If he were to die while being transferred, that would be a potentially stressful, distressing, and undignified end to this sad and sorry saga. It would be bad for Archie and bad for his family.
The European Court provided a rapid answer to the application by Archie’s lawyers earlier on Wednesday. It said that it would only issue an interim measure (a legal halt to the planned withdrawal of treatment) in exceptional circumstances, where there is a real risk of irreversible harm. In Archie’s case, the European Court denied the application for an interim measure. It would not interfere with the decision of the UK’s national courts.
More importantly, there are no treatments in Japan or Italy or anywhere else that offer any prospect of helping Archie. He has devastating damage from lack of oxygen to his entire brain (and further severe damage to his spinal cord). Although at some point in the future that might change, at the present, very sadly, there is no medicine on earth that could undo that damage and help Archie. All the treatments overseas would do, would be to keep his physical body alive, while offering no possibility of him recovering. That is something the UK courts have carefully considered already and ruled out on the basis that this would be harmful to Archie, and not in his best interests.
But if a move to a local hospice would be risky, an international transfer would be even more so. Hospices are specialised centres that provide care for children or adults who have illnesses that cannot be cured and that will shorten their lives. Hospices provide an invaluable source of comfort and care when other types of medicine may have run out of options.

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