Press Release

Italian government gives Indi Gregory citizenship as hospital threatens to extubate baby against High Court care plan order

6 November 2023         Issued by: Christian Concern

As news breaks in Italy that the Italian government has made Indi Gregory an Italian citizen, the family’s lawyers are making an urgent application to the High Court after staff at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham threatened to end her life-support in a move that would go against an agreed Care Plan.

In response to the news from Italy, Mr Gregory said: “My heart fills up with joy that the Italians have given Claire and I hope and faith back in humanity. The Italians have shown us care and loving support and I wish the UK authorities were the same.

“I’m very proud to say Indi has Italian citizenship and I thank the Italian government and the Italian people from the bottom of my heart.”

The legal stay preventing the hospital from making arrangements to extubate the 8-month-old baby, however, has expired at 2pm today (Monday 6 November).

Staff at the hospital have threatened Indi’s family that they will remove treatment at the hospital despite a Compassionate Care Plan prepared by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust which says:

“Parents should be supported to decide where compassionate care would be best delivered. Options include a hospice, the hospital, or home. Each of these options has benefits, and planning would be specific to her location.”

Furthermore in his High Court judgment of 13 October, Mr Justice Peel also stated in paragraph 44 that the implementation of the Order and the Care Plan: “can take place at home or at a hospice, as the parents may elect.

Indi’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, have asked to take Indi home for extubating, but today clinicians have refused.

Mr Gregory was told: ‘We plan to extubate her at 2pm today.’

Mr Gregory replied: ‘We said we wanted her to go home. The Judge said we could choose…’

The clinician says: ‘That is not going to be possible.’

Another clinician says: ‘Home just can’t be done…it is our decision with you to decide what is in her best interests….the Court Order never said you have the ultimate choice, Dean, it is a choice between all of us.’

‘The judge said it is for us to choose’, Dean says, ‘we were originally advised to take her home…we will have to take it back to court.’

Appeal thrown out over weekend

Over the weekend two Court of Appeal judges, Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson, threw out the appeal of Indi Gregory’s parents without a hearing.

The parents were appealing a High Court decision which ruled that it was not in Indi’s ‘best interests’ to be transferred to the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital in Rome for specialist treatment which would be funded by the Italian government at no cost to the NHS or UK taxpayer.

Lady Justice King has ruled against families in a number of high-profile end-of-life cases involving children, including Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans and Archie Battersbee.

In a written order sent to the Hospital on Saturday morning, the judges ruled that the parents’ case over wanting to transfer their child for specialist treatment in Italy, rather than dying, was ‘unarguable.’

This is believed to be the first time that a parents’ appeal against an order to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from a child has been rejected by the Court of Appeal without a hearing.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The law is there to protect life and the most vulnerable in our society. What is happening in this case sets a very worrying precedent with regard to that principle.

“It is very concerning that a child can be held against the parents’ wishes when they have alternative treatment available. Transferring Indi to Italy involves no cost to the taxpayer or the NHS. What is it at the heart of this case that is preventing Queen’s Medical Centre from allowing Indi to be transferred to Rome?

“We need reform. We need families to be free to appoint alternative doctors and medical experts with equal access to the patient’s records. We need proper mediation at the earliest stage rather than parents being dragged into unfamiliar court settings and facing down taxpayer-funded legal teams.”

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