Indi Gregory: An Innocent Child Dies
The UK has a health law in place that has caused unspeakable pain. In the UK, parents and guardians generally have a say over their child’s medical treatments. However, the law states that when a doctor believes that the parents’ or guardians’ wishes are not in the best interest of the child, the case goes to the court to decide. Recently, the court has ruled in favor of the doctors, leaving parents unable to seek treatment elsewhere. Such was the case with Indi Gregory, Alfie Evans, and Charlie Gard, among many others.
In 2016, baby Alfie Evans was admitted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. He had been suffering seizures and was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition. But the doctors were unable to identify what specifically was wrong with young Alfie.
The parents pleaded with the hospital to let them take Alfie, who was in semi-aware and semi-awake state for over a year. They wanted to take him to the Vatican’s pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesu, in Rome, Italy. This hospital had offered to take Alfie and to attempt to prolong his life.
But the doctors refused to let the parents take their own child out of the hospital, as if Alfie were an experiment, property of the hospital. They claimed that attempting to prolong his life and undergoing more treatment was futile and inhumane. So, the case went to court.
The court decided that Alfie should be removed from life support. The parents appealed. All the judges upheld the doctor’s wishes.
Alfie’s father even flew to Rome to meet with the Pope, whom he had pleaded to help save his son’s life. Pope Francis expressed his support for the family on Twitter. Italy even granted young Alfie Italian citizenship, in the hopes that this would allow him to come to Italy.
Social media campaigns showed that Evans’ parents were supported by thousands worldwide.
“Alfie’s Army,” they were called. A few of them took extreme measures, even threatening to burn the hospital down. Others simply prayed and offered support.
But their efforts were in vain, and the hospital had its way. And so, his young life was ended before it had to.
The latest case is that of Indi Gregory, an 8-month-old, who was admitted to the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham. Indi was born February 24, 2023. She had mitochondrial disease. Her cells were unable to produce enough energy to function normally. In August, she caught an infection from the hospital. She suffered several cardiac arrests, progressive brain damage and was put on life support. The Queen’s Medical Center said there were no more treatment options for young Indi, and her parents pleaded with them to let them take her elsewhere.
Just like with Alfie, Italy granted young Indi citizenship, and the parents hoped to take her to a hospital there.
But a judge ruled that they could not, citing Indi’s condition and fearing that such a move would cause needless suffering. He even said that she has a “limited quality of life” and was in constant pain, and he doubted that any treatment could improve her condition. The parents insisted that a keto diet and proper medications had proven beneficial to young Indi, and they pleaded to let them continue these practices.
The court ruled that Indi should be taken off life support and allowed to pass immediately. It was upset over the situation the doctors at the hospital were put in and Italy’s attempts to take Indi, despite the court having carefully considered this case. It felt that Italy had not understood the details of the situation and reasons for the decision to keep Indi in the UK.
Tragically, Indi Gregory passed away in the early morning hours of November 13th in the arms of her mother.
Indi’s father, Dean Gregory, compared the emotional court case to hell. Dean is not religious and said he was not baptized. But he baptized Indi on September 22nd, because he wanted her to go to Heaven. He told an Italian newspaper: “But when I was in court, I felt like I had been dragged to hell. I thought that if hell exists, then heaven must also exist. It was as if the devil was there. I thought that if the devil exists, then God must exist.”
Let us pray for the soul of Indi Gregory, as well as for her family as they navigate this difficult time. Let us also pray that the UK reconsiders this law that prohibits parents from seeking other treatments for their children. Parents must be able to exhaust all ends to care for their ill children, and we cannot have more children die without exploring all ethical possibilities.
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Marisa Cantu has a BA in Political Science and has also studied International Studies and French. She is working towards her MS in Political Science and International Affairs and has a strong background in nonprofit work, research, writing, and policy proposal and analysis.
In her free time, Marisa enjoys painting, writing, cooking, and playing with her dog.