This young 12-year-old Englishman should soon be disconnected after the rejection by British and European justice of all the appeals brought by his parents.
On April 7, 12-year-old Archie Battersbee was found unconscious at his parents’ home in the United Kingdom. A very serious brain lesion is detected. In question, a dangerous and stupid Tiktok challenge, as asserted since his mother, Hollie Dance. The child would have tried to carry out the “blackout challenge”, popular on the platform, which consists of holding his breath until fainting.
Since that date, Archie has been placed in a coma and is kept artificially alive in a London hospital. The doctors claim that his condition is not expected to improve, and have asked for treatment to be stopped. An unthinkable decision for Archie’s parents. His mother Hollie and his father Paul Battersbee have multiplied legal proceedings, keeping the media in suspense across the Channel and triggering a lively debate on the end of life in the country.
“If there was the slightest possibility that the treatment would lead to an improvement, it could be proportionate and useful. But since the treatment here is futile, it undermines Archie’s dignity, robs him of his autonomy and is contrary to his well-being”, indicated the justice at the end of May.
Dismissal of all appeals
One by one, the various authorities seized dismissed the parents. On Wednesday, a final decision by the British Supreme Court ordered the cessation of care at midday. It was without counting on the determination of the Battersbee family, who decided to seize the European Court of Human Rights. In vain. The Strasbourg-based institution deemed the request inadmissible. Archie Battersbee should therefore be disconnected very soon.
“It’s so unfair. The fact that as parents we have no rights for our children. It’s disgusting. I promised him to fight until the end, and that’s exactly what I did,” her mother Hollie Dance told the cameras. Since the start of the legal tussle she has undertaken, she has spoken very regularly to the media.
She assures, alongside her husband, that Archie still shows signs of life, especially at eye level and with the pressure of his fingers. Supported by a Christian organisation, the parents add that the religious convictions of the child must be taken into account. A sports fan, Archie would have become a believer by watching athletes pray before competitions.
Arguments inadmissible from a medical point of view. “His body, his organs and his heart are in the process of being extinguished”, underlined this Monday the judge Andrew McFarlane of the Court of Appeal, quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
At least seven dead children worldwide
In the United Kingdom, like the Vincent Lambert case in France, Archie’s case sparked a lively debate on the end of life. Some consider the therapeutic relentlessness of the parents to be regrettable. The words of Hollie Dance, who felt that the NHS – social security across the Channel – was committing a “choreographed execution” against her son, sparked controversy.
The drama also shed light on the “blackout challenge” present on Tiktok, which caused Archie’s condition. After the death of two young girls aged 8 and 9 in the United States while trying to carry out this challenge, their families took legal action in the United States in early July. They criticize Tiktok for not regulating the content it broadcasts enough, incriminating its algorithm.
“TikTok had indisputable knowledge that the deadly ‘Blackout’ challenge was spreading through the app, and that its algorithm was offering it to children, including those who lost their lives,” the complaint reads.
According to the media The Verge who obtained the complaint, the parents of the two girls assure that five other children died in the world in connection with this challenge, bringing the number of victims to seven. Among the tragedies cited, the case of a girl of 10 year. She died in Palermo, Sicily, after filming herself putting a belt around her neck.
Source: BFM TV