The parents of critically-ill baby Indi Gregory have lost their latest appeal to bring their daughter home for end of life care.
Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, both in their 30s, want specialists to withdraw treatment for their eight-month-old child at their home in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.
Indi has a severe form of mitochondrial disease which has a wide range of debilitating effects, including poor growth, muscle weakness and ultimately saps energy.
Doctors at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre have said there is nothing more they can do for her.
On Wednesday, a High Court judge ruled against their initial plea and concluded that it would be ‘too dangerous’ for Indi to receive care at home.
Desperate not to give up hope, Mr Gregory and Ms Staniforth appealed against the decision which stated she must stay in a ‘safe and sustainable’ hospital or hospice setting.
Lawyers for the family led the challenge but their appeal was rejected on Friday.
Following the appeal hearing, judge Lord Justice Peter Jackson expressed ‘profound concern’ about aspects of the litigation and said that doctors caring for Indi Gregory had been put in an ‘extremely challenging’ position.
He told the Court of Appeal hearing that the hospital’s governing trust had shown ‘proper sympathy and understanding’ for Indi’s parents and said ‘manipulative litigation tactics’ would not be tolerated.
The judge also asked whether a trainee solicitor advising Indi’s father was ‘out of control’.
Lord Justice Jackson, and two other London-based appeal judges, dismissed the challenge for Indi to be allowed home and said the appeal was ‘entirely without merit’.
Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan said they agreed.
Judges have heard from specialists that Indi, who was born on February 24, is dying and bosses at the hospital asked for a ruling that doctors could lawfully limit treatment.
Medics say the treatment Indi receives causes pain and is futile but her parents disagree – they want specialists to keep providing life-support treatment.
But Mr Justice Peel has already ruled that specialists can lawfully limit treatment and has concluded such a move would be in Indi’s best interests.
Indi’s parents have failed to persuade Court of Appeal judges and judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, to overturn that treatment decision.
Mr Justice Peel has overseen private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
But he has allowed journalists to attend and ruled that Indi can be named in reports.
Court of Appeal hearings have been staged in public.
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