Archie Battersbee’s family say ‘no parent should go through this again’ | Children

Relatives of Archie Battersbee, who died on Saturday after his life-saving treatment was withdrawn, have called for a change in the way these cases are handled, saying they ‘want something good to come out of this tragedy’.

The 12-year-old’s parents have fought a bitter legal battle to try to stop doctors, who believed Archie was brain dead, from cutting out the treatment. After this failure, they began a new legal challenge – also unsuccessful – for him to be transferred to a hospice to die there.

In a statement released by the Christian Legal Center, which supported the family’s case, the family said: ‘We want something good to come out of this tragedy and the horrific experience we have had with the system.

“No parent or family should go through this again. We were forced into a relentless legal battle by the hospital trust as we faced unimaginable tragedy. We were pushed into a corner by the system, stripped of all our rights, and had to fight for Archie’s true “best interests” and his right to live with everything against us.

“It has now happened too often to parents who do not want their seriously ill children to have life support removed. The pressure of the process was incredible. There must be an investigation and investigation through the proper channels into what happened to Archie, and we will call for change.

Archie had been in a coma since April 7 when he was found unconscious by his mother, Hollie Dance, at her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. A legal battle between Dance, 46, and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, 57, against the Barts Health NHS Trust began in May before ending on Friday night when the European Court of Human Rights ruled refused to consider whether he should be transferred to a hospice.

Archie’s court-appointed guardian had agreed it was in the 12-year-old’s best interests that life-sustaining treatment be halted and that transferring him to hospice would be too risky.

Similar acrimonious cases involving children receiving life-sustaining treatment, including Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans and Tafida Raqeeb, have prompted similar calls for a change in the law to increase parental rights when such tragedies occur. .

The dance has previously called for reform through ‘Charlie’s Law’, proposed by Chris Gard and Connie Yates, after losing a legal fight to stop their son’s treatment being withdrawn at Great Ormond Street Hospital. They wanted him taken to the United States for treatment. Charlie died in July 2017, aged 11 months.

The Department of Health and Social Care is currently commissioning a review of the causes of disagreement in the care of critically ill children, as required by the Health and Care Act 2022. Lady Finlay, counterpart and professor of palliative medicine, said the inquiry would consider independent mediation to avoid “adversarial disputes” in court.

The intervention of third-party groups, such as the Anti-LGBT and Anti-Abortion Christian Legal Center, in such cases has been criticized. In Alfie’s case, a High Court judge said the submissions in court by Pavel Stroilov, a law student at the center representing the toddler’s parents, were “littered with vituperation and bile” that were ” incompatible with the true interests of the parents’ business”.

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