Indi Gregory: for the Brits she must die, Italy tries to save her
ROME – The Brits had “sentenced her to death”, the Italians have saved her or, at least, want to try: Italian citizenship has been conferred on Indi Gregory, the 8-month-old English baby seriously ill with an incurable mitochondrial disease, whose parents only a few days ago the High Court of London had denied the possibility of moving to Italy to continue to keep her alive through the support of machines. Now, thanks to the decision of the Italian Council of Ministers, the little girl will be able to be admitted to the “Bambino Gesù” hospital in Rome, as the child’s (English) parents had requested.
Since birth, the little girl has been hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care unit of Nottingham Queen’s Medical Center. The little girl, born in February, is being treated because she suffers from mitochondrial wasting syndrome, a very rare degenerative genetic disease that blocks the normal development of all muscles.
The Italian Council of Ministers met today at 2.15pm in an urgent session and, in a few minutes (it ended at 2.29pm), took a “lightning decision” which made Indi Gregory an Italian citizen. The objective was to allow the transfer of the newborn to an Italian hospital, where the shutdown of the machinery that keeps her alive, in particular the assisted ventilation, would be avoided.
The government of Italy granted citizenship to the little girl on the basis of article 9 paragraph 2 of law no. 5 February 1992. 91, “in consideration of the exceptional interest for the national community in ensuring further therapeutic developments for the minor, in the protection of pre-eminent humanitarian values which, in this case, concern the protection of health”.
The decision of the Italian Council of Ministers chaired by Giorgia Meloni follows the availability expressed by the “Bambino Gesù” in relation to the hospitalization of Indi Gregory and the consequent request for the granting of Italian citizenship made by the parents’ lawyers. The Italian government also communicated to the hospital management and the family “the commitment to cover the costs of health treatments that are deemed necessary”.
According to sources from the Tgcom 24 agency, the Italian government had been carrying out the negotiations for several weeks in a climate of maximum confidentiality.
Lawyers representing the little girl’s parents had asked the British High Court judge to authorize Indi’s transfer to Rome to receive treatment that they said could prolong the child’s life. But, according to the British NHS healthcare system, the severity of the disease marks an incurable condition. The English judge had in fact already authorized the doctors to suspend life support for the little girl, stating that the medical evidence was “unanimous and clear”. According to the doctors, Indi is dying and the treatments are useless and only cause her suffering, without giving her any hope. “There is nothing to suggest that Indi Gregory’s prognosis would be positively changed by treatment in the Italian hospital” Judge Robert Peel said.
Indi’s case is not unique: it follows that of other children, such as Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans or Archie Battersbee. For them, the British justice system ordered the suspension of vital treatments. The sentences were pronounced following “the best interest for the minor”, as the separation from the machines is “aimed at sparing the patient unnecessary pain and suffering”.
For Indi, the real race against time to save her life begins now. “My heart fills with joy because the Italians have given me and my wife Claire hope and faith in humanity. The Italians have shown care in a loving and supportive way. I only wish it was the same in the UK” commented the baby’s father, Dean Gregory.
Together with Indi’s mother, the man had launched an appeal, supported by “pro life” associations, for the stoppage of treatments to be averted and for them to be allowed to transfer their daughter to Rome. Italian law, as is known, prevents any form of euthanasia.
“A huge thank you to the Italian government, to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, to all the ministers and to the entire Italian people on behalf of Indi Gregory’s family. Now working to remove the remaining obstacles and bring her to Rome soon”, declared Simone Pillon, former senator of the right party Lega, very active in anti-abortion campaigns, and legal representative of the family of the English newborn. Now, Italian.
The pic above is from social networks