'Just give her a chance': Heartbroken parents lose battle to keep seven-month-old baby's life support treatment

13 October 2023, 17:23 | Updated: 13 October 2023, 17:28

Indi's treatment is due to be withdrawn
Indi's treatment is due to be withdrawn. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A critically ill baby's parents have lost a High Court case to keep her life support going.

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The family of seven-month-old Indi Gregory wanted her treatment to remain in place after specialists said she is dying.

Indi has a genetic condition, mitochondrial disease, which saps her energy. Bosses at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham have asked the judge to rule doctors can limit her treatment lawfully.

Mr Justice Peel ruled on Friday that they could stop invasive treatment, crushing parents Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth.

Read more: 'The hardest decision I've ever made': Devastated mother aborted her baby due to 'impossible' childcare costs

Emma Sutton KC, for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said Indi had a rare neurometabolic disorder and is dying.

She said nurses were seeing Indi "suffer" and the baby had been looked at internationally, with all conclusions pointing to her having no hope of being helped.

Indi's treatment is set to be withdrawn
Indi's treatment is set to be withdrawn. Picture: Handout

"We cannot get away from that fact as sensitive as it may be. All realistic options have been exhausted," she said.

The judge said: "With a heavy heart I have come to the conclusion that the burdens of invasive treatment outweigh the benefits."

Gregory, who is in his 30s, had insisted his daughter had "proved everyone wrong" and needed more time.

"You have only got one life. You have to go through a little bit of pain to carry on with that life," he said.

"In short, the significant pain experienced by this lovely little girl is not justified when set against an incurable set of conditions, a very short life span, no prospect of recovery and, at best, minimal engagement with the world around her."

Gregory said his daughter just needed time
Gregory said his daughter just needed time. Picture: Alamy

He added: "In my judgment, having weighed up all the competing considerations, her best interests are served by permitting the trust to withdraw invasive treatment."

The news would come as a "heavy blow" to Gregory and Staniforth, of Ilkestone in Derbyshire, the judge acknowledged.

Gregory said after the case that doctors "painted a terribly bleak and negative picture" of Indi's condition.

"It feels like the trust has been given the permission they were after to legally proceed with a death sentence for Indi. Is this in the best interests of Indi or the trust?" he said.

"Indi can definitely experience happiness. She cries like a normal baby. We know she is disabled but you don't just let disabled people die. We just want to give her a chance."