LONDON (OSV News) — Some of the most senior judges in the U.K. ruled late Nov. 10 that the Italian intervention in Indi Gregory’s case to move the infant to Rome under a provision of the Hague Convention is “wholly misconceived” and “not in the spirit of the convention.”
Furthermore, Justices Peter Jackson, Eleanor King and Andrew Moylan of the Court of Appeal refused the family permission to appeal a ruling which said Indi’s life support cannot be removed at home.
Instead, they ordered Indi’s life support be removed immediately but did not specify the time and location, whether it would be the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham or a hospice.
Prior to the ruling, handed down in the afternoon London time, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni urgently wrote to Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Alex Chalk of the United Kingdom calling for the two countries to officially collaborate on facilitating the 8-month-old’s transfer to Rome under under Article 9(2) of the 1996 Hague Convention: “Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.”
Indi suffers from a rare metabolic disorder known as mitochondrial disease, and her family was fighting for her not to be removed from life support by court order, as was the case of several other children in the past, including Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard.
Meloni wrote to Chalk outlining the urgent appeal made by Indi’s Italian guardian Nov. 9 to the U.K. High Court. Christian Concern, an advocacy group helping the family, said in a Nov. 10 statement that Meloni urged the British secretary to see that it is in Indi’s “best interests to be transferred to Rome.”
The appeal called on Justice Robert Peel to cede jurisdiction of the case to the child’s Italian guardian under Article 9(2) of the Hague Convention.
After Indi was made an Italian citizen earlier in the week, the Italian consul in Manchester, Matteo Corradini, was appointed guardianship judge for the infant and issued an emergency measure recognizing the authority of the Italian courts in this case. The measure assumed protection of Indi, whose life was in imminent danger, and authorized her immediate transfer to the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital in Rome
The Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome had agreed to accept Indi for treatment and to carry out a palliative procedure proposed by medical experts for her known as RVOT stenting, or right ventricular outflow tract stent, which is used to improve pulmonary flow in infants. The Italian government offered to fund the treatment at no cost to the National Health Service or U.K. taxpayers.
The appeals by Indi’s family and her Italian guardian came after NHS officials and U.K. courts refused to allow the move to Rome or to work on a risk assessment of such a move with a specialist air-ambulance service. Instead, the U.K. courts repeatedly rubber stamped the NHS position on the case that it was in Indi’s “best interests” to be allowed to die.
To date, there has been no response or comment from the U.K. government on the case.