LONDON (AP) — A 12-year-old boy who had been in a coma for four months died in a London hospital on Saturday after doctors ended life-saving treatment that was the subject of a long court battle .
Archie Battersbee’s mother, Hollie Dance, said he died at 12.15pm, around two hours after the hospital began to halt treatment. British courts had rejected the family’s request to transfer Archie to a hospice, and the European Court of Human Rights declined to intervene in the case for a second time.
“He fought until the very end,” Dance said, crying outside the hospital. “I’m the proudest mom in the world.”
Archie’s care was the subject of weeks of legal arguments as his parents sought to force the hospital to continue with life-saving treatments and doctors argued there was no chance of recovery and that he should be allowed to die.
The family have sought permission to move Archie to a hospice after UK courts ruled it was in his best interest to end treatment. The hospital said Archie’s condition was so unstable that moving him would hasten his death.
On Friday, High Court Judge Lucy Theis dismissed the family’s request, saying Archie should remain in hospital while treatment is stopped.
“I come back to where I started, acknowledging the enormity of what lies ahead for Archie’s parents and family. Their unconditional love and dedication to Archie is a golden thread that runs through this matter,” Thies wrote. in his decision “I hope now that Archie will have the opportunity to die in peaceful circumstances, with the family that meant so much to him that he clearly does for them.”
The dispute is the latest UK case pitting the judgment of doctors against the will of families. Under UK law, it is common for the courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree over a child’s medical treatment. In such cases, the best interests of the child take precedence over the parents’ right to decide what they think is best for their offspring.