Archie Battersbee: European court refuses to intervene in bid to move 12-year-old to hospice

A European court has refused to intervene in Archie Battersbee’s family’s legal battle to have the 12-year-old moved to a hospice.

His parents had appealed after losing a High Court bid to have their son moved from the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel before his life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn.

But they had sought help from the European Court of Human Rights – after the British Court of Appeal confirmed shortly after 6.30pm on Friday that their permission to appeal had been refused.

However, a statement from the European court some three hours later said its judges would not be applying the “interim measures” permitted in “exceptional” cases where it “considers that the applicant faces a real risk of serious, irreversible harm if the measure is not applied”.

The family’s “submissions did not appear to contain an explicit request for the court to take a specific action under Rule 39”, a spokesperson said in reference to the legal process allowing for such measures.

The boy’s family have been told his life-sustaining treatment will be withdrawn from 10am on Saturday, campaign group Christian Concern said.

But Barts Health NHS Trust said its position remains the same in that no changes will be made to Archie’s care “until the outstanding legal issues are resolved”.

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