Archie Battersbee: Mother vows to give son mouth-to-mouth if life support is removed

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Archie Battersbee’s mother has said she is prepared to give her son mouth-to-mouth oxygen if his life support is removed.

Hollie Dance, 46, made the pledge as Archie’s family escalated their battle to the High Court, appealing to judges to allow him to die in a hospice.

The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious at his home in Southend, Essex, with a ligature around his on 7 April. His parents believe he had beem taking part in an online challenge. He has not regained consciousness since.

Doctors treating the schoolboy for the last four months have declared Archie to be “brain-stem dead” and said further treatment would be futile. That has led to lengthy but legal battle with his family, who want to continue his life support in the hope he will one day recover.

“If Archie is denied oxygen if and when life support is removed, I will continue to give him oxygen,” Ms Dance said.

“I pray that the High Court will do the right thing. If they refuse permission for us to take him to a hospice and for him to receive palliative oxygen, it will simply be inhumane and nothing about Archie’s dignity.”

A ruling on whether Archie Battersbee can be moved from hospital to a hospice to die is expected at the High Court on Friday morning.

Lawyers for Archie’s family took part in an hours-long legal hearing on Thursday, with the court in London sitting until late in the evening.

His loved ones have pledged to “fight to the end” with their last-minute bid to have him transferred to die in a hospice “with dignity”.

Ms Dance said she wanted her son to “spend his last moments” together with family privately, complaining of a lack of privacy at the hospital.

She told Times Radio on Thursday: “We can’t even have the chance to be in a room together as a family without nurses.”

She added: “There’s absolutely no privacy, which is why, again, the courts keep going on about this dignified death – why aren’t we allowed to take our child to a hospice and spend his last moments, his last days together privately?

“Why is the hospital obstructing it?”

Barts Health NHS Trust has said Archie’s condition is too unstable for a transfer and that moving him by ambulance to a different setting “would most likely hasten the premature deterioration the family wish to avoid, even with full intensive care equipment and staff on the journey”.

A High Court order made in July requires that Archie remains at the Royal London Hospital while his treatment is withdrawn.

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