In the UK, a seriously ill 8-month-old baby girl has been taken off life support following a contentious legal battle to have her transferred to Italy for treatment.
Christian Concern, an organization representing Indi Gregory’s family, said she had been moved from Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham to a hospice and taken off life support following a court ruling on Friday.
“She fights hard,” her father said in a statement.
Despite calls from Indi’s parents, Dean Gregory and Claire Staniforth, and the Italian government to transfer her to the Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome, British judges decided to end her life support system, l ‘Associated Press.
Her parents also asked that she be taken home to die. That appeal was also rejected, the BBC reported.
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Judges say rule is based on child’s best interests
Court of Appeal Judge Peter Jackson criticized the parents’ use of legal tactics in opposition to the court order, AP reported.
Doctors caring for Indi, who suffers from mitochondrial disease, said she had no awareness of her surroundings and was in pain. Specialists said his treatment was painful and ineffective, the BBC reported.
They advised him to let her die peacefully. His parents had sought to send him to Italy for experimental treatment that could prolong his life.
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Jackson said doctors were put in an “extremely difficult” position because of what he called “manipulative litigation tactics,” the AP reported. He said judges make decisions in cases like Indi’s with careful consideration of the child’s best interests.
What is mitochondrial disease?
Mitochondrial diseases or disorders refer to a condition in which mitochondria, tiny parts of the cell, function poorly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The role of mitochondria is to produce energy. In mitochondrial disease, mitochondria are unable to efficiently convert oxygen and sugar into energy, leading to cell dysfunction.
There are many types of mitochondrial diseases that can affect different parts of the body, including the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles.
Some young people with mitochondrial disease may not have any symptoms. For others, symptoms vary depending on which cells have poorly functioning mitochondria.
Symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, stroke, seizures, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, developmental or cognitive disorders, diabetes, and problems with hearing, vision, growth , liver, gastrointestinal or renal function.