An 8-month-old baby girl in England died early on Monday after a court ordered her off life support and transferred to an in-patient hospice last week against the wishes of her parents.
Indi Gregory, who suffered from an incurable mitochondrial disease and had been in pediatric intensive care at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham since she was born in February, died at 1:45 a.m. local time, the girl's father, Dean Gregory, said in a statement released by the family's lawyers at the London-based Christian Concern.
Lord Justice Peter Jackson, Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Andrew Moylan shot down an appeal from Indi's parents last Friday that sought permission for them to remove her from life support at home.
Gregory said he and Indi's mother, Claire, "are angry, heartbroken, and ashamed" in the wake of her death.
"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," Gregory said.
"They did succeed in taking Indi’s body and dignity, but they can never take her soul. They tried to get rid of Indi without anybody knowing, but we made sure she would be remembered forever. I knew she was special from the day she was born," he continued, adding that Indi's mother "held her for her final breaths."
Dean Gregory had earlier said that after Indi was first transferred to hospice and removed from life support over the weekend, she stopped breathing but then recovered, noting that "she is fighting hard."
Indi's case drew the intervention of Italian political leaders, who granted her emergency citizenship on Nov. 6 and offered to provide specialist treatment at the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome at no cost to the NHS or U.K. taxpayers.
Dr. Matteo Corradini, who serves as the Italian consul in Manchester, urged British authorities to grant him jurisdiction over Indi's case under Article 9 of the 1996 Hague Convention, given her new citizenship, an unprecedented move that the Court of Appeal described last Friday as "wholly misconceived" and "not in the spirit of the convention."
Shortly after news of Indi's death, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni tweeted, "We did everything we could, everything possible. Unfortunately it wasn't enough."
Abbiamo fatto tutto quello che potevamo, tutto il possibile. Purtroppo non è bastato.— Giorgia Meloni (@GiorgiaMeloni) November 13, 2023
Buon viaggio piccola Indi. pic.twitter.com/io7scfTf3O
Simone Pillon, a former Italian senator who helped arrange the girl's potential treatment at the Bambino Gesù, tweeted out an image of Indi and paraphrased Isaiah 53:7-8 by applying it to her situation.
"She was oppressed and afflicted, yet she did not open [her] mouth; she was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so she did not open [her] mouth. By oppression and unfair judgment she was taken away," Pillon wrote.
"She was oppressed and afflicted,— Simone Pillon (@SimoPillon) November 13, 2023
yet she did not open hers mouth;
she was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so she did not open hers mouth.
By oppression and unfair judgment she was taken away"
(Is 53, 7-8)#IndiGregorypic.twitter.com/CzPlqRv94K
Pope Francis also addressed Indi's case last week, with a Vatican spokesperson saying the pope "embraces the family of little Indi Gregory, her father, and her mother; prays for them and for her, and turns his thoughts to all the children around the world who, at this very hour, are living in pain or whose lives are at risk because of illness or war," according to Vatican News.
Andrea Williams, who serves as chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, urged for reform of the U.K. healthcare system in the wake of Indi's case, according to a statement.
"We need families to be free to appoint alternative doctors and medical experts with equal access to the patient’s records," said Williams. "We need proper mediation at the earliest stage rather than parents being dragged into unfamiliar court settings and facing down taxpayer-funded legal teams."