Indi Gregory: A message from Bishop Patrick McKinney and Bishop John Sherrington

Bishops' Comment on the Indi Gregory Case

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Right Reverend Patrick McKinney

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“The tragic situation of baby Indi Gregory is truly heartbreaking, most especially for her devoted parents Claire and Dean, her siblings, wider family and friends. Those responsible for her medical care at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, believe they have done all they can to help her. However, as people of hope, we recognise that her parents want to pursue every possible chance of extending her life, even when they know this carries no guarantee of success and would require transfer to the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome, Italy. In this regard, both parties are seeking to act in Indi’s best interests. Parental love will lead to a desire to take every possible step and we support this.

“Where medical treatment becomes disproportionate to any possible benefit, proper palliative care for a sick person must be maintained. The suspension of disproportionate therapies cannot justify the suspension of basic care which includes treatments that are required to maintain essential physiological functions as long as the body can benefit from them (such as hydration, nutrition, proportionate respiratory support, thermoregulation and pain management). Alongside spiritual care offered for the one who will soon meet God, the Church views these treatments as necessary to accompany these little patients to a dignified natural death.

“Prolonged terminal illness is, sadly, part of the human condition. We should never act with the deliberate intention to end a human life, including the removal of basic care so that death might be achieved. We do, however, sometimes, have to recognise the limitations of what can be done, while always acting humanely in the service of the sick person until the time of natural death occurs. We hope and pray that, in the wake of this decision, the family are gradually able to find some peace over the coming days and weeks. Our prayers are with baby Indi and her parents and family, as well as with those caring for her.“

Bishop Patrick McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham

Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues and Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster

Following the death of baby Indi Gregory on 13 November, Bishop Patrick McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham, and Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues, have given a statement:

“With deep sadness we express our condolences to Dean and Claire, parents of Indi Gregory, who died earlier today. We assure them of our prayers and those of all the Catholic Community, including Pope Francis, at this sad time.

“As a baptised child of God, we believe that she will now share in the joy of heaven after her short life which brought deep joy to her parents who loved and protected her as a precious gift of God.

“We thank all who worked so tirelessly to care for her at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham and at the hospice where she died.

“The legal battle between the NHS Trust and her parents shows again the need for greater weight to be given to the parental voice in these complex and sensitive cases. A simple way to begin to remedy this would be to amend the Health and Care Act 2022 by reintroducing Baroness Ilora Finlay’s amendment on ‘Dispute resolution in children’s palliative care’[1] formulated after the death of Charlie Gard.

“We will continue to contribute to wider discussions on questions of when treatment becomes disproportionate to any possible benefit and the duty of the continuation of basic care, including assisted nutrition and hydration, to protect the good of every child.”

Bishop Patrick McKinney
Bishop of Nottingham

Bishop John Sherrington
Lead Bishop for Life Issues and Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster


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