LEICESTER, United Kingdom – A baby has been denied a transfer from an English hospital, which has decided to remove her life-support treatment. Indi Gregory is being treated at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, and the city’s NHS Trust argued his life support should end.
The eight-month-old girl has a rare mitochondrial disease and her parents have maintained that despite her disability, she is a happy baby who responds to their touch.
Her parents sent their request to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Oct. 26, but it said the decision “cannot be appealed against to the Grand Chamber or any other body.”
Indi’s parents Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth are being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), whose chief executive Andrea Williams said, “Indi’s family have given their all to contend for her life, as has the Christian Legal Centre. It is disturbing and sad that they have had to go through such trauma. We stand with them.”
The child’s father, Dean Gregory, said he was willing to do everything he could to save his daughter from “inhumane decisions and people trying to play God.”
“I’m heartbroken by the decision, but I am no longer surprised. I believe it comes down to costs and resources and in the eyes of the NHS and the courts in this country and Europe, Indi is not worth it. To us she is everything and we will do everything we can to help until the end, as it is our duty as parents to protect her,” he said.
Nottingham University Hospitals’ medical director Dr Keith Girling said the decision concludes “what has been a very difficult process.”
“Cases like this are incredibly difficult for everyone, and our thoughts are with Indi’s parents,” he said. “Our priority now is to provide the best possible care to Indi and to support her parents during this difficult time.”
Gregory said his family is ready to fight for their daughter.
‘‘It is criminal that parents who are trying to do everything for their child in such difficult circumstances are taken to court and have to contend with the weight of the whole system coming against them,” he said. “Indi can definitely experience happiness. She cries like a normal baby. We know she is disabled, but you don’t just let disabled people die. We just want to give her a chance.”
Gregory said their experience of the court system has been one-sided.
“From day one,all we ever wanted was for Indi to have a fair trial and to be allowed to have an independent specialist, not affiliated with the NHS, to provide expert evidence. What you would think is a fair and basic wish and right, however, has been denied to us and we have not been given that opportunity,” he said before taking the case to the ECHR.
“This is the life of an 8-month-old baby who is being discriminated against because of her disabilities and is being denied the right to a fair trial. Because the hospital doesn’t understand Indi’s complex condition they have given up on her and would rather let her die than allow us to seek international help and expertise. To us, Indi is everything, and is worth the cost and fighting for to give her a chance to live,” Gregory continued.
“As parents, we believe it is our duty to do everything we can to protect our child. Claire and I are both heartbroken that the courts and NHS are not doing more to help us. It shouldn’t be anybody’s right to end somebody’s life,” he said.