UPDATE: There are reports this afternoon that Indi may be denied life-supporting treatment as early as tomorrow (November 11). LifeSiteNews asks readers to pray that her life may be spared.
LONDON (LifeSiteNews) – Hopes for British infant Indi Gregory’s right to life have again been dashed.
This afternoon Lord Justice Peter Jackson of the English Court of Appeal denied the application of Indi’s Italian guardian that the end-of-life case of the eight-month-old baby, who is now a citizen of Italy, be transferred to an Italian judge. He did not support the wishes of the Indi’s parents that the child, who has a rare mitochondrial disease, be cared for by the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome.
Matteo Fraioli of Italy’s Pro Vita e Famiglia (For Life and Family) organization reported that Jackson “harshly” criticized the Italian intervention, saying it was “not in … the spirit” of the Hague Convention for the protection of minors cited.
The UK’s Christian Concern added that Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Andrew Moylan were also involved in the decision. Italian national broadcaster RAI published that the “judges had stated that the English courts are in the best position to assess the ‘best interests’ of the child, so there is no need for an Italian court.”
Pro Vita reported that Monday, November 13 had been set as the new date for the removal of the child’s life-sustaining treatment, but other reports state that this would happen on Saturday, November 11.
Indi’s parents’ fight for their child’s life against the wishes of the British National Health System (NHS) has caught the imagination of the Italian public, including mainstream Italian media, and Italian pro-lifers were quick to condemn the ruling.
“The obstinacy of the British judges in wanting to end the life of this little fighter despite the contrary medical opinion of the Bambino Gesù Hospital is something simply satanic,” Pro Vita e Famiglia tweeted.
Indi’s father, Dean Gregory, spoke for himself and the girl’s mother when he said, “Claire and I are again disgusted by another one-sided decision from the judges and the [NHS] Trust. The whole world is watching and is shocked at how we have been treated.”
“Claire and I have always wanted what is in Indi’s best interests,” Gregory continued. “She has human rights and we wanted her to have the best treatment possible. If the UK did not want to fund it, why can she not go to Italy and receive the treatment and care which the amazing Italian Prime Minister and government [have] offered?”
“This feels like the latest kick in the teeth, and we will not give up fighting for our daughter’s chance to live until the end.”
Christian Concern reported that Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has written to the British Lord Chancellor asking that the two countries collaborate officially on “facilitating Indi’s transfer to Rome under the Hague Convention.”
Lord Justice Jackson has made pronouncements on other high-profile end-of-life cases that resulted in the deaths of the sick people to whom British doctors no longer wished to give life-sustaining care.
With Sir Andrew McFarlane and Lady Justice King, he dismissed Archie Battersbee’s family permission to appeal a High Court judgment that ruled that the 12-year-old’s life-support should be withdrawn against their wishes. Archie died in August 2022.
With Lady Justice King, Jackson decided against arguments to allow an appeal of a ruling that artificial ventilation, nutrition, and hydration should be removed from a Polish Catholic man known to the British public only as RS. The middle-aged father died in January 2021.
In 2017, Jackson decided that a 50-year-old woman with Huntington’s disease should have her feeding and hydrating tubes removed so that she would die. After the hearing, the feeding tube was removed. The patient died that August, presumably of starvation.
Jackson’s decisions have also had a negative impact on the right-to-life of the disabled unborn. With Lord Justices Underhill and Thirwall, he ruled in 2022 against a woman with Down syndrome’s petition to have legislation repealed that allows unborn children suffering from disabilities to be aborted up until the moment of birth.
However, in 2019, he did decide with Lord Justie McCombe and Lady Justice King that a disabled woman, the daughter of a Nigerian Catholic, should not be forced to have an abortion.
Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Andrew Moylan were both involved in the Alfie Evans case. Alfie died in the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation in Liverpool in April 2018, four days after being removed from life support.