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Indi Gregory: Critically ill baby at centre of legal fight has life support withdrawn

A critically ill baby at the centre of a legal battle over her care has had her life-support treatment withdrawn, a campaign group supporting her parents has said.

Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, who are both in their thirties and from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, want specialists to keep treating their eight-month-old daughter Indi Gregory who has been fighting mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy.

She has been receiving treatment at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre since her birth on 24 February. But the couple, who are being supported by campaign organisation Christian Concern, have lost fights in the High Court and Court of Appeal in London to stop the withdrawal of her treatment after doctors said it would be in her best interests.

A spokesperson for Christian Concern said on Sunday that specialists had withdrawn life support and Indi has been moved from hospital to a hospice. The spokesperson said Indi had stopped breathing last night but later recovered.

Indi Gregory’s family disagree with medics that her treatment should be withdrawn (Family handout/PA)
Indi Gregory’s family disagree with medics that her treatment should be withdrawn (Family handout/PA)

In a statement issued through the group, Indi’s father said she was “fighting hard”.

On Saturday, Pope Francis released a statement from the Vatican that said Indi was in his thoughts. “Pope Francis embraces the family of little Indi Gregory, her father and mother, prays for them and for her, and turns his thoughts to all the children around the world in these same hours who are living in pain or risking their lives because of disease and war,” he said.

High Court judge Mr Justice Peel had ruled that limiting treatment would be lawful, and doing so would be in Indi’s best interests. Her parents failed to persuade Court of Appeal judges and judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, to overturn that treatment decision.

The decision comes after Indi was granted Italian citizenship to move to Rome for treatment but Mr Justice Peel ruled a move to Italy would not be in Indi’s best interests and Court of Appeal judges backed that decision.

Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth with their daughter Indi Gregory (PA)
Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth with their daughter Indi Gregory (PA)

Specialists said she was dying and the treatment she had been receiving caused pain and was futile but her parents disagreed.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “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?”