Critically ill baby’s father fails in bid over ‘last ditch’ evidence

Indi Gregory’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, have lost legal fights in London and at the European Court of Human Rights

Brian Farmer
Friday 27 October 2023 18:17 BST
Indi Gregory had mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy (Family handout/PA)
Indi Gregory had mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy (Family handout/PA) (PA Media)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

The father of a critically ill baby who has been at the centre of a life-support treatment fight says he has failed to persuade hospital doctors to look at “last ditch” evidence.

Indi Gregory’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, have lost legal fights in London and failed in a bid to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France.

Mr Gregory said on Friday that an independent cardiologist had produced “last ditch” evidence to show it was “more likely than not” that Indi could live “without a ventilator”.

But he said medics treating Indi had told him that the evidence created “no new material change to the circumstances”.

Campaign group the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Indi’s parents  – who are both in their 30s and from Ilkeston, Derbyshire – says the ECHR’s refusal to consider the case means that life-support treatment can lawfully end.

The couple expected medics to begin withdrawal of treatment after the weekend, a spokesman for the Christian Legal Centre said.

An official at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where Indi is being cared for, has said the ECHR decision concludes a “very difficult process”.

Dr Keith Girling, medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, says the “priority now” is to provide the “best possible care to Indi” and to “support her parents”.

Mr Gregory said on Friday, in a statement issued through the Christian Legal Centre: “It has been an almost impossible task to challenge and expose this cruel system.”

It has been an almost impossible task to challenge and expose this cruel system

Dean Gregory

He said he had “done everything I can” to “protect and save” Indi’s life.

“The evidence from the cardiologist has been simply swept aside and brushed under the carpet,” he added.

“We do not want to go to court with this, because we have seen how this system works – the judges just rubber-stump NHS decisions and are not interested in independent expert opinions or any other evidence.

“We have now given up on the legal battle.”

He said Indi’s family had asked medics to “give us until Monday” before “removing treatment”.

A High Court judge recently ruled that doctors could lawfully limit the treatment they provide to Indi, and her parents failed to persuade appeal judges to overturn that decision.

Mr Justice Peel had considered evidence at a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court.

He heard that Indi, who was born on February 24, had mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy.

Specialists say she is dying and bosses at the trust asked him to rule that doctors could lawfully limit treatment.

Medics say the treatment Indi receives causes pain and is futile.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in