A terminally ill baby in the United Kingdom, who was the focus of a legal battle involving her parents, British health officials and the Italian government over treatment options, died Monday morning in hospice care.
Christian Concern, a group supporting the family, said 8-month-old Indi Gregory died after her life support was withdrawn on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
The infant had suffered brain damage because of a rare condition known as mitochondrial disease.
The child’s doctors said her life support should be removed to allow her to die at a hospital or in hospice, but her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, continued to fight for her to remain on life support, hoping that experimental treatments may extend her life.
The Italian government had solicited permission for her to be treated at Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome. Italian officials even granted citizenship to the baby amid the legal battle over her health care.
Doctors claimed that Indi was not aware of her surroundings and was suffering as they argued she should be allowed to die peacefully. Legal challenges supported by Christian Concern were rejected by British judges.
Indi’s case is the latest in a series of legal battles in the United Kingdom between parents and doctors over treatment for children with terminal illnesses. British judges have repeatedly taken the side of doctors in cases about the best interests of the child, despite parental objections to a proposed treatment option.
Court of Appeal Justice Peter Jackson said on Friday that doctors treating Gregory and other critically ill children were put in an “extremely challenging” position by the legal battle. He also criticized “manipulative litigation tactics” that attempt to frustrate orders made by judges after careful consideration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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