The parents of brain-damaged 12-year-old Archie Battersbee have failed to persuade the Supreme Court to intervene in his life-support treatment battle.
The boy’s mother and father, Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, had asked Supreme Court justices to give them more time to carry on their fight, possibly taking it to the UN.
But the judges’ decision means the hospital trust can now legally withdraw his medical treatment at any time.
It comes after the Court of Appeal earlier this week upheld the High Court’s decision to withdraw life-support treatment for Archie.
The Supreme Court said it “has great sympathy with the plight of Archie’s devoted parents and recognises the emotional pain which they are suffering” but after careful consideration has refused to give them permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision.
Mr Battersbee and Ms Dance had wanted the UN to consider Archie’s case arguing it has a protocol that allows “individuals and families” to make complaints about violations of disabled people’s rights.
They claimed the UN could ask the UK government to delay the withdrawal of life support while a complaint is investigated.
Archie has relied on mechanical ventilation since being admitted to hospital on 7 April, after being found with a ligature around his neck at home.
Doctors treating him at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, think he is brain-stem dead and say continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests.