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British High Court orders death of baby girl after preventing her parents from taking her to Italy for treatment
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British High Court orders death of baby girl after preventing her parents from taking her to Italy for treatment

Britain's High Court effectively executed a sick 8-month-old girl early Monday morning.

Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth of Derbyshire fought desperately in recent weeks to see that their daughter, Indi Gregory, would continue receiving treatment for her mitochondrial disorder or potentially undergo experimental treatment abroad so that they could spend more time with her.

Hope came in the form of support from Italy, not just from the Vatican but from the government, which gave Gregory citizenship and paved the way for her to be treated at the Vatican's Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital in Rome.

Despite international pressure, a fully comped alternative, and the parents' desperate pleas, England's High Court determined that Gregory would be better off dead sooner rather than later.

Indi Gregory was born on February 24 with a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease that saps energy.

The staff at Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham recently decided to give up on helping the girl and sought to take her off life support, noting that death was in the girl's best interests, reported the BBC.

High Court Justice Robert Peel granted the medical center's application to stop life support in October, suggesting that despite the parents' moving "belief in Indi's resilience, courage, and fortitude," the medical evidence justifying termination was "unanimous and clear."

Peel's ruling cleared the way for the physicians' plan to wean the girl off of intubation and let her die, "at home or at a hospice."

Gregory's parents were evidently unwilling to let a London judge and some masked strangers determine the fate of their daughter.

"The doctors painted a terribly bleak and negative picture of Indi's condition during court proceedings," said the girl's father. "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."

With the backing of the British advocacy group Christian Concern, Gregory and Staniforth made repeated attempts to have their little girl moved to a hospital that might actually try to keep her alive. The parents attempted to persuade Court of Appeal judges in London as well as judges at the European Court of Human Rights in France to overturn the fatal decision, reported the Telegraph.

Italy ultimately intervened, granting Gregory citizenship on Nov. 6 and agreeing to cover the cost of Indi's medical treatment at the Vatican's pediatric hospital. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni pledged to do what she could to "defend her life" and pressured Britain's lord chancellor to help facilitate the girl's transfer to Rome.

Simone Pillon, a lawyer and former senator who helped secure a spot for Indi Gregory at the Vatican hospital, said in a statement, "A place is ready and waiting for Indi at a leading paediatric 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."

On Thursday, the girl's Italian guardian, the consul in Manchester, Matteo Corradini, reportedly made a plea to the U.K. High Court, calling on Justice Robert Peel to cede the case to him under Article Article 9§2 of the 1996 Hague Convention.

The next day, the High Court ruled that the Italian efforts to save the child from the British health care system were "wholly misconceived" and that the baby's life support had to be removed "immediately," reported the Catholic News Agency.

Dean Gregory responded to the ruling, saying, "Claire and I are again disgusted by another one-sided decision from the judges and the Trust. The whole world is watching and is shocked at how we have been treated."

"This feels like the latest kick in the teeth, and we will not give up fighting for our daughter's chance to live until the end," added Gregory.

Justices Peter Jackson, Eleanor King, and Andrew Moylan all denied the distraught parents the ability to appeal the ruling, thereby sealing Indi Gregory's fate.

On Sunday, Christian Concern indicated that the baby had been transferred from Queen's Medical Care Center to a hospice, apparently with a security escort and police presence.

Indi had been moved to a hospice as opposed to home because Justice Peel reneged on his earlier order last Wednesday.

"Indi's life ended at 01:45. Claire and I are angry, heartbroken and ashamed," said Dean Gregory. "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."

"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," added Gregory.

The grieving father indicated that Indi ultimately passed in her mother's arms.

While not religious, Dean Gregory had Indi baptized in September, telling an Italian newspaper, "When I was in court, I felt as if hell pulled at me."

"I thought that if hell exists, then heaven must exist too," said the father, noting he wanted his daughter to go to heaven.

Parents ‘heartbroken’ as baby Indi Gregory dies following failed legal battleyoutu.be

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