Let Archie live!
Update: On Thursday 19 May, a judge in the family court hearing set a timetable to decide whether or not Archie will be able to live. A hearing will take place on June 6 and 7 to determine whether or not continuing to treat Archie is in his 'best interests. The Royal London has determined that it would be pointless to carry out a brain stem test. In submissions to the court, the hospital bosses argued that because Archie may suddenly deteriorate without warning, it would therefore be kinder to end his life now, even though non of his bodily functions have deteriorated.
Archie's mum and sisters have all reported that not only is Archie continuing to squeeze their fingers until his knuckles turn white, but he is also opening his eyes more frequently. It can take months for people with serious head injuries to come around from a coma. Archie deserves a chance at life.
Keen boxer and gymnast 12 year-old Archie Battersbee is currently battling a brain injury in the Royal London Hospital, following a horrific incident at home on April 7, where Archie was found with a ligature around his head. Archie's mum believes that he may have been enticed into participating in an online prank which went tragically wrong.
Brain injuries typically take a long while to recover from but the hospital treating Archie seems keen to expedite his death and has taken his parents to court to argue for tests on Archie's brain stem and removal of life support, just one month after the accident.
Many experts believe that the concept of 'brain death' is a specious and unreliable concept. Many individuals have failed this test only to wake up later, in one case, hours before their organs were due to be donated. Four weeks is insufficient time to ascertain what Archie's hopes of recovery may be. Archie's parents are additionally concerned that the Royal London does not appear to have taken any action to treat the swelling on Archie's brain. A test to determine brain stem activity would require Archie to be removed from his ventilator which could cause further injury.
According to guidance issued by the Royal Colleges if Archie were already dead, then his bodily functions would have already deteriorated, but this has not happened. Furthermore, Archie's mother reports that her son has been able to squeeze her fingers with a tight grip.
The Royal London Hospital has been inefficient when it comes to providing medical records about Archie's condition, including the MRI scans which are being used to diagnose him. Archie's family spent 3 weeks filing out and then re-filing out sets of forms to access his records, only to be told that they would then need to go through an entirely different process because of the legal proceedings.
It is unconscionable that a family should be put through layers of bureaucracy and the stress of a court case at a time when they are trying to spend every spare moment tending to their sick child at his bedside.
Once again a family is being pitted against the mighty power of NHS bureaucracy which runs a well-oiled legal and PR machine ready to whip families into secretive court proceedings, the moment they object to plans to end the lives of their loved ones.
One month is not enough time to ascertain Archie's future, especially when the test that the hospital wishes to perform is known to be inaccurate. Archie must be given enough time to recover and also, a chance to survive, even if his future does look different to how it was originally envisaged.
Sign the petition today.
Mother vows fight to keep Archie alive a while longer:
Mum claims Archie squeezed her fingers:
12-year-old Archie deserves a chance