Britain’s High Court made a heart-wrenching decision early Monday morning, effectively ending the life of an 8-month-old girl, Indi Gregory.
Parents’ Desperate Fight for Treatment
Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth fought desperately in recent weeks for ongoing treatment or experimental options abroad for their daughter’s severe mitochondrial disorder.
International Support From Italy
Italy, including support from the Vatican and the government, provided hope by granting Gregory citizenship and facilitating potential treatment at the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome.
Court’s Controversial Decision
Despite international pressure, a fully comped alternative, and desperate pleas from the parents, England’s High Court determined that Indi would be better off deceased sooner rather than later.
Indi Gregory’s Health Struggles
Indi Gregory was born on February 24 with a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease that saps energy, and presents various complex health challenges.
Medical Center’s Decision to Stop Treatment
The staff at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham decided to cease treatment, and cited that death was in the girl’s best interests.
High Court Justice Robert Peel’s Ruling
High Court Justice Robert Peel granted the medical center’s application to stop life support in October, despite the parents’ moving belief in Indi’s resilience.
Parents’ Pleas and Belief in Indi’s Chance
The parents passionately pleaded for their daughter’s chance at life, emphasizing Indi’s ability to experience happiness and challenging the bleak picture painted by the medical center.
Legal Efforts by Christian Concern
Backed by the advocacy group Christian Concern, Gregory and Staniforth attempted to move their daughter to a hospital willing to explore life-saving measures.
International Appeals for Overturning Decision
Repeated attempts were made to persuade Court of Appeal judges in London and the European Court of Human Rights in France to overturn the fatal decision.
Italy’s Intervention and Citizenship
Italy intervened, granting Gregory citizenship on Nov. 6 and agreeing to cover the cost of Indi’s medical treatment at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Pledge
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni pledged to “defend her life” and pressured Britain’s lord chancellor to facilitate the girl’s transfer to Rome.
Plea to UK High Court
The Italian consul in Manchester made a plea to the U.K. High Court, urging Justice Robert Peel to cede the case under Article 9§2 of the 1996 Hague Convention.
High Court Rejects Italian Efforts
The High Court ruled the Italian efforts to save the child were “wholly misconceived,” insisting that the baby’s life support had to be removed immediately.
Parents Denied Appeal
Justices Peter Jackson, Eleanor King, and Andrew Moylan denied the parents the ability to appeal the ruling, sealing Indi Gregory’s fate.
Transfer to Hospice
Despite efforts, the baby was transferred from Queen’s Medical Care Center to a hospice on Sunday, and was accompanied by security and a police presence.
Father’s Grief and Final Moments
Dean Gregory expressed anger, heartbreak, and shame at the High Court’s decision, stating that Indi passed away in her mother’s arms, stripped of the chance to live a longer life and the dignity to pass away at home.
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