A terminally ill baby has died during the night after her life support was removed following a lengthy legal battle between her parents and the NHS.
Indi Gregory had incurable mitochondrial disease and passed away in her mother’s arms at 01.45am after being transferred to a hospice.
Her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, from Ilkeston, had wanted specialists at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham to keep treating their daughter, but they lost fights in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
In a statement released through Christian Concern, Mr Gregory took aim at the NHS and the legal system for taking away his daughter’s “body and dignity”.
He said: “Indi’s life ended at 01.45am. Claire and I are angry, heartbroken, and ashamed. 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.”
He added that his wife had “held her for her final breaths”.
Indi, who had been born on 24 February, had to receive around-the-clock treatment for her condition, which prevented cells in the body from producing energy.
In various legal battles, judges concluded that limiting treatment would be lawful and that doing so would be in Indi’s best interests.
Last week, the Italian government had granted the infant citizenship to allow her to receive emergency treatment at the Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome.
In a statement released by the Holy See on Saturday, Pope Francis said that he “embraces” Indi and her family, and was praying for them.
However, Mr Justice Peel concluded that a transfer to Italy would not be in her best interests, while three other appeal judges turned down the family’s permission to appeal a ruling which said that Indi’s life support could not be removed at home.
Doctors treating Indi had told the courts that the treatment she was receiving was futile and causing her pain, while her parents disagreed.
One of the specialists told the court: “She is a little girl we have tried to treat to the best of our abilities. The terrible reality is that she is dying.”
Her parents had also failed to persuade the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, to overturn the treatment decision.