Bishops of England and Wales Mourn the Passing of Indi Gregory, Advocate for Parental Voice in Medical Decisions

Bishops of England and Wales Mourn the Passing of Indi Gregory, Advocate for Parental Voice in Medical Decisions

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales expresses profound sorrow over the demise of baby Indi Gregory, extending heartfelt condolences and prayers to her grieving parents, Dean and Claire. Indi, an eight-month-old baby battling a rare degenerative mitochondrial disease, passed away in the early hours of Monday after life support was withdrawn at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, England.

Despite the parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, fighting to contest multiple court rulings on their daughter's treatment, which medical professionals argued was only prolonging her suffering, their efforts proved unsuccessful. Indi breathed her last at 1:45 am on Monday in a hospice where she had been transferred over the weekend following the UK High Court's decision on November 10 to immediately remove her life support.

Bishop Patrick McKinney of Nottingham and Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues, issued a statement assuring the grieving parents of their prayers, as well as those of the entire Catholic Community, including Pope Francis. The bishops acknowledged Indi as a "baptized child of God" who, after a short life, would now share in the joy of heaven, bringing solace to parents who cherished her as a precious gift from God.

Expressing gratitude to the medical teams at the Queen's Medical Centre and the hospice for their tireless efforts in caring for Indi, the bishops highlighted the legal battle between the NHS Trust and the parents. This, they emphasized, underscores the pressing need to afford greater weight to the parental voice in complex and sensitive cases.

The bishops advocated for the reintroduction of Baroness Ilora Finlay's proposed amendment to the Health and Care Act 2022, addressing dispute resolution in children's palliative care. This suggestion arose in the aftermath of the 2017 case of Charlie Gard, a British baby boy whose parents fought a lengthy legal battle to prevent the removal of his life support treatment, culminating in his unfortunate passing.

The bishops concluded their statement by committing to ongoing contributions to broader discussions surrounding the appropriateness of treatment in relation to potential benefits and the duty to provide fundamental care, including assisted nutrition and hydration, to safeguard the well-being of every child.

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