England: But to the hospice? Archie's parents appeal

Despite another defeat in court, the parents of the terminally ill Archie in England do not want to give up and continue to fight for their son to be placed in a hospice.

England: But to the hospice? Archie's parents appeal

Despite another defeat in court, the parents of the terminally ill Archie in England do not want to give up and continue to fight for their son to be placed in a hospice.

The family and their supporters filed an application with the Court of Appeal on Friday, after the High Court ruled against the 12-year-old being transferred from hospital to a hospice to die.

Doctors see no chance of recovery

Archie has been in a coma since April. In an accident at home in Southend-on-Sea, he suffered serious brain injuries, presumably during an Internet dare. The treating doctors see no chance of recovery.

The UK's highest court had backed the doctors' decision to let Archie die. A final appeal by the parents to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg was also unsuccessful.

Archie's parents then tried to get their son transferred to a hospice so that Archie could spend his final hours in a quieter, more peaceful environment. However, the hospital refused: "Archie is in such an unstable condition that there is a significant risk even if he is turned inside his hospital bed, which must be done as part of his ongoing care," the hospital operator said. A transfer by ambulance to a completely different area would therefore most likely worsen his condition rapidly.

Long litigation

The High Court agreed with this assessment. It was in Archie's best interest that life support be removed at the hospital rather than in another setting, the judge said. The London clinic had already announced several times for the measures to be discontinued, but these were repeatedly delayed due to the long legal dispute over Archie's fate.

In their "fight to the bitter end", the family of the twelve-year-old is supported by the conservative non-profit organization Christian Concern, which provides legal assistance in selected cases and speaks out against the recognition of homosexuality and transsexuality.

The legal tug-of-war in the Archie case was even an issue in the Vatican. An opinion piece appeared on the official Vatican platform "Vatican News" arguing against the shutdown of the devices in the Archie case. A society must protect life - and also the weak and fragile - it says.

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