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Archie Battersbee case: Life support for 12-year-old boy with brain damage should end, UK judge says

In the UK, the High Court has ruled that the life support treatment of a 12-year-old boy with brain damage must be stopped because he is in “brain stem death”. Brain death (also known as brainstem death) is a state in which a person is on an artificial life support machine and has no brain function left. In such a state, experts have claimed that the person will never regain consciousness or be able to breathe without help. A person whose brain is dead is legally confirmed as dead.

On April 7 this year, a 12-year-old boy, Archie Battersbee, was seriously injured in an incident at his home in Southend, Essex. He was found unconscious. Since then, he has been at the center of a legal dispute.

UK media say doctors treating him at the Royal London Hospital in east London told the High Court it was ‘very likely’ he was in ‘brain stem death’. They even demanded that the life support system stop.

“I find that Archie passed away at noon on May 31, 2022, shortly after the MRI scans performed that day. I find that irreversible brain stem function arrest has been definitively established,” said the judge in a written decision.

On the other hand, her parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee wanted the treatment to continue. They claimed their son, who did not regain consciousness after the accident, grabbed his mother’s hand while his heart was still beating.

Her mother was “devastated and extremely disappointed” by the decision. She released a statement after the court’s decision. She wrote: ‘I am devastated and extremely disappointed by the judge’s decision after weeks of legal battle when I wanted to be at my baby boy’s bedside.

“Basing this judgment on an MRI test and the fact that he is ‘likely’ to be dead is not enough. It is believed that this is the first time that a person has been declared ‘likely’ to be dead. dead based on an MRI test,” she added.

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Post expires at 9:00pm on Thursday June 23rd, 2022