LondonIt’s a sad story that repeats itself: it happened in 2017 with little Charlie Gard, the following year with another child, Alfie Evans, and finally last summer with twelve-year-old Archie Battersby. Now the case of Indi Gregory, an eight-month-old baby, is turning into a legal battle and a division of pronouns.
This time also we have a young patient who is terminally ill Which doctors want to stop, against the parents’ wishes. She was then hospitalized from birth at the Queen’s Medical Centre, a hospital in Nottingham, England: she suffers from a rare genetic condition, a mitochondrial disease that prevents cells from producing enough energy to support an organism. For the doctors treating her, there is nothing left to do: the little girl suffers from irreversible brain damage, a heart defect, and is destined to die anyway.
So health workers asked a month ago The court allowed the treatments keeping Indy alive to be suspended, but the little girl’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, both thirty years old, opposed it. However, in mid-October, the Supreme Court agreed with the hospital: Justice Pell “with a heavy heart” allowed the doctors to pull the plug, explaining that although the parents’ pain was “almost unimaginable,” the medical evidence was “unanimous And clear.” The judge therefore reached the conclusion that “the burden of surgical treatment outweighs its benefits”, because “the great pain suffered by this wonderful little girl is not justifiable in the face of a group of incurable conditions with no prospect of recovery”.
But Dean and Claire are “devastated” by the decisionThey did not give up and pleaded: “So she reacts to stimuli – they said – she can feel happy, and cries like a normal baby. “We know she’s disabled, but we don’t let people with disabilities die, we just want to give her a chance.”
But the appeal was rejected two weeks ago. Just as, a few days later, their aggravated appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg was rejected. So, a week ago, Indi’s parents returned to the High Court in London to ask for permission to transfer the little girl to Italy, where the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome had offered to welcome her: but this too was the last request rejected, when the judge ruled that “there was no indication that “The prognosis will change positively through treatment in the Italian hospital.”
The principle followed in these cases is the English judiciary It is the “best interest” of the patient, which also prevails over the will of the parents: in Great Britain, the state has the right/duty to protect its subjects, even minors. I must say that cases like Indy’s are unfortunately common in England and usually end with doctors and family members agreeing to suspend treatment: sometimes, however, parents refuse to accept reality and cling to extreme hopes, even going so far as to get into chaos. A long legal battle, as is happening in recent days. It now remains to be seen what impact the Italian government’s move might have, as a potential transfer to Indy would still face legal and practical hurdles.
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