A judge at Britain’s High Court ruled Wednesday that life support for a terminally ill 8-month-old baby should be withdrawn in a hospice or hospital, despite efforts by the infant’s parents and the Italian government to transport her to Italy for further treatment.
The parents of baby Indi Gregory, who has a rare metabolic disorder known as mitochondrial disease, have fought legal battles in a bid to continue life support for their child. But a judge has ruled that doctors can lawfully limit life-supporting invasive treatment, because continuing with the treatment would not be in the child’s best interests.
The legal tussle is the latest in a series of similar cases in Britain that saw doctors and parents spar over the treatment of terminally ill children and the respective rights and responsibilities of parents and medical professionals.
In a written ruling, Justice Robert Peel said he accepted the evidence of medical specialists at the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham arguing that treatment for Indi should be withdrawn in a hospice or hospital.
The baby’s parents had hoped to fly Indi to Italy — where the Vatican’s pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesu, has offered to care for her — or failing that bring the infant home for end-of-life care.
But Justice Peel ruled it was “too dangerous” to send the baby home “given the clinical complications.”
“There are a number of factors which render extubation and palliative care at the family home all but impossible, and certainly contrary to (Indi’s) best interests,” he said.
He had already ruled that a transfer to Italy would not be in the baby’s best interests, and Court of Appeal judges have backed that decision.
Dean Gregory, Indi’s father, said it was “disgraceful” for doctors and British courts to ignore the offer from Italy’s government.
“As a father I have never asked or begged for anything in my life, but I am now begging the British government to please help prevent our daughter’s life from being taken away,” he said in a statement released through Christian Concern, a charity supporting the family.
In recent years Britain’s judges and doctors have repeatedly come under criticism from Christian groups and others, including politicians in Italy and Poland, for upholding decisions to end life support for terminally ill children when that conflicts with the parents’ wishes.
Under British law, the key test in such cases is whether a proposed treatment is in the best interests of the child.
The post UK judge rules to withdraw life support from terminally ill baby despite treatment efforts appeared first on Fox News.