The funeral of Indi Gregory, the 8-month-old baby at the centre of a tragic end-of-life legal battle, will be held at Nottingham Cathedral this Friday, 1 December at 10.15am. The family has said that the media are welcome to attend the service which will be led by the Bishop of Nottingham, the Rt. Rev Patrick McKinney. The family will make a statement on the day and Indi’s father, Dean Gregory, will give a moving tribute to his daughter during the service. An Italian delegation will be in attendance at the funeral and Italian government has offered to pay for the funeral following their dramatic intervention to have Indi transferred to the the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital in Rome for specialist treatment.
The refusal of the NHS and UK courts to allow Indi to be transferred to Rome has sparked international outrage, with the Wall Street Journal, for example, running a headline: ‘Britain’s NHS Left Indi Gregory to Die’. Indi had been battling a rare mitochondrial disorder since she was born in February. In September, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust brought a case against against the family to the High Court arguing that life-support should be removed in Indi’s ‘best interests’. The family wanted Indi to continue to receive treatment or be allowed to be transferred for specialist support abroad. Throughout the legal battle they were supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
“In the weeks before, she had been calm and relaxed and didn’t appear to be in any pain – but this all changed after life support was removed.” He added that: “On her last day, she was in excruciating pain. She suffered. After she’d passed away, we gave her a kiss and told her we loved her.”
On November 11, after all domestic legal routes had been exhausted and the High Court had ignored the Italian government’s intervention under under Article 9§2 of the 1996 Hague Convention, Indi was transferred with security and a police presence from the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham to a hospice. Life-support was removed and two-days later, on November 13, Indi died in her mum Claire’s arms. Mr Gregory has since told the media that Indi died in ‘excruciating pain’. He said: “In the weeks before, she had been calm and relaxed and didn’t appear to be in any pain – but this all changed after life support was removed.” He added that: “On her last day, she was in excruciating pain. She suffered. After she’d passed away, we gave her a kiss and told her we loved her.”
Following Indi’s death, the family were stunned to received personal letters of condolence from the Pope and the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. Pope Francis described little Indi as “an innocent, fragile human being, who in her silence only asked for love, relationship and care.” And Ms Meloni added that her country had done “everything [it] could” but “unfortunately it was not enough.”
The UK government has remained silent throughout the case. Of the Italian government’s offer to pay for Indi’s funeral, Dean said: “It’s amazing. It makes you feel emotional but also sad, as you question what the UK has done to help. The answer is nothing.” Dean said: “We’re going to give her the best send-off we can – and she deserves it. She was baptised so it will be a Christian send-off with a choir and organ music. It’s going to be a very sad but amazing day. She’ll be with her musical lamb in the coffin. The NHS and the courts tried to get rid of Indi without anybody knowing – but we will make sure she is remembered for ever.”