The British justice system has given the green light to disconnect the life support of Indi Gregory, an eight-month-old girl recently moved to a hospice for terminal patients from Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham, UK. The family of the little girl waged an intense legal battle to maintain her treatment, but the appeals of parents Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth were rejected by the court.
The Legal Struggle
Doctors at Queen’s Medical Center removed the life support sustaining Indi, who has suffered from an incurable mitochondrial disease since her birth on February 24. Despite specialists’ diagnosis that the treatment caused unnecessary pain and was ineffective, the parents persisted in their refusal to accept the inevitable.
The High Court ruled that limiting the girl’s treatment was legal and beneficial for her. Additionally, three judges from the Court of Appeals rejected the parents’ plea to bring Indi home, insisting that the withdrawal of life support could only be done in a hospital or palliative care center, excluding the family home.
The situation took an international turn when the Italian government urgently granted Italian citizenship to Indi to facilitate her transfer to Rome for continued treatment. However, London judges dismissed this option, deeming the intervention of Italian consular officials “totally mistaken.”
Pope Francis joined in prayer for Indi, expressing support for the family and calling for prayers for all children worldwide facing illness and war.
The treatment for little Indi was halted after the decision of the appeals court, marking a painful stage in her parents’ fight for her survival. Despite the intervention of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who granted Italian citizenship to the baby, a British judge ruled that this did not affect previous decisions.
The mitochondrial disease afflicting Indi has no cure and affects the energy production of the body’s cells. The Vatican, whose hospital offered to continue treatment, conveyed Pope Francis’s support for the family in this challenging time.
The life of Indi Gregory, a flicker of hope lost in an unrelenting legal battle, continues to raise questions about the moral dilemmas surrounding incurable diseases and the role of the courts in such heart-wrenching situations.