Family loses Supreme Court request to extend boy’s life support

LONDON (AP) – Britain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to prevent a hospital from withdrawing life support from a 12-year-old boy with catastrophic brain damage, rejecting an offer from his parents to extend his treatment.

Archie Battersbee’s parents had asked Supreme Court judges to block a lower court’s ruling that the Royal London Hospital may shut down the boy’s ventilator and stop other interventions that keep him alive.

Archie’s treatment was set to end at noon on Tuesday, but the hospital said it would await the Supreme Court’s decision.

UK Supreme Court judges said Archie had “no prospect of any meaningful recovery”, and would die of organ and heart failure even with continued treatment in the coming weeks.

The judges agreed with a lower court that continued treatment “only serves to prolong his death”.

Archie was found unconscious at home on April 7 with a ligature over his head. His parents think he may have entered an online challenge that went wrong.

Doctors believe Archie is brainstem dead and say continuing life-sustaining treatment is not in his best interest. Several British courts agree.

The family appealed to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and wanted the treatment to be stopped while the committee investigates the matter.

“We don’t understand what the rush is and why all our wishes are rejected,” said Hollie Dance, Archie’s mother.

The case is the latest in the UK in which doctors’ judgment has gone against families’ wishes. In several cases, including this one, the families were supported by a religious pressure group, Christian Concern.

Under UK law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree about how to treat a child. In such cases, the rights of the child take precedence over the right of the parents to decide what is best for their offspring.

On Monday, the appeals court said that “any day that (Archie) continues to receive life-prolonging treatment is against his interests and so staying, even for a short time, is against his interests.”

A panel of three Supreme Court justices said it can quash that ruling only “if it believes the Court of Appeal made a mistake of law or principle”. profession was so mistaken.”

“It is with a heavy heart that the panel comes to this conclusion and would like to express its deepest condolences to Archie’s parents at this very sad time,” the court said.

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