Indi’s family takes case to European Court of Human Rights

26 October 2023

After exhausting domestic remedies, the family of Indi Gregory has this morning filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), asking for ‘Interim Measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court” to prohibit withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment until the ECHR has considered the case.

The move comes following a decision this week by Lady Justice Eleanor King, which refused to allow the family permission to appeal a High Court decision, after ruling that it is in the eight-month-old baby’s ‘best interests’ to die.


Taking the case to Europe

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Indi’s parents Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, from Derbyshire, now face no alternative but to take the case to the ECHR in Strasbourg.

The family has appealed on the grounds that the High Court trial was ‘procedurally unfair‘, as the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust was allowed to provide expert opinion evidence, without having any formal permission to do so or being instructed as experts. However, Justice Peel refused to allow the parents to instruct experts in either mitochondrial disorders, neuroradiology or cardiology to support their case.

A stay was granted to the family until 4pm on Thursday 26 October to make the application. The family then have to wait to see if the ECHR will take forward their claim.

Indi is battling a rare mitochondrial disease, but her parents maintain that despite her disability, she is a happy baby who responds to their touch.

‘It shouldn’t be anybody’s right to end somebody’s life’

On filing the application, Dean said: “The whole experience of the court system is completely one-sided. From day one all we ever wanted was for Indi to have a fair trial and to be allowed to have an independent specialist, not affiliated with the NHS, to provide expert evidence. What you would think is a fair and basic wish and right, however, has been denied to us and we have not been given that opportunity. 

“This is the life of an 8-month-old baby who is being discriminated against because of her disabilities and is being denied the right to a fair trial.

“Because the hospital doesn’t understand Indi’s complex condition they have given up on her and would rather let her die than allow us to seek international help and expertise. To us, Indi is everything, and is worth the cost and fighting for to give her a chance to live.

“As parent’s we believe it is our duty to do everything we can to protect our child. Claire and I are both heartbroken that the courts and NHS are not doing more to help us. It shouldn’t be anybody’s right to end somebody’s life.

“We now hope and pray that the ECHR takes forward the case.”

Find out more about Indi Gregory
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