NHS rejects expert evidence in Indi Gregory case

27 October 2023

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust rejected “last-ditch” evidence from a cardiologist providing expert opinion that the 8-month-baby could ”more likely than not” live without a ventilator.

The news came after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) refused to consider the case yesterday afternoon .

Indi’s parents were repeatedly barred from providing expert evidence on her condition by the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the ECHR.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, the family submitted evidenceas part of the ECHR applicationfrom an expert cardiologist who could not be named due to reporting restrictions in place.

The expert’s analysis showed that Indi’s breathing problems were likely to be caused by her treatable heart condition, known as Tetralogy of Fallot, rather than, as previously thought, by brain damage from the mitochondrial disease. He pointed out that the problem could be fixed without surgery, by inserting a catheter known as a “right ventricular outflow tract stent” through one of the vessels in Indi’s groin. The expert said that the treatment would “more likely than not” enable Indi to survive without artificial ventilation.

However, in response the Trust’s lawyers brushed aside the evidence, threatened legal costs and said the expert’s opinion brought “no new material change to the circumstances.”

The eight-month-old girl is battling a rare mitochondrial disease, but Indi’s parents have maintained that despite her disability, she is a happy baby who responds to their touch.

Being treated at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, the parents have been locked in a legal battle with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust who have argued that life-saving treatment for Indi should end.

Indi’s lawyers argued that the Trust had been allowed to provide expert opinion evidence, without having any formal permission to do so or being instructed as experts, and yet Justice Robert Peel during High Court proceedings refused to allow Mr Gregory to instruct experts in either mitochondrial disorders, neuroradiology or cardiology to support his case.

‘Brushed aside’

Responding to the news, Mr Gregory who released this latest video of Indi last night, said: “It has been an almost impossible task to challenge and expose this cruel system that has been so determined to end the life of Indi. I have done everything I can to protect and save her life.

“The evidence from the cardiologist has been simply swept aside and brushed under the carpet. We do not want to go to court with this, because we have seen how this system worksthe judges just rubber-stump NHS decisions and are not interested in independent expert opinions or any other evidence. We have now given up on the legal battle, but we are asking the Trust to give us until Monday before removing treatment which we believe is a reasonable request.

“We want to thank our legal team and everyone who has been supporting us, it means so much. We hope that other families who come up against this system will be encouraged to do so and to do it before reporting restrictions are put in place. What happens to families in these situations must be exposed and lasting change is needed so that families do not have to go through this inhumane process.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “Indi’s family have given their all to contend for her life as has the Christian Legal Centre. It is disturbing and sad that they have had to go through such trauma. We stand with them.”

Find out more about Indi Gregory
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