Archie Battersbee and Justice Emma Arbuthnot (C) (Picture: PA/Photoshot)
A High Court judge will visit a schoolboy at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute before deciding whether doctors should continue treating him.
Doctors treating Archie Battersbee, 12, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think it ‘highly likely’ he is dead and say life-support treatment should end.
Archie’s parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, Essex, disagree.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, overseeing Archie’s case at private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London, is scheduled to decide whether doctors should continue his treatment after overseeing a final hearing on June 6 and 7.
At the latest hearing on Friday, she said she would visit Archie before the final hearing to decide what’s best for him.
The judge also ruled that Archie should undergo a further scan on his brain and spine.
Lawyers representing the Royal London Hospital’s governing trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, had told the judge that specialists thought Archie had been ‘extensively investigated’ but were prepared to carry out further tests for ‘the sake of no stone being left unturned’.
Hollie Dance and son Archie
The judge has heard that Archie suffered brain damage in an incident at home in early April.
Miss Dance has told how she found him unconscious with a ligature over his head on April 7 and thinks he might have been taking part in an online challenge.
The youngster has not regained consciousness.
At an earlier hearing, one specialist told the judge that he thought scans showed that Archie had suffered ‘irretrievable’ brain damage.
Two others said they thought tests showed that the youngster was ‘brain-stem dead’.
Hollie outside the High Court in London. (PA)
Miss Dance has previously urged the judge to give Archie, a keen gymnast, ‘more time’ to recover.
She said: ‘Everyone is in such a rush.
’I’m asking the judge to just give him more time – give him time to fight back.’
A campaign organisation called the Christian Legal Centre said it is supporting Archie’s family.
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