Parents of critically ill baby lose latest stage of life-support treatment fight

The parents of a critically ill baby have lost the latest stage of a life-support treatment fight.

A High Court judge recently ruled that doctors could lawfully limit the treatment they provide to Indi Gregory – who will be eight months old on Tuesday – against the wishes of her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth.

Indi’s parents, who are both in their 30s and from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, had challenged Mr Justice Peel’s ruling.

But two Court of Appeal judges have dismissed their challenge

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

Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Birss had considered arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Monday.

They concluded that Indi’s parents did not have an arguable case – and no “real prospect” of winning an appeal.

Indi’s parents argued that the “depth of the inquiry” carried out by Mr Justice Peel had been “inadequate”.

They also argued that the High Court trial had been “procedurally unfair” and complained that Mr Justice Peel had refused to give them an “effective opportunity” to obtain expert medical evidence of their own.

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

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

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.

Ms Sutton had argued that Indi’s parents’ appeal should be dismissed.

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.

Appeal judges oversaw the appeal hearing in public but ruled that medics and the guardian could not be named in reports.

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

Mr Gregory, said, after the ruling, in a statement issued through the Christian Legal Centre: “We are appalled by the continued dismissal of Indi’s right to life and believe she is being discriminated against because of her disabilities by the courts and the trust.

“It has been a devastating journey through the court system, which no parent should have to face.

“Claire and I are the one who spend all day with Indi and she has improved significantly in the past few weeks.”

He added: “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.”