A judge in the U.K. has ruled an 8-month-old baby girl must be taken off life support, even though her parents have said she remains responsive and are working to transport her to Italy for further care.
Justice Robert Peel issued the order. In response, the parents of Indi Gregory have — with the support of the Christian Legal Centre — filed an appeal to his ruling that their daughter be removed from life support at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham by Thursday.
Indi is suffering from mitochondrial disease, according to the BBC, and the doctors treating her have said there is nothing more they can do to continue her care. At the very least, the infant’s parents have requested their child be allowed to return to their home in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
But the judge ordered her treatment to end in the hospital or in hospice care.
BREAKING: The UK judiciary orders the death of the little patient #IndiGregory tomorrow at 2 pm 🇬🇧, despite the fact that the roman Bambino Gesù Hospital has offered to treat her in Italy and the Italian Government has granted Italian citizenship to the little girl to allow the… pic.twitter.com/paudtTZdTv— Jacopo Coghe (@jacopocoghe) November 8, 2023
In his written judgment, Peel said it would be “all but impossible” to remove little Indi’s life support — including her intubation — and continue her palliative care from the couple’s home. Medical personnel told the court the baby is “clearly distressed, agitated, and in pain.”
They further explained that after-care would need to be “managed by trained professionals with resources on hand to deal with complications and minimize distress.”
“I consider it essential that [Indi] should continue to have clinical treatment of the highest quality, carried out in a safe and sustainable setting,” the judge said. “That will not be available at home.”
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The U.K. judge is, however, at odds with the prime minister of Italy, who has granted Indi citizenship.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said she is willing to do whatever she can to help the Gregory family.
“They say there isn’t much hope for little Indi but, until the very end, I’ll do what I can to defend her life,” said Meloni. “And to defend the right of her mamma and papa to do all that they can for her.”
Indi’s father, Dean, condemned the U.K. legal system for ignoring the offering from the Italian government.
“For the hospital and the UK Courts to simply ignore the offer from the Italian government is disgraceful,” he said. “I appeal to the British government to allow Indi to come to Italy before it is too late. 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.”
Personnel with the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital in Rome have said they would immediately admit Indi and attempt a right ventricular outflow stent procedure. Furthermore, the Italian government has stated it would cover the cost of the treatments.
Christian Legal Centre Chief Executive Andrea Williams is calling out British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for failing to come to the defense of Indi and her parents.
“What good reason can there be to detain Indi here against the wishes of her parents when treatment is being offered in Rome?” she asked. “The developments lay bare the difference in approach between two nations when the Italian prime minister has been public in her support of Indi Gregory and the right of her parents to access treatment in Rome and the British prime minister has remained silent.”
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