THERE can't be a parent whose heart doesn't go out to the family of young Archie Battersbee. To see your son go from a healthy 12-year-old to a husk clinging onto life is unimaginable.

His family have fought a long but ultimately unsuccessful battle to stop care being withdrawn from their son. Now, their final wish that he be moved to a hospice for his final days or hours has been denied.

Archie, who is being treated at the Royal London Hospital, was found unconscious at home in Southend, Essex, on April 7.

The keen gymnast never regained consciousness after his mother Hollie Dance found him unresponsive, hanging with a cord wrapped under his chin at their family home.

His mother believes he may have been taking part in an online challenge. Youngsters today have access to an endless stream of content online – some of it harmful. Traditional publishers, whether that's TV, radio or newspapers, have strict standards. Sadly, ethics can be in short supply in the wild west of the internet.

Parents are told to monitor what their children are viewing on the web but it's an almost impossible task when youngsters live online for so much of their lives.

This tragedy could have happened to any family, which is what makes it so frightening. We can only hope that no other family has to go through this hell.