Officials from Italy are working hard to save the life of a little baby in the UK, where courts has ruled doctors can remove her life support without her parents’ consent.
As LifeNews has reported, Vatican hospital has stepped up and agreed to provide care for 8-month-old baby Indi Gregory, where a British court ruled her life support could be revoked even though her parents are fighting for her life.
Indi suffers from a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease and has been receiving life-sustaining treatment on a ventilator at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, England. But because doctors have given up hope there is now a legal feud between them, their desire to remove her from life support and her parents’ desire to continue medical treatment.
England’s high court ruled that it was in the child’s “best interests” to be taken off life support.
But in the last-ditch effort to save her life, the Italian consul in Manchester, who is Indi’s officially registered Italian guardian after she was granted last-minute citizenship in Italy, has made the first ever recorded use of Article 9 (2) of the 1996 Hague Convention in an attempt to halt proceedings once again. Using the article, consul Dr Matteo Corradini is asking Mr Justice Peel to hand over the ruling on the case to him.
Indi was granted Italian citizenship after the Italian government got wind of her case and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni released a statement saying: “They say there isn’t much hope for little Indi, but until the end I will do what I can to defend her life. And to defend her mum and dad’s right to do everything they can for her.”
The Hospital in Rome has agreed to accept Indi for further treatment, with the Italian government offering to fund the procedures with no cost to the NHS or UK taxpayer. But this has not been allowed to go ahead thus far amid a number of court rulings in Britain that it was not in Indi’s best interests for treatment to continue.
The pro-life legal group Christian Concern informs LifeNews that a hearing has been scheduled for Friday that could also consider the Italian intervention in the case.
“At the last moment, a Court of Appeal judge has given Indi’s family permission to appeal where life-support can be removed, and, it is understood, could also consider the Italian intervention in the case. This will be heard at 12 noon tomorrow (10 November),” it said.
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As it stands, Indi’s life support removal will still go ahead at 4 p.m. unless the Court of Appeal agrees to hear the latest argument from her parents Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth.
“For the hospital and the UK Courts to simply ignore the offer from the Italian government is disgraceful,” father Dean Gregory said. “I appeal to the British government to allow Indi to come to Italy before it is too late. As a father I have never asked or begged for anything in my life, but I am now begging the British government to please help prevent our daughter’s life from being taken away.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, called out British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a member of the Conservative Party, for not speaking out in Indi’s defense.
“What good reason can there be to detain Indi here against the wishes of her parents when treatment is being offered in Rome,” Williams said. “The developments lay bare the difference in approach between two nations when the Italian Prime Minister has been public in her support of Indi Gregory and the right of her parents to access treatment in Rome and the British Prime Minister has remained silent.”
Christian Concern has published a letter from the president of the Bambino Gesù hospital outlining “a detailed treatment plan” for the child, which includes “life-sustaining treatment and palliative care to ensure Indi’s survival and comfort while the treatments take effect.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre supporting the Gregorys’ case, has noted that this is believed to be the first time that a parent’s appeal against an order to withdraw life-sustaining treatment has been rejected by the Court of Appeal without a hearing.
“The law is there to protect life and the most vulnerable in our society. What is happening in this case sets a very worrying precedent with regard to that principle,” Williams said.
“It is very concerning that a child can be held against the parents’ wishes when they have alternative treatment available.”
Leading pro-life advocate Lila Rose says there is no reason to revoke medical care from Indi.
“Children have survived for years with this condition. Indi requires breathing support from a ventilator, but despite her condition, her parents say she is happy & responds to their touch,” she said.
“Experts at the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome have outlined a detailed treatment plan for Indi. They believe her breathing problems are caused by a treatable heart condition, known as Tetralogy of Fallo, rather than from her mitochondrial disease,” she added. “The condition could be fixed without surgery by inserting a right ventricular outflow tract stent Experts say the treatment would “more likely than not” enable Indi to survive without artificial ventilation. The Italian government agreed to cover the total cost.”
“When presented with this new information, the British government still refused to let Indi travel to Rome and set a date for her breathing support to be removed, which would cause Indi to suffocate to death The Italian government has even granted Indi citizenship so she can appeal once again for transport to Rome for treatment,” Rose said.