Archie Batterbee’s life support is set to be switched off this morning, pending a final attempt by his family to postpone the decision.
It comes after the 12-year-old from Southend in Essex was found unconscious with a ligature over his head after believing to have taken part in an online challenge back on 7 April 2022, and has been in a coma ever since without regaining consciousness.
Declared “brain-stem dead” by medical professionals, he is being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions – including ventilation and drug treatments.
The High Court previously ruled that Archie’s treatment should come to an end and his life support should be switched off, and the Court of Appeal upheld that decision, before the Supreme Court denied extensions on several occasions.
But his parents, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, have refused to give up their fight.
His parents claim that stopping treatment would be in breach of the UK’s obligations under Articles 10 and 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children.
Having been at the centre of a lengthy legal dispute over the last few months, the family’s appeal against the decision to end his treatment was refused by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, and Ms Dance said that her son’s treatment would end, unless an application was made to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by 9am.
Archie’s life support will be withdrawn at 11am if an application is not submitted to the ECHR in time, Ms Dance confirmed.
The Supreme Court panel said on Tuesday in its ruling that, while they have “great sympathy with the plight of Archie’s devoted parents,” they believe there is “no prospect of any meaningful recovery”, adding that: “Even if life-sustaining treatment were to be maintained, Archie would die in the course of the next few weeks through organ failure and then heart failure.”
“The panel reaches this conclusion with a heavy heart,” the ruling said.
Barts NHS Health Trust – which runs the Royal London Hospital in east London, where Archie is being treated – said it would continue to “work with the family to prepare for the withdrawal of treatment”, but speaking after the Supreme Court’s decision, Ms Dance said she would “fight to the bitter end”.
She felt the system to decide treatment options where there is a dispute between families and hospital trusts “needs reforming dramatically,” and she hopes they have “paved the way” for any other parents wanting to go up against a trust in this country and the justice system.
A government spokesperson said in response to the ongoing fight ahead of the final bid this morning to extend Archie’s treatment that “our thoughts are with Archie Battersbee’s family at this incredibly difficult time”.
“It is right that decisions about Archie’s treatment are taken by expert doctors and the courts.”
Featured Image – Hollie Dance
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”