Sunday, 14 April, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalCritically-ill UK baby loses fight for life

Critically-ill UK baby loses fight for life

Terminally-ill eight-month-old British baby Indi Gregory died in her mother’s arms on Monday morning after an epic battle by her parents to keep her on life-support, and after a last ditch attempt to have her transferred to an Italian children’s hospital.

Critically ill Indi, who was transferred to a hospice, lost her fight for life after being at the centre of a drawn-out legal argument over her treatment.

Born with an incurable genetic mitochondrial condition, she had been involved in several High Court and Court of Appeal cases, with judges ruling she should die, but last week, Italy stepped in and made her a citizen in a last-minute legal bid to take her to a Rome hospital for treatment.

However, Daily Mail reports that last Friday, that attempt failed, and her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, were told her breathing tube would be removed.

She was moved from the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to the hospice where she died.

“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,” said her father.

The heartbroken parents had failed to persuade High Court and Court of Appeal judges in London and judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to keep her on life-support machines and have her transferred to a Vatican children’s hospital in Rome.

High Court judge Justice Peel had ruled limiting treatment would be lawful, and doing so would be in the baby’s best interests.

Indi, who was born on 24 February, suffered from a rare, incurable and degenerative mitochondrial disease which meant that her cells did not produce enough energy.
Doctors at QMC said Indi suffered from significant pain and distress and there was no point in further treatment.

Upon hearing that doctors had moved to withdraw Indi’s life support, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had sensationally granted the baby citizenship on Monday last week, with Rome’s Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital offering to administer treatment.

But her parents lost the fight in their battle against medics when a High Court judge ruled on Wednesday that Indi’s life support must be switched off in hospital. She was moved to a hospice on Saturday.

In a last-ditch attempt to prolong her life, her parents lodged an appeal against the judge’s decision and thanked Meloni and the Italian hospital for their support.

“We think it is in Indi’s best interest to go to Italy to receive treatment that could help her to breathe by opening a valve through the implantation of a stent,” her father told Italian media last week. “Then we can focus on her mitochondrial disease. We know that Indi is a fighter, she wants to live, and she doesn’t deserve to die.”

In a hard-hitting statement ProVita & Famiglia, an Italian pro-life group backing Indi and her family, condemned the UK Government and judiciary.

It said she “was killed in her best interest by a healthcare and legal system steeped in barbaric euthanasia culture, which refused to even attempt the different clinical proposal of the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, suffocating the love of her parents”.

Mitochondrial disease

The disease stops cells from producing enough energy: sometimes they do not work at all, and sometimes they are just not very efficient.

There is a huge variety in the symptoms and severity of the disease, and every person is affected differently.

The parts of the body most commonly affected are those that have the highest energy demands; brain, muscle, liver, heart and kidney.

The symptoms are usually progressive in body systems where the cells have a high demand for energy, such as brain cells.

 

Daily Mail article – Indi Gregory loses her fight for life (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Parents appeal after losing dying baby’s treatment fight

 

UK judge to decide on ending baby’s life support

 

The death of Charlie Gard leaves a legacy of thorny questions

 

Archie Battersbee dies after parents lose legal battle over life support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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