The family of Archie Battersbee - a 12-year-old boy at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute - have been given the go-ahead to take the case to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge ruled that the youngster is dead.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot concluded that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to the boy at a trial that finished last week.
However, members of Archie’s family now want Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.
At a hearing on Monday Mrs Justice Arbuthnot twas asked o give them the go-ahead to mount an appeal.
They had to establish that they have an arguable case before a full hearing can take place.
In a written submission Edward Devereux QC, who represents Archie Battersbee’s parents, outlined a number of “grounds of appeal” .
What happened during the last Archie Battersbee hearing?
Doctors who are treating the 12-year-old boy at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, argued that they think the youngster is “brain-stem dead”.
They said treatment should now end and that Archie should be disconnected from a ventilator.
The boy’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, say the youngster’s heart is still beating and want treatment to continue.
What happened to Archie Battersbee?
Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.
His mother found him unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7.
She thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.
The youngster has not regained consciousness since the incident.
Follow the latest from the Archie Battersbee case below.
Latest from the Archie Battersbee appeal bid
Last updated: Monday, 20 June, 2022, 18:10
Family ‘delighted’ with appeal decision
A spokeswoman for Archie’s family said relatives are delighted by Mrs Justice Arbuthnot’s appeal decision.
“We were all really convinced that we weren’t going to get permission to appeal,” added Ella Carter.
“So we’re more than happy at the decision – we’re delighted.”
‘Compelling reason’ why appeal judges should consider case
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said there was a “compelling reason” why appeal judges should consider the case.
The barrister leading Archie’s parents’ legal team argued that evidence had not shown “beyond reasonable doubt” that the youngster was dead.
Edward Devereux QC said the decision had been made on a balance of probabilities.
He argued a decision of such “gravity” should have been made on a “beyond reasonable doubt” basis.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot decided that appeal judges should consider that standard of proof issue.
She said Court of Appeal judges had never considered that standard of proof issue in relation to “declaration of death” cases.
The judge said that issue provided a compelling reason why appeal judges should consider the case.
Archie’s parents get go-ahead to take case to Court of Appeal
Archie Battersbee’s parents have been given the go-ahead to take the case to the Court of Appeal, after a High Court judge concluded that the youngster was dead.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot on Monday gave Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
Grounds of appeal outlined
Edward Devereux QC, who represents Archie Battersbee’s parents, outlined a number of “grounds of appeal” in a written submission to the hearing over whether his life-support treatment should be ended.
He argued that:
- An application for a declaration of death was an exceptional category of case that required the court, notwithstanding that these were civil proceedings, to apply a standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt;
- The court erred in extending the common law definition of death to include brain stem death;
- In relation to the declaration of death, the court erred by failing to accommodate the religious views of Archie and his family.
- Where no brain stem testing was able to be carried out on an individual in a case such as this, the court should start… from a presumption that a person is alive.
- The court’s assessment of individual matters… was flawed;
- The court erred in determining that there was a sufficient evidential basis for making a declaration of death.
- The court’s analysis of best interests was flawed;
- Archie’s court-appointed guardian failed to carry out a proper best-interests analysis;
- The court erred in determining that the hearing should take place in private.
Archie parents begin appeal bid
Archie’s parents have begun an appeal bid against the High Court ruling.
Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee want Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.
They asked Mrs Justice Arbuthnot to give them permission to mount an appeal, at a High Court hearing on Monday.
Archie’s mum: ‘we face the biggest battle of our lives'
Archie Battersbee’s mother told BBC Breakfast that they face the “biggest battle of our lives” as they attempt to appeal against a ruling that the 12-year-old boy’s life support treatment should end.
Hollie Dance said she had told Archie that “you really need to wake up now because we’ve got the biggest battle of our lives and it’ll be really great if you actually helped me".
She added: “He’s so beautiful - he’s angelic. It’s no different to at home. He looks peaceful - he’s asleep.”