LONDON.- A British court has rejected a request by the parents of a comatose child to transfer him to a hospice once doctors at the hospital where he is found remove life-support equipment.
If there is no other legal recourse, the ruling opens the door for doctors at the Royal London Hospital to remove the devices that keep 12-year-old Archie Battersbee alive. Archie has been in a coma since early April and doctors believe he is brain dead.
“Back to the start. I recognize the horror of what awaits Archie’s parents and family. Her unconditional love and dedication to Archie is the golden thread that runs through this entire case,” Judge Lucy Thies wrote.
You can read: Parents of comatose boy appeal to European court to keep their son alive
“I hope Archie is given the chance to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family he loved as much as obviously the family loves him.”
Archie’s care has led to a series of legal battles in which his parents tried to force the hospital to continue life-sustaining treatments. Doctors argue that he has no chance of recovery and that he should be allowed to die.
The family sought permission to transfer Archie to a hospice when British courts ruled it was in the boy’s best interest to end treatment and the European Court of Human Rights refrained from intervening.
The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that a transfer would hasten his death. This is the latest case in Britain in which the doctors’ judgment goes against the wishes of the family. Under British law, courts often intervene when parents and doctors disagree about a child’s treatment.