Italian senator speaks out after UK court blocks baby Indi Gregory from treatment in Rome

Father says he wouldn't wish this denial of care on anyone

Indi Gregory
Indi Gregory | Christian Concern

A former senator from Italy is speaking up after a U.K. court decided that 8-month-old Indi Gregory, who battles a rare mitochondrial disease on life support, can’t go to Rome for treatment, drawing global focus to the struggle faced by her parents.

“We are appalled by the rulings by U.K. courts in this case and the refusal of the NHS Trust to help the family transfer Indi to Rome,” reads a statement by Simone Pillon, the ex-senator who orchestrated the placement for Indi Gregory at the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital.

Justice Robert Peel of the High Court ruled Thursday that it would be in the child’s best interest to stay in the U.K. despite the Italian government’s offer to fund specialized treatment for the child, the rights group Christian Concern reported.

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Speaking to Sky News and other media outlets, the girl's father, Dean Gregory, said they were "disappointed, heartbroken and shocked" at the "bad decision."

"We don't see how it's in Indi's best interests to be taken to a hospice or home to potentially pass away when we've got this truly beautiful offer from Italy who are willing to help and treat her. We've got two experts who both agree it's in her best interests to have these treatments," he told reporters last week. 

Dean Gregory said it had been a "stressful" experience which he "wouldn't wish on anybody."

He added: "You should have more rights as a parent for your child. Doctors don't always get it right. You've got doctors arguing — specialists in her condition — and it makes you think if it's in Indi's best interest or for the trust's best interests.

The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s legal challenge led to the court endorsing the hospital’s view.

The Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where Indi is receiving care, has been scrutinized for not cooperating with the Air Ambulance service for a risk assessment, a critical step for the proposed transfer.

Pillon called on the U.K. institutions “to intervene to ensure that the right to life and human rights of Indi Gregory are upheld in this case,” adding, “A place is ready and waiting for Indi at a leading pediatric hospital, which will be funded by the Italian government. I hope there will be no further delay in the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust cooperating with the specialist Air Ambulance Service and to work with the family rather than cruelly denying them this chance.”

The Italian hospital’s president, Tiziano Onesti, has affirmed their capability and readiness to take over Indi’s care, highlighting a comprehensive treatment plan at their disposal.

The Trust refutes claims of new medical evidence that could warrant further treatment.

Christian Legal Centre, the legal arm of Christian Concern, is supporting the Gregory family in this fraught situation.

At an urgent hearing last week, the legal representatives of Indi’s father, Dean Gregory, contended that the child's right under the European Convention of Human Rights was at stake.

Dean Gregory described the ruling as "sickening" and continues to make efforts to give his daughter a chance at life.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, questioned the court’s decision to deny such an opportunity.

“There is a hospital prepared to care for Indi in Rome. Indi’s parents desire to give her every chance they can. Why would anyone try to stop this happening for them and for her?” Williams asked. “To deny them this opportunity is unimaginable, unjust and perverse.”

The trust’s resistance came into the spotlight when it threatened to proceed with the withdrawal of life support despite the pending legal hearing and the Italian treatment offer. The family’s lawyers see the trust’s refusal as a possible breach of Gregory’s rights.

Last month, the parents were informed with only 48 hours’ notice of a legal hearing determining Indi’s fate.

The family had been pressured to abort their child multiple times before her birth, Dean Gregory said earlier.

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