UK

Boy, 12, who suffered brain damage should have test to establish if he is dead, High Court rules

A 12-year-old boy who suffered “catastrophic” brain damage should undergo a test so doctors can try to establish whether he is dead, a High Court judge has ruled

Archie Battersbee, of Southend, Essex, has not regained consciousness after suffering brain damage in an incident at home more than a month ago.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that a brain-stem test would be in Archie’s best interests.

Specialists treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel in east London, think it is “highly likely” that the youngster is dead and say life-support treatment should end.

Archie’s mother Hollie Dance, 46, urged the judge to give the youngster “more time”.

Bosses at the hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, on Thursday asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to rule that a test to establish whether Archie was brain-stem dead would be in the youngster’s best interests.

Undated handout photo of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee. A High Court judge is preparing to make decisions about the future of the 12-year-old boy who has not regained consciousness after suffering brain damage in an incident at home more than a month ago.
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Archie is a keen gymnast and MMA fan

Miss Dance said she found the keen gymnast and MMA fighter with a ligature over his head on 7 April and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.

A campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre said it is supporting Archie’s family.

Mother of Archie Battersbee, Hollie Dance, outside the High Court, central London. Hospital bosses want the unconscious 12-year-old boy tested to see if he is brain dead - and have asked a High Court judge for permission. Archie has not woken up since being found with a ligature over his head at home over a month ago. Hollie thinks he may have been taking part in an "online challenge". Picture date: Thursday May 12, 2022.
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Archie’s mum Hollie Dance

“We are standing with Archie and his family every step of the way,” said the centre’s chief executive, Andrea Williams.

Boxers David Haye and Ricky Hatton have posted videos of support and a gofundme page has also raised more than £15,000 so far in donations.

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