Terminally ill British infant Indi Gregory has been given more time to live after a court on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, gave her family permission to appeal a judge’s decision mandating where her life support can be removed. / Credit: Christian Concern
Rome Newsroom, Nov 13, 2023 / 04:55 am (CNA).
Critically ill British infant Indi Gregory died overnight on Monday after her life support was removed over the weekend following a U.K. court order.
The 8-month-old Gregory died in her mother’s arms in a hospice at 1:45 a.m. on Nov. 13, according to British advocacy group Christian Concern.
In a statement released through Christian Concern, Gregory’s parents said they “are angry, heartbroken and ashamed. The NHS and the Courts not only took away her chance to live a longer life, but they also took away Indi’s dignity to pass away in the family home where she belonged.”
The process to remove Gregory’s life support began on Nov. 11, with extubation of her breathing tube and transfer to a hospice, where remaining life supporting measures were withdrawn, according to the Italian pro-life advocacy group, “Pro Vita e Famiglia.”
Indi Gregory, born in February and baptized in September, suffered from a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease. She had been receiving life-sustaining treatment on a ventilator at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, England.
After England’s high court ruled that it was in the child’s “best interests” to be taken off life support against her parents’ wishes, the Italian government granted the critically ill child Italian citizenship on Nov. 6 and agreed to cover the cost of her medical treatment at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesù.
Gregory’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, repeatedly appealed in U.K. courts to be able to take their baby to Rome for treatment but lost their legal battle, with the second-highest court in the U.K. ruling on Nov. 10 that her life support be removed “immediately.”
The Nov. 10 ruling stated that the attempted Italian intervention in Gregory’s case is “wholly misconceived” and “not in the spirit” of the 1996 Hague Convention, to which both the U.K. and Italy are parties.
“Claire and I are again disgusted by another one-sided decision from the judges and the Trust. The whole world is watching and is shocked at how we have been treated,” the child’s father, Dean Gregory, said, as reported by Christian Concern.
The Bambino Gesù, which is run by the Vatican, has offered to treat other terminally ill British infants in the past, such as Alfie Evans in 2018 and Charlie Gard in 2017, both of whom were ultimately denied the chance to travel to Italy by U.K. courts and died days after being removed from life support.
Indi Gregory’s treatment at Bambino Gesù would have been carried out at no cost to U.K. taxpayers.
A Nov. 11 Vatican statement said Pope Francis was praying for Gregory and her family.