The parents of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee have lost a Supreme Court bid to block the withdrawal of his life-sustaining treatment pending a review of his case by a UN committee.

Hollie Dance and Paul Battersbee, from Southend, last week made an application to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to review Archie's case.

The committee issued a request that the UK Government "refrain from withdrawing" his treatment while it considers their complaint.

However, a letter sent on Sunday on behalf of Health Secretary Steve Barclay requested the matter be urgently reviewed by the courts.

Read more >>> Archie's family 'want him to be moved to hospice' if life-support to be cut off

A Court of Appeal hearing was held yesterday, following which three senior judges refused to further extend the stay on withdrawing Archie's treatment.

Sir Andrew McFarlane said there would be a short stay put in place until 12pm today to allow Ms Dance and Mr Battersbee time to make an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court confirmed it had received the application and it was being considered by a panel of three justices.

The judges have now delivered their decision and Archie's parents have lost the bid to block the withdrawal of his life-sustaining treatment pending the review of his case by a UN committee.

Lord Hodge, the court's deputy president, considered the application for permission to appeal alongside Lords Kitchin and Stephens - the same panel of Supreme Court justices who rejected an appeal bid by Archie's parents last week.

Announcing the court's refusal to hear the appeal, the judges said: "As this panel stated in its note of determination last week, the justices have great sympathy with the plight of Archie's devoted parents who face a circumstance that is every parent's nightmare - the loss of a much-loved child."

The judges continued: "It has to be borne in mind that, sadly, the central issue between Archie's parents on the one hand and the NHS trust, which is supported by Archie's very experienced guardian, has not been about Archie's recovery but about the timing and manner of his death.

"As Sir Andrew MacFarlane recorded in his earlier judgment of July 25, there is no prospect of any meaningful recovery.

"Even if life-sustaining treatment were to be maintained, Archie would die in the course of the next few weeks through organ failure and then heart failure.

"The maintenance of the medical regime, as (Mr Justice Hayden) held in his very sympathetic judgment, 'serves only to protract his death'.

"That conclusion was one which the judge reached only 'with the most profound regret'."

A spokesman for the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the legal action brought by Archie's parents, had said the hospital trust confirmed it would not take any steps to withdraw treatment until the Supreme Court reached a decision.

Ms Dance has said she and Mr Battersbee are “extremely disappointed” with the Supreme Court’s decision.

In a statement issued by the Christian Legal Centre, Ms Dance said: “No authorities, other than the UN CRPD, have shown any compassion or understanding to us as a family.

“We will fight until the end.”

The centre has called for changes to the law following Archie’s case.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “What Archie’s case has shown is that systematic reform is needed to protect the vulnerable and their families in end-of-life matters.

“Legislation must be passed reforming the system. Archie’s case stands in the gap. The precedent his case sets can go an incredibly long way to fixing a system which has no room for error.”

Archie was found unconscious at his home by his mother on April 7 and has not regained consciousness since. She believes he was taking part in an online challenge.