Ill baby’s parents make appeal bid after High Court judge blocks Italy move

Mr Justice Peel refused to let Indi Gregory’s family move her to a Rome hospital after overseeing a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Brian Farmer
Friday 03 November 2023 17:28 GMT
Claire Staniforth and Dean Gregory (Family Handout/PA)
Claire Staniforth and Dean Gregory (Family Handout/PA)

The parents of a critically ill baby have staged an appeal bid after losing another round of a life-support treatment fight, a campaign group says.

A High Court judge on Thursday refused to allow Indi Gregory’s parents to move her to a hospital in Rome.

Campaign group the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, said on Friday that lawyers had asked Court of Appeal judges to consider the issue.

Mr Justice Peel had concluded that a transfer to Italy would not be in eight-month-old Indi’s best interests.

He had earlier ruled that doctors treating Indi at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham could lawfully limit treatment.

Indi’s parents failed to persuade Court of Appeal judges in London, and judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France, to overturn that decision.

The couple, who are both in their 30s and from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, say an Italian hospital has now offered to treat Indi.

Lawyers representing Indi’s parents had asked Mr Justice Peel to allow the little girl to be moved to Italy.

Bosses at the Queen’s Medical Centre had argued that Indi’s parents’ application should be dismissed.

Mr Justice Peel has considered evidence at private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

But he has allowed journalists to attend and said Indi could be identified in reports.

The judge was told that the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome has agreed to accept the little girl.

Lawyers representing Indi’s parents said there has been a “material” change of circumstances since the judge ruled that doctors could limit treatment, and said Indi had a chance of a “longer life”.

Judges have heard that Indi, who was born on February 24, has mitochondrial disease – a genetic condition that saps energy.

Specialists say Indi is dying and bosses at the hospital where she is being cared for asked for a ruling that doctors could lawfully limit treatment.

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

Her parents disagree and want treatment to continue.

A Christian Legal Centre spokesman said on Friday that an appeal application had been lodged.

Mr Gregory said in a statement issued through the Christian Legal Centre that he was “horrified” by Mr Justice Peel’s ruling.

“We have been given a real chance by the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital which we want to take for our daughter,” he said.

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

Indi Gregory's father, Dean Gregory

“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.”

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