NOTTINGHAM, England (LifeSiteNews) – A U.K. judge has ruled that life support for eight-month old Indi Gregory must be withdrawn Thursday, thus rejecting the efforts of the baby’s parents along with offers of treatment from a Roman hospital and Italian citizenship.
On the afternoon of November 8, Mr. Justice Robert Peel ruled that life support for Indi is to be withdrawn as of 2 p.m. (local time) November 9. Hospital authorities even threatened to remove her life support today, without her family being present.
Indi is battling a rare mitochondrial disease and her parents have maintained that despite her disability, she is a happy baby who responds to their touch. They say there is also evidence of improvement in her condition.
Justice Peel’s ruling came despite emergency intervention from the Italian government, which granted the young girl Italian citizenship, along with offering her free transfer and treatment at Rome’s prestigious Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital.
In a ruling by the Italian consul in Manchester, Indi was placed under the guardianship of the governor of the Bambino hospital.
The transfer has even been supported publicly by Italy’s premier Georgia Meloni, who posted on X (formerly Twitter) in support of Indi: “They say there is not much hope for little Indi, but until the end I will do what I can to defend her life. And to defend the right of her mom and dad to do all they can for her.”
Dicono che non ci siano molte speranze per la piccola Indi, ma fino alla fine farò quello che posso per difendere la sua vita. E per difendere il diritto della sua mamma e del suo papà a fare tutto quello che possono per lei. pic.twitter.com/3qKghAi1Uh
— Giorgia Meloni (@GiorgiaMeloni) November 6, 2023
Notwithstanding this, the English judge ruled that it was in Indi’s “best interests” not to have treatment and die.
According to a press release from Christian Concern, the Bambino hospital’s director Dr. Antonio Perno is to request a meeting with the Queen’s Medical Centre staff to discuss taking Indi to Rome.
Her family are also looking to present an appeal to the ruling.
Indi, currently at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, was born in February 2022. But for many months Indi’s father Dean Gregory has been locked in a legal battle with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, who have argued that life-saving treatment for Indi in this country should end.
Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Gregory and his legal team have argued in court that the hospital has given a pessimistic outlook of Indi’s condition and that they have been denied the right to bring expert evidence to proceedings to support their position that her condition is improving and deserving of further treatment.
In Christian Concern’s (the media outlet of Christian Legal Centre) statement, Gregory stated that “I have had to face repeated threats from the hospital trying to intimidate me and speed up Indi’s death, even when there are outstanding court orders in place.”
“There does not appear to be any care or compassion, only cruelty towards us as a family,” he added.
Gregory added that “for the hospital and the UK Courts to simply ignore the offer from the Italian government is disgraceful.”
“I appeal to the British government to allow Indi to come to Italy before it is too late,” he said. “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.”
Condemning Justice Peel’s refusal to allow Indi to be transferred to Italy, Christian Legal Centre’s chief executive Andrea Williams questioned, “what good reason can there be to detain Indi here against the wishes of her parents when treatment is being offered in Rome?”
“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,” she added. “We are concerned that there has been no word from the British authorities since Indi was granted Italian citizenship and offered specialist treatment in Rome at no cost to the NHS or UK taxpayer. We ask for an urgent intervention to enable the right things to be done in this case.”
As noted by Christian Concern, Indi’s medical condition is far from being a universally closed case.
Two medical experts have provided analysis showing that her breathing problems are likely to be caused by her treatable heart condition, known as Tetralogy of Fallot, rather than – as previously thought – by brain damage from the mitochondrial disease.
Experts pointed out that the problem can be fixed without a surgery by inserting a catheter known as “right ventricular outflow tract stent” through one of the vessels in Indi’s groin. The expert says that the treatment would “more likely than not” enable Indi to survive without artificial ventilation.
However, when presented with the evidence, the NHS Trust’s lawyers brushed it aside, threatened legal costs, and sought to rush through removing Indi’s life support.
At the time of publication, Indi’s life support is due to be switched off a 2:00 p.m. local time on November 9, unless the Italian authorities are able to exert pressure in bringing the child to Rome for treatment.