News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Catholic groups call for rethink following legal disputes around life of Archie Battersbee

by Marcus Jones
Archie Battersbee cropped.png - Banner image
Hollie Dance/ Alamy

The Catholic Church in England and Wales says there needs to be a better way to deal with life issues following the death of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee.

He passed away on Saturday after his life support was removed.

His Christian family had exhausted legal options fighting for his right to be kept alive.

Speaking following his death, they said no one should have to watch their child die by having life support withdrawn - calling it "barbaric".

Calling for lessons to be learnt from this case, Rt Rev John Sherrington lead bishop for life issues for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said: "Every step must recognise his inherent dignity as a person created in the image and likeness of God. The process of compassionate accompaniment of Archie and his parents at this time of saying goodbye is so important.

"The recently hard-fought arguments in the courts about Archie's ongoing treatment and care highlight again the need to find better ways of mediation by which parents and health care professionals can reach common agreements and avoid complex legal proceedings.

"Whilst the Catholic Church recognises that there are situations when medical treatment to sustain life is no longer obligatory if there is no hope of recovery, ordinary treatment and care should be provided appropriate to the condition of the patient."

The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is also calling for reform on the issue.

In a statement in response to Archie's death, the Catholic organisation said: "The Centre therefore calls on the Secretary of State for Health to act urgently to bring into force section 177 of the Health and Care Act 2022 [3] which states that:

"(1) The Secretary of State must arrange for the carrying out of a review into the causes of disputes between (on the one hand) persons with parental responsibility for a critically ill child and (on the other) persons responsible for the provision of care or medical treatment for the child as part of the health service in England.

"(2) The Secretary of State must publish and lay before Parliament a report on the outcome of the review, within one year beginning with the date on which this section comes into force.

"The tragic case of Archie Battersbee must lead to reform so that such conflicts can be averted in the future."
 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate