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Parents of Archie Battersbee, British boy in coma, lose battle on life support

Parents of Archie Battersbee, British boy in coma, lose battle on life support
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The parents of a 12-year-old British boy who was in a coma three months ago after suffering a “catastrophic” brain injury have lost a court appeal to prevent doctors from stopping his life-support treatment.

Archie Battersbee was found unconscious at his home with a “ligature” around his neck on April 7, according to court records. His mother, Hollie Dance, said she thinks he choked while attempting an online viral fad called The “Blackout Challenge.”

Mom sues TikTok after 10-year-old dies trying ‘Blackout Challenge’

Doctors at the Royal London Hospital, where the boy is being treated, believe he is brain dead and that his body will eventually collapse even if life support is continued.

A lawyer for the boy’s parents told the court his mother saw her son breathing independently on a ventilator on Friday and Saturday, the Guardian newspaper reported reported.

Therefore court documentsShe also reported that Archie once squeezed her hand. Medical staff said they saw “no sign of spontaneous life in him,” even during painful procedures.

Speaking to reporters on Monday outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London – where three Court of Appeal judges upheld a previous court ruling that continuing on life support treatment was not in Archie’s best interests – Dance vowed not to give up the fight.

“The system shouldn’t be allowed to do this to people,” she said. “All I’ve asked for from day one is time. … This is my little boy, and I will fight while I can.”

A number of children have died on the Blackout Challenge after watching it on TikTok, according to a US lawsuit filed in May by the mother of Nylah Anderson, a 10 year old girl from Chester, Pa. Her mother found her hanging in her closet and near death in December. The girl – described by those who loved her as a precious, fun-loving “butterfly” – died in a hospital five days later.

Other deaths cited in the lawsuit include a 14 year old Australian boy in April 2020, a 10 year old Italian girl in January 2021, a 12 year old Colorado boy in April of this year and a 12-year-old boy from Oklahoma in July 2021.

A TikTok spokesperson told The Washington Post at the time that the “disturbing ‘challenge’ that people seem to be learning about from sources other than TikTok existed long before our platform and was never a TikTok trend.”

Sir Andrew McFarlane, one of three judges in Monday’s UK court ruling, said Archie’s condition and the “horrific predicament” he and his family find themselves in have received widespread media attention, including a photograph taken before the incident has been recorded.

However, the judge said Archie “isn’t the boy in the picture anymore”. He added that the 12-year-old is “someone whose every bodily function is now being maintained by artificial means”.

The three appeals court judges said they would delay the completion of Archie’s treatment for 48 hours – until 2pm local time on Wednesday – to allow his parents to ask the European Court of Human Rights to consider the case.

The boy’s father, Paul Battersbee, was taken to hospital ahead of Monday’s hearing after suffering a suspected heart attack.

Jonathan Edwards contributed to this report.

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