Following the High Court decision today, 5 August 2022, ruling that 12-year-old Archie Battersbee cannot be moved to a hospice for withdrawal of treatment, Bishop John Sherrington said:
“I assure the parents and family of Archie Battersbee, as well as all those caring for him and all concerned for his good, of my prayers at this painful time.
“As his life support will now be withdrawn, every step must recognise his inherent dignity as a person created in the image and likeness of God. The process of compassionate accompaniment of Archie and his parents at this time of saying goodbye is so important.
“The recently hard-fought arguments in the courts about Archie’s ongoing treatment and care highlight again the need to find better ways of mediation by which parents and health care professionals can reach common agreements and avoid complex legal proceedings.
“Whilst the Catholic Church recognises that there are situations when medical treatment to sustain life is no longer obligatory if there is no hope of recovery, ordinary treatment and care should be provided appropriate to the condition of the patient.”
Bishop John Sherrington is an auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Westminster and Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.