Archie Battersbee’s parents are awaiting a decision from Britain’s highest court on whether to further delay the withdrawal of his life-sustaining treatment.
The 12-year-old has been in a coma since he was found unconscious by his mother on April 7 and is currently being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatment, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east. London.
His parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, were granted a Court of Appeal hearing on Monday after the government asked judges to quickly consider a request by a UN committee to continue treating Archie while it considers his case.
After considering the case, three judges refused to delay the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment beyond midday on Tuesday.
They also refused leave to appeal their ruling to the Supreme Court.
But Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee have now made an application directly to the High Court and a three-judge panel is considering their request.
Archie’s parents want the court to order his treatment to continue to give the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) time to consider their complaint, made last week.
We don’t understand what the rush is and why all our wishes are rejected
Dance said: “We have to fight every decision with the hospital.
“There is nothing dignified in how we are treated as a family in this situation. We don’t understand what the rush is and why all our wishes are rejected.
“I know Archie is still with us. Archie shows very different signs to what the clinicians actually send to the courts.
“He’s very much there, he’s progressing in so many ways.
“We are asking for an encouraging response from the Supreme Court.”
A spokesman for the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the legal action by Archie’s parents, said the hospital has confirmed it will not take any steps to withdraw the treatment until the High Court has reached a decision.
The court confirmed that it has received the application, and it is being considered by a panel of three judges.
A spokeswoman said: “The High Court is aware of the urgency of this matter. A panel of three judges will deal with the application for leave to appeal ‘on paper’, in the usual way.”
Archie’s treatment was due to be withdrawn on Monday after a High Court judge concluded it would be “lawful” and in his best interests and the family had exhausted all avenues of appeal.
The appeals court declined to challenge that ruling last week, but the case was brought back to court Monday after the UNCRPD asked that the government “refrain from withdrawing” Archie’s treatment while it considers the appeal from his parents.
A letter sent on Sunday on behalf of Health Secretary Steve Barclay asked the court to quickly consider the case in light of the committee’s request.
However, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division of the High Court, said on Monday that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, under which the UN committee made its request, is a “non-incorporated international treaty”.
Sir Andrew said: “It is not part of the law of the United Kingdom … and it is not appropriate for this court to apply an unincorporated international treaty in its decision-making process.
“Every day that (Archie) continues to be given life-sustaining treatment is against his best interests and therefore a stay, even for a short period, is against his best interests.”
The judge said that was the decision made in the courts of England and Wales.
Archie was found unconscious at his mother’s home on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. She thinks he took part in an online challenge.