Here is a timeline of the tragic case of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee:
– April 7, 2022
Archie is found unconscious by his mother, Hollie Dance, at their home in Southend, Essex. He has a bandage around his neck, leading her to believe he was participating in an online challenge gone wrong. The boy is taken to the hospital with head trauma.
– April 26
The Barts Health NHS Trust, responsible for Archie’s care at the Royal London Hospital, is filing a lawsuit in the High Court seeking to carry out a brainstem test – responsible for keeping people alive – and withdraw mechanical ventilation. They think it’s “highly likely” that the young man is effectively dead and say it’s in their best interest for life-support treatment to stop. Archie’s parents Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee raise concerns.
– May 13
The Supreme Court judge, Ms. Arbuthnot, decides that a brainstem test would be in Archie’s best interest.
– 16th of May
Two specialists attempt a nerve stimulation test on Archie, but no response is detected.
– June 6th to 8th
Mrs. Judge Arbuthnot, sitting in the Family Division of the Supreme Court, oversees three days of evidence and arguments relating to Archie’s treatment. Doctors think it is “very likely” that he is “brain dead”. Lawyers representing Archie’s family say his heart is still beating and they want the care to continue.
– 13th of June
Mrs. Justice Arbuthnot determines that Archie is dead and said that doctors can legally stop treating him. Archie’s family says they plan to appeal.
– 20th of June
Archie’s parents, Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee, are allowed to appeal the decision.
– 29th of June
At the subsequent hearing, three appellate judges rule that evidence relating to what is in Archie’s best interest must be reconsidered by a different Supreme Court justice. Archie’s parents say they are “delighted” with the decision.
– July 11
Supreme Court Justice Hayden hears evidence from doctors that continuing to treat Archie will only “delay the inevitable.” But the boy’s mother says her son is a “born fighter” and asks that care continue.
– 15th of July
Judge Hayden rules in favor of the hospital’s trust, saying the medical evidence is “compelling and unanimous” and painted a “gloomy” picture. He adds: “There can be no hope of recovery.” Archie’s parents say they will ask the judges of the Court of Appeal to overturn Judge Hayden’s decision.
– 21st to 22nd of July
Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division of the Supreme Court and the longest-serving family court judge in England and Wales, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson are told that medical evidence showed Archie was in ” comatose state” during a two-day hearing.
– 25th of July
The three judges on the Court of Appeal rule that doctors can legally stop providing life-supporting treatment to Archie. Once again, the family announces plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
– 28th of July
The family is unable to convince the Supreme Court to intervene in the case.
– July 29
Undeterred, the family makes a “last ditch” request to a UN committee to intervene.
– 31st of July
The hospital that cares for Archie says his treatment is due out on August 1 at 2pm. However, it is confirmed that the Court of Appeal has granted a virtual hearing for 11am on 1 August after the UK government asked it to “urgently consider” a request by the UN committee to continue its treatment so that the committee could examine your case.
– 01 of August
The Court of Appeal rejects a request to defer discontinuing Archie’s treatment. It says life support care will end at noon the next day.
– August 2
Archie’s parents are not allowed to appeal the latest Supreme Court ruling. Mrs. Dance said the Barts Health NHS Trust will begin withdrawing Archie’s life support on August 3 at 11 am, unless the family has filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights by 9 am that day. The trust will not begin removing life support until all legal issues are resolved.
– August 3
The European Court of Human Rights refuses the last-minute request. Archie’s family says they intend to ask the Supreme Court to allow the student to be transferred to a hospice.
– August 4
Nearly four months after Archie suffered traumatic head injuries, his parents formally filed a lawsuit in Superior Court over the switch to hospice care — something the hospital opposes. Archie’s care continues.