(CP) A British court allowed the parents of a baby girl to appeal a recent court ruling that would have mandated her to be removed from life support Thursday despite offers for treatment at a Vatican-run hospital.
Justice Robert Peel of the High Court ruled Wednesday that 8-month-old Indi Gregory, who suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease and has been in pediatric intensive care at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham since she was born, should be taken off life support by 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Peel also reportedly ruled that Indi should be extubated while at hospital or hospice and not at home, which goes against the wishes of her parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, according to their lawyers at the London-based Christian Legal Centre (CLC).
Indi's parents made a last-ditch appeal on Wednesday against the ruling, and the CLC noted that Lady Justice Eleanor King has since ruled that the girl's pending removal from life support will be delayed at least until another hearing scheduled at noon local time on Friday.
The U.K. courts might also again consider whether to allow Indi to be transferred to Rome, where she has been offered specialist treatment at the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital at no cost to the NHS or U.K. taxpayers, the CLC said.
Peel twice blocked Indi Gregory's transfer to Italy for specialist treatment, even though the Italian government decided during an emergency meeting on Monday to grant the girl Italian citizenship.
Dr. Matteo Corradini, who serves as the Italian consul in Manchester, urged the British court to grant him jurisdiction over Indi's case under Article 9 of the 1996 Hague Convention given her new citizenship, which the CLC noted is unprecedented.
Indi's situation has drawn condemnation from Italian politicians such as Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who wrote on social media Monday: "They say there isn't much hope for little Indi, but until the very end, I'll do what I can to defend her life. And to defend the right of her mamma and papa to do all that they can for her."
Simone Pillon, a former Italian senator who helped set up the girl's potential treatment at the Bambino Gesù, said Italians "are appalled by the rulings by U.K. courts in this case and the refusal of the NHS Trust to help the family transfer Indi to Rome."
Dr. Keith Girling, who serves as medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, told The Christian Post that the situation with Indi "is an incredibly challenging time for Indi and her family and our thoughts are with them."
"Following the High Court decision, our priority will remain to provide Indi specialized care appropriate to her condition and in line with the direction of the court, supporting her family in every way possible," Girling added.
Dean Gregory said he has faced "repeated threats from the hospital trying to intimidate me and speed up Indi's death, even when there are outstanding court orders in place," according to the CLC.
"There does not appear to be any care or compassion, only cruelty towards us as a family," he continued. "For the hospital and the U.K. courts to simply ignore the offer from the Italian government is disgraceful."
Gregory said he has been "begging" the British government to allow him to transfer his daughter to Italy in their attempt "to prevent our daughter's life from being taken away."
Indi's situation echoes similar cases of British toddlers Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, who were similarly denied the chance to receive treatment at the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital by U.K. courts.