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British boy dies after life support stopped at end of long legal battle between his parents and doctors

Aug 7, 2022, 9:00 PM
British boy dies...
This is a photo provided by Hollie Dance of her son Archie Battersbee. The family of a 12-year-old boy who has been in a coma for four months expects a London hospital to begin withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. Photo Credit: Hollie Dance/AP

  (CNN) — Archie Battersbee, a 12-year-old British boy at the center of a long legal battle between his parents and doctors over the withdrawal of his treatment, died on Saturday, his mother, Hollie Dance, said.

Archie died at 12:15 p.m. local time at Royal London Hospital, a few hours after doctors suspended the artificial ventilation keeping him alive, Dance told reporters, adding she was “so proud to be his mum.”

“Such a beautiful little boy, and he fought right until the very end,” she said.

Dance said the hospital had made it clear there were no more options, and that life support would be withdrawn on Saturday morning.

The 12-year-old had been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother in April. He was being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments, according to Britain’s PA news agency.

Doctors eventually concluded the boy to be “brain-stem dead,” which led his family to pursue a legal battle over maintaining his life-sustaining support in the hope he would recover, PA reported.

In recent days, the family made bids to the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die, according to PA.

“Archie Battersbee passed away on Saturday afternoon at The Royal London Hospital after treatment was withdrawn in line with court rulings about his best interests,” a statement from Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer at Barts Health NHS Trust, read on Saturday.

“Members of his family were present at the bedside and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences remain with them at this difficult time,” the statement added.

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British boy dies after life support stopped at end of long legal battle between his parents and doctors