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expert reaction to latest developments in the Archie Battersbee case, with an injunction from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

It has been reported that the Court of Appeal is holding a last-minute hearing in the case of Archie Battersbee.


Prof Alastair Sutcliffe, Professor of General Paediatrics, University College London (UCL), said:

“Sadly young Archie has been badly brain damaged and his brain function has shown no signs of recovery.

“Due process, which is not least out of respect for his dignity, and that of his nearest and dearest has been followed to all legal levels which are ongoing.

“Should the UN committee consider a different view than our courts that will be respected. Although there may be caveats.

“If they corroborate the UK’s measured and detailed opinion from experts then Archie will be disconnected from his ventilator and be able to pass away with his family present. These kinds of very hard and sad outcomes for children are infrequent and always stressful for families and staff. I have personally attended a number of such.

“We are not immortal. The reason why this particular tragedy has reached the public eye, is most likely due to dissonance in the decision making between his caring team and Archie’s family.

“This results in considerable extra resource and time in due process, however hopefully his family will get some comfort from the UN committee’s decision, whatever that may be. No country member of the UN has infinite resources in health care. The UK is no exception.”



e.g. as reported by BBC News



Declared interests

Prof Alastair Sutcliffe: “No conflict of interest declared.”

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