and lit candles in the shape of the letter ‘A’.

“My boy is 12, the same age as Archie, and that just puts things into perspective,” said Shelley Elias, 43, after leaving her own offerings at the impromptu vigil.

“I didn’t know what to write because there are no words to ease the pain,” she said.

A judge in June agreed with doctors that Archie was “brain dead”, allowing life support to be removed, but the family fought in court to have that overturned.

Arguing that Archie could benefit from treatment in Italy or Japan, they took their case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which this week declined to intervene.

The parents also lost a final legal offer to move Archie to a hospice for his final hours.

“All legal avenues have been exhausted,” said a spokesman for the Christian Concern action group, which supports the family, late Friday.

“The family is devastated and is spending quality time with Archie.”

– “Charlie’s Law” –

The case is the latest in a series of parents taking action against Britain’s legal and healthcare systems.

The involvement of groups like Christian Concern in supporting distressed parents has drawn criticism for prolonging the pain of all concerned.

After a highly charged battle between the hospital and his parents, 23-month-old Alfie Evans died in April 2018 when doctors removed life support in Liverpool, north-west England.

His parents had the support of Pope Francis to get him into a clinic in Rome but lost a final court appeal days before his death.

Charlie Gard, born in August 2016 with a rare form of the mitochondrial disease that causes progressive muscle weakness, died a week before his first birthday after doctors cut life support.

His parents had fought a five-month legal battle to get Charlie to the United States for experimental treatment.

They have since urged the UK government to pass “Charlie’s Law,” a proposed law that would strengthen parents’ rights when disputes arise over the treatment of their children.

“The whole system was used against us,” Archie’s mother Dance said.

“Reform has to come through Charlie’s Law now so no parents have to go through that.”

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#Life #support #British #boys #stopped #long #legal #battle

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