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Archie Battersbee: unconscious boy to be given brain stem test against parents wishes after High Court ruling

Archie, 12, has been unconscious since early April following a “freak accident” at his home

<p>The High Court has ruled that a brain stem test - which will determine if Archie is still alive - should be performed. (Credit: PA)</p>

The High Court has ruled that a brain stem test - which will determine if Archie is still alive - should be performed. (Credit: PA)

The High Court has ruled that an unconscious boy should be given a brain stem test to determine whether he is still alive against his parent’s wishes.

Archie Battersbee, 12, has been in a coma for more than one month following a “freak accident” at home.

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Specialists at the Royal London Hospital have argued that the young boy’s life support should be switched off due them believing it was “highly likely” he was already dead.

The High Court has ruled that a brain stem test - which will determine if Archie is still alive - should be performed. (Credit: PA)

What did the High Court say?

Bosses at Barts Health Trust asked the judge, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, to rule on whether a brain stem test should be perform on the boy to determine if he is still alive.

A doctor told Mrs Justice Arbuthnot that the brain stem was responsible for the functions which kept people alive.

Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, have pushed against the test and urged for treatment of their son to continue.

They questionsed the reliability of the bain stem test, fearing that it could cause more harm to Archie’s brain.

In her ruling, the judge said: “The family as well as the clinicians need to know the results of this test.

“I understand on a human level the family’s anguish.

“Anyone can appreciate how much they must dread the result.”

What did Archie’s parents say?

As the ruling was read out in court, Ms Dance is said to have sobbed while Mr Battersbee left the court without speaking to reporters.

Barrister Bruno Quintavalle, who represented Archie’s family, told the judge: “The family will need some time to reflect on things.”

Speaking prior to the ruling, Ms Dance said: “Everyone is in such a rush,.

“I’m asking the judge to just give him more time – give him time to fight back.”

She added: “It’s only been five weeks – it took me longer to get over the flu. What’s the rush?”

What happened to Archie Battersbee?

Archie was found unconscious at home by Ms Dance on 7 April.

The young boy was found with a ligature on his head, with his mum believing that he may have been trying to partake in an online challenge.

Archie has been did not regain consciousness, and has remained in a coma since his he was found.