Archie Battersbee Allowed Life Support as his Parents Await Appeal - Bishops of the United Kingdom Release Statement "We seek and pray that he will continue to be treated..."

Archie Battersbee, age 12, of the United Kingdom, was found at home by his mother on April 7 with a ligature around his neck after allegedly taking part in a social media challenge called “blackout,” in which people choke themselves up to the point that they pass out. 
 A Catholic bioethics institute has critcised a decision by the High Court in London to allow doctors to withdraw ventilation from a brain-damaged boy on the grounds that he was not definitely dead. “It seems extraordinary that questions of life and death should be matters of a balance of probability rather than determination beyond reasonable doubt,” a statement said posted on the website of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre. “No one would suggest burying someone who was ‘more likely than not’ to be dead,” the statement said. Archie Battersbee was baptized Catholic on his hospital bed.
 Doctors at the Royal London Hospital have concluded that Archie, who has not regained consciousness, is “brain stem dead.” But his mother, Hollie Dance, has contested their decision to withdraw his ventilation and harvest his organs since he is able to communicate with her by squeezing her hand and that his heart is still beating.
 A High Court judge ruled in favor of the doctors at a hearing on June 13, deciding on the “balance of probabilities” that it was more likely than not that the boy, from Essex, had died.
A week later, the High Court granted Dance and Archie’s father, Paul Battersbee, permission to lodge an appeal against the judgment on one of nine submitted grounds. The judge accepted that no evidence had showed “beyond reasonable doubt” that the boy is dead and that the parents should have the right to ask judges of the Court of Appeal to consider arguments around the “standard of proof” in the case. 
 The Anscombe statement said the June 13 ruling was in clear conflict with Catholic medical ethics.  “The Catholic Church requires moral certainty of death – certainty beyond reasonable doubt – before unpaired vital organs can be taken from a body,” the Anscombe Centre continued in its statement. Archie Battersbee has been unconscious for two months.   Archie Battersbee Archie Battersbee will continue to receive treatment until a final decision over his future is made. 
UK Bishops' Statement on Archie Battersbee and his life-support treatment
The High Court has given permission for Archie Battersbee’s parents to appeal against the decision to allow life support treatment to end. Last week, a High Court judge ruled that Archie was “brain stem dead” and treatment could stop. However, following another hearing the same judge gave permission for Archie’s parents to take their case to the Court of Appeal.
Bishop John Sherrington said:The sad case of Archie Battersbee’s condition is very distressing. The Catholic Church requires moral certainty before it recognises death. Pope John Paul II made clear that, in principle, death can be established with moral certainty by neurological criteria. However, to date, in Archie’s case it has not been established by standard criteria that he has died nor that his brain-stem has died. Admittedly in his condition these criteria for death are difficult to use and carry risks, but one cannot judge life and death matters on probabilities saying that it is ‘likely or very likely’ that he has died. We note that the judge has allowed Archie’s parents to appeal to the Court of Appeal. We seek and pray that he will continue to be treated with full dignity in his disabled condition with continuation of his life-sustaining treatment in accord with his parent’s wishes until there is a clear agreement that his death has occurred. Bishop John Sherrington Lead Bishop for Life Issues Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster He has not regained consciousness.