Parents plead for more time as hospital seeks to end 12-year-old son's treatment

Archie's parents are fighting for his life.(Photo: GoFundMe)

The parents of a 12-year-old boy were at the High Court in London this week to challenge a hospital's decision to remove his life support.

Archie Battersbee was found unconscious last month with a ligature around his neck in what is believed to be a tragic accident. 

Specialists at Royal London Hospital believe he is brain dead and have asked a judge for permission to remove his life support. 

Archie's parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, disagree and believe more time and medical tests are needed to assess his condition. 

Their lawyers argued in court yesterday that the brain stem test proposed by the hospital is not sufficient to make such an assessment. 

Dance and Battersbee are being supported in their case by the Christian Legal Centre, and over £15,000 has been raised in a GoFundMe campaign.

"Archie had a severe brain injury only four weeks ago, there's not been enough time to see what he can do," said Ms Dance.

"I've refused the brain stem testing to declare him brain dead. It's too soon.

"He has squeezed my fingers with a tight grip. I think that's his way of letting me know he's still here and just needs more time. Only a few days ago, he began to open his eyes. When his ventilator tube was being replaced, tears appeared in his eyes.

"Until it's God's way I won't accept he should go. I know of miracles when people have come back from being brain dead.

"He may not be the same as he was but if there's a possibility he could live a happy life after this, I want to give it to him."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said the case was about giving Archie "every chance of life". 

"It can never be in the "best interests" of a child to die when there is still hope," she said. 

"This case raises the significant moral, legal and medical question as to when a person is dead. Archie's parents do not accept that he is dead and are fighting for his life.

"Archie's parents should be given every chance to pursue all the available medical avenues they can before having the support shut down.

"People should not have life support withdrawn prematurely in our hospitals. Archie must be given every chance and the wishes of his parents supported and respected."