CV NEWS FEED // Eight-month-old Indi Gregory has died following the High Court of London’s ruling to remove her life support and ban her from being transported to Italy for further care.
Gregory had been suffering from a rare mitochondrial disease and was on life support at Nottingham’s Queen Medical Center.
Two weeks ago, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Miloni granted Gregory Italian citizenship after the Vatican pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesù, offered to care for Gregory. Italy also offered to pay for all necessary expenses for Gregory’s treatment at the Vatican hospital.
However, the High Court of London denied Gregory the right to be transported to Italy, and ruled that it would be in Gregory’s “best interest” to remove her life support and allow her to die.
Gregory’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, appealed the High Court’s decision but ultimately were denied. Her parents reported that Gregory responded to their touch. On November 11, the hospital removed Gregory’s breathing tube, and she was moved to hospice care.
Christian Concern released a statement by Gregory’s parents that said they “are angry, heartbroken, and ashamed. 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.”
Though her parents have never identified as “religious,” her parents decided to have Gregory baptized. “I have seen what hell is like and I want Indi to go to heaven,” said her father, Dean.
Gregory’s father described feeling “as if Hell pulled at me” during the court hearing.
“I thought that if Hell exists, then Heaven must exist too… It was like the devil was there. I thought that if the devil exists, then God must exist too,” he said.
Dean also said that he is going to be baptized: “We want to be protected in this life, and go to heaven.”
On November 11, Pope Francis said he was praying for Gregory and her family. According to a Vatican statement, the pope said he “embraces the family of little Indi Gregory, her father and mother, prays for them and for her, and turns his thoughts to all the children around the world in these same hours who are living in pain or risking their lives because of disease and war.”
“The tragic situation of baby Indi Gregory is truly heartbreaking, most especially for her devoted parents Claire and Dean, her siblings, wider family, and friends,” the bishops wrote, adding that they supported the parents’ desire to take “every possible step” to help Gregory:
The suspension of disproportionate therapies cannot justify the suspension of basic care which includes treatments that are required to maintain essential physiological functions as long as the body can benefit from them (such as hydration, nutrition, proportionate respiratory support, thermoregulation and pain management). Alongside spiritual care offered for the one who will soon meet God, the Church views these treatments as necessary to accompany these little patients to a dignified natural death…
We should never act with the deliberate intention to end a human life, including the removal of basic care so that death might be achieved… We hope and pray that, in the wake of this decision, the family are gradually able to find some peace over the coming days and weeks.