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But to the hospice? – Archie’s parents turn against Strasbourg

The parents of terminally ill Archie, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance, speak outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel

The parents of terminally ill Archie, Paul Battersbee and Hollie Dance, address reporters outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. photo

© Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/dpa

Twelve-year-old Archie’s fate is sealed: the devices will soon be turned off. But the question of where that will happen continues to preoccupy the courts.

In the battle for their dying son Archie, the 12-year-old boy’s parents suffered another defeat in England. The appeals court in London on Friday evening rejected a request from the family to transfer the terminally ill Archie from a hospital to a hospice. The devices currently keeping the boy alive will soon be shut down.

The Court of Appeals upheld a previous Supreme Court decision: It was in Archie’s best interest that the ventilator be discontinued in the hospital rather than in another setting, the judge said in her reasoning. After the further defeat in the evening, the family immediately announced that they would contact the European Court of Human Rights again. The Christian Concern organization, which supports Archie’s parents, said it wanted to have the ruling of the Supreme Court in Strasbourg reviewed.

Archie has been in a coma since April. He suffered serious brain injuries in an accident at home in Southend-on-Sea, possibly during an internet game. The treating doctors see no chance of recovery.

The UK’s highest court had backed the doctors’ decision to let Archie die. A final appeal by the parents to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has yielded nothing in this case.

Relocation request rejected

Archie’s parents then attempted to transfer their son to a hospice so Archie could spend his last hours in a quieter, more peaceful environment. However, the hospital declined: “Archie is in such an unstable condition that there is significant risk even if he is turned in his hospital bed, which should be done as part of his ongoing care,” the hospital operator said. A transfer by ambulance to a completely different area would therefore most likely deteriorate his condition quickly.

The London clinic had already announced several times that the measures would be halted, but these were repeatedly postponed due to the protracted legal dispute over Archie’s fate.

In their “fight to the bitter end”, the twelve-year-old’s family is supported by the conservative Christian Concern organization, which provides legal aid in selected cases and speaks out against the recognition of homosexuality and transsexuality.

The legal wrangling in the Archie case was even a problem in the Vatican. An opinion piece appeared on the official Vatican platform “Vatican News” advocating the shutdown of the devices in the Archie case. A society must protect life – as well as the weak and fragile – it says.

Post on the Vatican platform


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