NRL News

Over her parents’ furious objections, British Courts authorize the removal of Indi Gregory’s life support

by | Nov 13, 2023

Did not allow her to die at home

By Dave Andrusko

Not the government of Italy, the Vatican, nor the prayers of people around the world was enough to convince legal authorities in Great Britain to allow little Indi Gregory to die at home. Born on February 24, Indi had a rare metabolic disorder known as mitochondrial disease.

Reporting for The Guardian, Josh Halliday wrote

Christian Concern, a campaigning group acting for the parents, said on Monday the judges had “denied Indi’s parents their final wish” by ordering that her life support could not be removed at home. It said the baby girl was taken from the Queen’s Medical Centre to a hospice with a security escort and a police presence, then was provided with “invasive ventilation” after her life support was removed. She died at 1.45am on Monday, the group said.

On Friday, three appeal court judges backed the trial judge who ruled that life support treatment could not be withdrawn at the family home but only in a hospital or hospice. In a written ruling, “Justice Robert Peel said he accepted the evidence of medical specialists at the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham arguing that treatment for Indi should be withdrawn in a hospice or hospital.”

The parents of the eight month old baby, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, “wanted specialists to keep treating her but have lost fights in the high court and court of appeal in London,” according to The Guardian.

“Gregory said on Monday that the infant had died in her mother’s arms shortly before 2am on Monday, hours after she was taken to a hospice where her life support was removed,” Halliday reported.

He said they were both “heartbroken and ashamed” and added: “The NHS and the courts not only took away her chance to live a longer life, but they also took away Indi’s dignity to pass away in the family home where she belonged.

“They did succeed in taking Indi’s body and dignity, but they can never take her soul. They tried to get rid of Indi without anybody knowing, but we made sure she would be remembered forever. I knew she was special from the day she was born.”

In an extraordinary move, the Italian government “had solicited permission for her to be treated at Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome. Italian officials even granted citizenship to the baby amid the legal battle over her health care,” Sylvia Hui reported for the Associated Press.

However Justice Peel, the presiding judge in the case, was not swayed by “offers from the Italian government this week to airlift Indi to the Vatican hospital and pay for any treatment in Italy. The Italian government has also granted Indi citizenship to help facilitate her transport and treatment.”

Last Monday Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni said she would “do what I can do to defend (Indi’s) life” and “defend the right of her mamma and papa to do all that they can for her.”

Judge Peel turned the offer down, saying “a move to Italy was not in Indi’s best interests and called an intervention by Italian consular officials ‘wholly misconceived.’”

In response Dean Gregory said it was “disgraceful” for doctors and British courts to ignore the offer from Italy’s government.

“As a father I have never asked or begged for anything in my life, but I am now begging the British government to please help prevent our daughter’s life from being taken away,” he said in a statement released through Christian Concern.

Pope Francis said he was praying for Indi’s family in a statement released by the Vatican on Saturday. “It said the pope ‘embraces the family of little Indi Gregory, her father and mother, prays for them and for her, and turns his thoughts to all the children around the world in these same hours who are living in pain or risking their lives because of disease and war.’” Halliday wrote

Indi’s case “is the latest high-profile end-of-life hearing to reach the Royal Courts of Justice, following similarly fraught battles over the treatment of children including Archie BattersbeeCharlie GardAlfie EvansIsaiah HaastrupTafida Raqeeb and Alta Fixsler,” The Guardian reported.

Categories: Infants