(p. A13) Indi was born with mitochondrial disease, a degenerative condition that prevents cells from producing energy. When her parents and the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, England, disagreed over whether she should be kept on life support, the NHS turned to the courts to strip the parents of decision-making authority. The U.K. High Court agreed, overrode the parents’ wishes, and ordered life support removed.
. . .
While the NHS thought continued treatment would be futile, other experts disagreed, including at the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital. As part of its religious mission, Bambino Gesù specializes in treating children with rare diseases. Doctors there offered a treatment plan they thought could help Indi, free of charge. The Italian government even made her a citizen so that she could be airlifted from England.
. . .
For the U.K., the offer of free treatment by willing doctors ought to have been the end of the story. The government didn’t have to pay another penny. The grateful parents simply wanted the freedom to take their daughter to the experts in Rome.
Instead, the NHS went back to the same court and judge to insist it remained in Indi’s best interests to die in the U.K. The court again agreed and overrode the parents’ desire to take Indi to see the experts in Rome. The judge ordered that they could take her only to one place: to the hospice to die.
The parents had no choice but to comply. Lest they try anything else to save their daughter, the parents were sent to hospice with a security escort and police presence.
Deprived of treatment and with her parents forbidden to help her, Indi died within two days, under the watchful eye of the government that said all along it was looking out for her best interests.
For the full commentary, see:
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date November 20, 2023, and has the same title as the print version.)