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Family of Archie Battersbee 'claim the right to pray for a miracle' as they win right to Court of Appeals hearing

by Sophie Drew
Archie Battersbee mum.jpg - Banner image

The family of Archie Battersbee have won the right to appeal a high court ruling after a judge ruled doctors could lawfully stop treating their 12 year-old son. 

Archie was found unconscious in his Southend home in April. His mother believes he was engaging in a TikTok challenge that sees participants choke themselves until they faint and then regain consciousness on camera. 

The elite gymnast has been on life support for nine weeks; on the 13th June, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that Archie was dead and that his ventilator should be removed. 

His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, have said his heart is still beating and Archie can still regulate his own body temperature.

Dance has also shared videos that appear to show her son gripping her hand during his time at the Royal London Hospital. 

The pair will have their case heard at the Court of Appeals next week.

The Christian Legal Cent, the organisation supporting the family, said that they have every right "to pray for a miracle" and should be allowed the time to do so. 

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, commented: "A ruling that says death can be declared on the balance of probabilities sets a troubling precedent for our society and must be appealed.

"...Archie's parents believe that the time and manner of his death should be determined by God and claim a right to pray for a miracle until and unless that happens. That belief must be respected. The ideology of 'dignity in death', meaning a planned time of death as fixed and carried out by the doctors, should not be brutally imposed on families who do not believe in it."

"We will continue to stand with the family as they appeal the ruling and continue to pray for a miracle."

Archie had expressed a strong interest in Christianity prior to his accident and had been asking to be baptised for years. 

On Easter Sunday 2022, whilst strapped to his ventilator, Archie's lifelong wish was fulfilled. 

His mother and siblings were baptised the following day. 

Alistair Chesser, Chief Medical Officer for Barts Health NHS Trust said: “This is a sad and difficult time for Archie's family and our thoughts and sympathies are with them. We are giving the family the opportunity to appeal the decision and we will continue to provide Archie with the best possible care while we await guidance from the courts.”

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