Parents of critically ill baby aim to take case to Europe

The parents of a critically ill baby are set to ask European judges to consider their case after losing the latest stage of a life-support treatment fight in London.

A High Court judge recently ruled that doctors could lawfully limit the treatment they provide to eight-month-old Indi Gregory and her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, have failed to persuade appeal judges to overturn that decision.

Two Court of Appeal judges on Monday concluded that Indi’s parents, who are both in their 30s and from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, did not have an arguable case and no “real prospect” of winning an appeal.

Lawyers representing the couple say now aim to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

Dean Gregory
Dean Gregory, the father of Indi Gregory, at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mr Justice Peel initially heard heard evidence about Indi’s condition at a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court.

He heard that Indi, who was born on February 24 2023, had mitochondrial disease, a genetic condition that saps energy, and is being treated at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Specialists say she is dying and bosses at the hospital’s governing trust asked Mr Justice Peel to rule that doctors could lawfully limit treatment provided to her.

Barrister Emma Sutton KC, who led Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s legal team, told Mr Justice Peel that Indi was critically ill and had an exceptionally rare and devastating neurometabolic disorder.

She said the treatment Indi received caused pain and was futile.

Indi Gregory
The youngster is being treated at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham (Family handout/GoFundMe/PA)

Mr Justice Peel had considered evidence behind closed doors, but he allowed journalists to attend the hearing and ruled that Indi, her parents and the hospital could be named in reports.

He ruled that medics treating Indi and a guardian appointed to represent her interests could not be named.

Indi’s parents are being supported by campaign group the Christian Legal Centre.

“It has been a devastating journey through the court system, which no parent should have to face,” said Mr Gregory, said, after Monday’s appeal court ruling, in a statement issued through the Christian Legal Centre.

“Indi is fighting to live, the system has given up on her, but we refuse to allow her to be brushed under the carpet and we will continue to fight for Indi for as long as it takes.

“She deserves that chance.”