Parents of UK boy ask for him to die in hospice after legal bid fails

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LONDON (AFP) - The parents of 12-year-old British boy Archie Battersbee on Friday (Aug 5) launched a last-ditch bid for him to die in a hospice after accepting their legal battle to keep him alive was over.

The family ran out of judicial options to keep the comatose boy on life support after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Wednesday declined to intervene, ending Britain's latest high-profile medical ethics case.

They also failed in an initial UK court bid on Friday to allow Archie to spend his final hours in a hospice, rather than in hospital.

But they are challenging that decision, and a stay on the withdrawal of treatment was granted on Friday to allow time for the appeal to be lodged.

Archie's mother, Ms Hollie Dance, found her son unconscious at home in April with signs he had placed a ligature over his head, possibly after taking part in an online asphyxiation challenge.

She wants to take Archie abroad for treatment.

Ms Dance said on Friday that the family was "broken but we are keeping going, because we love Archie and refuse to give up on him".

Battersbee's life support at the Royal London Hospital had been due to end on Monday after the family lost in the domestic courts.

But the 12-year-old's parents sought a last-minute ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to keep him alive, and he continued to receive treatment as the legal fight continued.

The Strasbourg-based ECHR said in a statement, however, that it had "decided not to issue the interim measure sought".

It said that the application was "inadmissible" and such requests were only granted on an "exceptional basis".

The family then turned their legal bid towards moving him to a hospice.

The hospital's governing trust has said it will not make any changes to Archie's care "until the outstanding legal issues are resolved".

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