Will this naturalization save a baby’s life or will it increase their suffering? Rome granted Italian citizenship to a seriously ill British girl on Monday. Despite herself, the eight-month-old child is at the heart of a legal battle in the United Kingdom. The parents of Indi Gregory have launched a fight against British doctors who recommend interrupting the life support of their offspring, who suffers from a mitochondrial disease.
Caregivers say continued treatment is painful and futile. In response, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth announced their desire to transfer their little daughter to Bambino Gesu Hospital of Rome, owned by the Vatican, which offered to treat her. But last week, a judge of the English High Court objected, saying that such a transfer would not be in the best interests of little Indi. Less than an hour before the legal deadline expired on Monday during which doctors were not allowed to start stopping treatment, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni convened a council of ministers to grant Italian nationality to the baby.
“They say there isn’t much hope for little Indi, but I will do everything I can to the end to defend her life. And to defend the right of her mother and father to do everything they can for her,” the transalpine leader, whose far-right party promotes traditional Catholic values.
Hearing Tuesday at the London High Court
His government said the decision to grant citizenship was made following a request from the parents’ lawyers, adding that Rome had offered to cover the costs of the baby’s medical treatment. Indi’s father thanked the Italian government in a statement released by the Christian Concern group which supports the couple. “My heart fills with joy that the Italians have given Claire and me hope and faith in humanity,” said Dean Gregory. The Italians have shown us care and loving support and I would like the British authorities to do the same. »
The impact of this decision, however, remains difficult to establish immediately. A further hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning at the High Court in London. According to a spokesperson for Christian Concern, quoted by the British news agency PA, it must concern the place where doctors will have to interrupt the baby’s life support, her parents wanting to take her home.
The court ruled in favor of the child’s doctors in mid-October and the parents’ request to appeal this decision was subsequently rejected. The European Court of Human Rights, sitting in Strasbourg, also rejected a request for appeal. Indi, who was born on February 24 in Nottingham, central England, suffers from mitochondrial disease, a condition that stops the body’s cells from producing energy and for which there is no cure according to British health authorities.