Family of critically ill baby Indi Gregory lose court fight over taking her to Italy for treatment

2 November 2023, 16:04

Indi Gregory
Indi Gregory. Picture: Family handout

By Kit Heren

The family of Indi Gregory, a critically ill baby, have lost their court fight to take her to Italy for specialist treatment.

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Indi Gregory has several medical problems including mitochondrial disease, an incurable genetic condition, as well as a hole in her heart.

The eight-month-old is being treated at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. A judge previously ruled that the Nottingham hospital could withdraw life support, with doctors claiming her treatment is futile and causes her pain.

Her parents Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth want to take her to Rome for specialist treatment.

But the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the parents, said that the court had ruled against Indi being taken to Italy.

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Indi Gregory
Indi Gregory. Picture: Family handout

Mr Justice Peel said: “I am satisfied that the proposal for a transfer to Rome would not be in (Indi’s) best interests. In my judgment, there is no material change of circumstances, or other compelling reason, to justify reconsideration of my original order. The application is dismissed.”

Mr Gregory and Ms Staniforth are now going to challenge the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

"We wanted to take this offer because the only alternative offered by the Trust is Indi’s death," Mr Gregory said. "The expert medical opinions presented a way of treating Indi which they say is likely to save her life and make her better, yet the Trust has angrily refused to consider it.

"Mr Justice Peel has simply rubber stamped the Trust's position. Claire and I want to give our daughter every chance to survive and to improve, and it is very disturbing that Indi’s current treating clinicians will not cooperate with the air ambulance specialists.

Indi Gregory with her mother Claire Staniforth
Indi Gregory with her mother Claire Staniforth. Picture: Family handout

“We have been given a real chance by the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital which we want to take for our daughter. Even if the transfer to Italy involves some risk, the only alternative we have been offered in the UK is to go along with Indi’s death. There is nothing to lose for us or for Indi.

"The offer from Italy is the only offer of treatment that we have, and as Indi’s parents, we are prepared to take a risk to make that happen.

Dean Gregory
Dean Gregory. Picture: Alamy

"Given that the medical evidence suggests she has a reasonable chance to survive and to improve, we believe it is in her best interests to be given that chance. We continue to be horrified at the Trust and UK courts' refusal to give her that chance."

Medical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Keith Girling, said: "Cases like this are incredibly difficult for everyone and our thoughts are with Indi's parents at this time. "Our priority remains to provide the best possible care for Indi and to support her parents through this process."

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