Critically-ill baby’s parents take end-of-life care fight to appeal court

Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth want specialists to withdraw treatment from eight-month-old Indi Gregory at their home in Ilkeston, Derbyshire

Brian Farmer
Friday 10 November 2023 02:45 GMT
Indi Gregory (Family handout/PA)
Indi Gregory (Family handout/PA)

The parents of a critically ill baby who has been at the centre of a life-support fight are preparing to mount an appeal after failing to persuade a High Court judge to let the little girl receive end-of-life care at home.

Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth want specialists to withdraw treatment from eight-month-old Indi Gregory at their home in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

Specialists caring for Indi at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham say treatment should be withdrawn in a hospice or hospital.

Mr Justice Peel on Wednesday ruled against Indi’s parents, who are both in their 30s, and concluded that withdrawing treatment at home would be “too dangerous”.

Indi’s parents have challenged that ruling and three Court of Appeal judges are due to consider arguments on Friday.

Lady Justice King, Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Peter Jackson, who are based in London, are listed to oversee an online hearing.

Mr Justice Peel had considered arguments relating to Indi’s end-of-life care at a private online hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

The judge, who is based in London, said he accepted the evidence of specialists.

Indi’s parents want specialists to keep providing life-support treatment.

But Mr Justice Peel has already ruled that specialists can lawfully limit treatment.

He has concluded that such a move would be in Indi’s best interests.

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

The couple have also failed in a bid to transfer Indi to a hospital in Rome.

Mr Justice Peel ruled that a move to Italy would not be in Indi’s best interests and Court of Appeal judges backed that decision.

The Italian government recently intervened in Indi’s case by granting her Italian citizenship.

Mr Justice Peel said, in his ruling on Wednesday, that Indi’s father has “acknowledged, correctly and properly”, that his “decisions and orders” were “unaffected by this development”.

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

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

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

Her parents disagree.

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

He has allowed journalists to attend and says Indi can be identified in reports.

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