Archie Battersbee

After a tragic accident, 12-year-old Archie Battersbee was left in a critical condition. Despite his parents’ wishes that he would be given more time to recover, the court ruled it was in his ‘best interests’ to die, and his life support was removed.


May 2022

Archie Battersbee’s mother and father wanted to give Archie every chance at life after he was found unconscious with a ligature around his neck in what is believed to be a tragic accident in early 2022.

Archie was initially given 24 hours to live. Doctors believed it was ‘highly likely’ that Archie was brain dead, with the Family Division of the High Court ruling that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ this was likely to be true. This was expressly overturned by the Court of Appeal, which ruled the case should be heard again after the High Court judgment wrongly determined that Archie was dead.


June 2022

In the following rounds of the courts, however, judges began to rule that it was instead ‘in Archie’s best interests’ to die. At the end of July, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities intervened, urging the UK government to keep Archie alive while it considered the case. Controversially, the UK courts defied the international injunction, refusing to hold off on removing his life support for even a week longer. Similarly, his family’s preference to have Archie moved to a hospice was ruled out – doctors and courts claimed the move wouldn’t be ‘dignified’; his only option was die a ‘dignified’ death in hospital.

Archie’s life support was finally removed on 6 August 2022. Archie died at 12.15pm.

August 2022
Sky News

Shortly after his death, his family issued a statement: “We are thankful for the huge amount of support we’ve received from so many different people. We are grateful to our legal team and others who have stood with us as we have faced these difficult challenges. We want something good to come out of this tragedy and the horrendous experience we have been put through by the system.

“No parent or family must go through this again. We have been forced to fight a relentless legal battle by the Hospital Trust while faced with an unimaginable tragedy.

“There must be an investigation and inquiry through the proper channels on what has happened to Archie, and we will be calling for change.”

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