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Archie Battersbee’s parents fail in Supreme Court life-support bid

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The parents of brain-damaged Archie Battersbee have failed to persuade the Supreme Court to intervene in a life-support treatment battle.

The 12-year-old boy has been in a comatose state since being found unconscious with a ligature over his head on 7 April.

Archie’s mother and father, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, had asked the Supreme Court justices for more time to carry on their fight, after earlier this week a court ruled his ventilator could legally be switched off.

They wanted Supreme Court justices to bar hospital bosses from stopping life-support treatment until they have had time to make an application to the UN.

But this afternoon, three justices refused their application.

“The parents of Archie Battersbee filed their application to appeal to the Supreme Court earlier today,” said a Supreme Court spokeswoman in a statement.

“They were seeking a stay of the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow withdrawal of life-support treatment from their child.

“Aware of the urgency of this matter, the court convened a panel of three Justices who considered submissions from the parties ‘on paper’, in the usual way.

“Having considered the careful judgment of the Court of Appeal… the panel has refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Archie’s parents say the UN has a protocol which allows “individuals and families” to make complaints about violations of disabled people’s rights.

They say the UN could ask the UK government to delay the withdrawal of life support to Archie while a complaint is investigated.

A spokesman for the Christian Legal Centre, who are supporting Archie’s parents, has indicated that Archie‘s parents wanted to approach the UN rather than the European court.

“The UK has joined the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which gives individuals a right to complain about any violations of the Convention to the UN Committee,” he said.

“The committee has previously criticised the UK system of authorising withdrawal of life support from disabled people based on the court determination of their best interests rather than on their own wishes.”

Doctors treating Archie at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, believe he is brain-stem dead and say continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests.

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