LONDON ( Associated Press) – A 12-year-old boy, who had been in a coma for four months, died at a London hospital on Saturday after doctors cut off life-saving equipment, ending treatment at the center of a long battle.
Archie Battersby’s mother, Holly Dance, said the boy died at 12:15 p.m., about two hours after the hospital withdrew treatment. British courts rejected the family’s request to transfer Archie to a hospice, and the European Court of Human Rights declined a second time to intervene in the case.
“He fought till the end,” Dance said, crying outside the hospital. “I’m the proudest mom in the world.”
Archie’s care became the focus of weeks of legal debate, with parents trying to force the hospital to go on life support and doctors saying the boy had no chance of recovery and should be allowed to die.
The family sought permission to move Archie to hospice after the court ruled that withholding treatment was in the boy’s best interest. The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that shaking him would have caused his death quickly.
On Friday, Supreme Court Judge Lucy Theis rejected the family’s request, saying Archie should remain in the hospital while treatment be withdrawn.
“From the beginning. I recognize the horrors that await Archie’s parents and family. His unconditional love and dedication to Archie is the golden thread that runs throughout this case,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “I hope that Archie is given the chance to die in peaceful circumstances, the family he loves as much as the family apparently loves him.”
The controversy is fresh in the UK in which the doctors’ decision goes against the wishes of the family. Under British law, courts often intervene when parents and doctors disagree about the child’s treatment. In these cases, what is most convenient for the child is up to the parent’s right to decide what is best for their children.