UK

Archie Battersbee’s mother prepares for meeting with minister

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he mother of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee, who died after being at the centre of a High Court life-support treatment fight, is preparing to discuss the case with a minister.

Hollie Dance, of Southend, Essex, wrote to then health secretary Steve Barclay asking if she and her MP Anna Firth could meet for talks.

Mr Barclay replied to say he or another minister would discuss Archie’s case, a spokesman for Ms Dance said.

Therese Coffey replaced Mr Barclay as Health Secretary on Tuesday evening as new Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her Cabinet.

Archie’s family is being supported by the campaign group Christian Legal Centre.

A spokesman for the centre said Mr Barclay has replied to Ms Dance to say a meeting will be arranged.

Archie Battersbee died in hospital after weeks of legal battles (Family handout/PA) / PA Media

Judges were told Ms Dance found Archie unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.

She thinks he may have been taking part in an online challenge.

The youngster never regained consciousness.

A judge based in the Family Division of the High Court in London ruled in July that doctors could lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to Archie, who suffered brain damage.

Archie died after his mother, and father Paul Battersbee, failed in bids to overturn Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling.

Ms Dance had earlier said she felt “backed into a corner” by the legal system and that her family felt “stripped” of their rights.

Hollie Dance with her son Archie in hospital (Family handout/PA)(Family handout/PA) / PA Media

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, thought he was brain-stem dead and said continued life-support treatment was not in his best interests.

Bosses at the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked for decisions on what medical moves were in Archie’s best interests.

A High Court judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, initially considered the case and concluded that Archie was dead.

But Court of Appeal judges upheld a challenge by his parents against decisions taken by Mrs Justice Arbuthnot and said the evidence should be reviewed by a different High Court judge, Mr Justice Hayden.

He ruled after a further hearing that ending treatment would be in Archie’s best interests.

Ministers have already said they will commission a review into the causes of disagreement in the care of critically-ill children; detail was given in the 2022 Health and Care Act.

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