Indi with her mother (Facebook)

"Me, a Neonatologist, and little Indi"

The story of the little English girl, her death, her parents. What does it mean to care until the end? A doctor's letter

Dearest Davide, thank you for the article you wrote about what happened in England to little Indi Gregory, where once again the State, justice, the 'best interest', have overpowered the desire and affection of the parents. It really helped me to reflect on innocent pain. I have been a neonatologist for many years and the subject of perinatal palliative care and the accompaniment to the end of the little ones entrusted to us is extremely important. It puts us even more in front of the mystery of life, its being a gift and the respect that is due to all those who, in one way or another, are involved in caring for them. First and foremost there are the parents, who experience moments of true mourning when their child is not as they would wish and they know that they will only be able to accompany them for a short time.

Finally, for a few years now, there has been a lot of talk about these issues in the field of perinatal medicine: accompanying the baby and the parents while respecting life, according to its natural history, where medical treatment cannot change the outcome, but can allow it to be lived to the full by helping to appreciate its value.

With several friends who work in this field, we are discussing this and other aspects of our profession, to understand how to stand by these families without abandoning them and without disappointing them, trying to support the option for life in the face of so many who see its termination as the most appropriate solution.

In particular, Indi did not suffer from a severe disability, but from a disease with an inevitably inauspicious short-term outcome, where only intensive care allows survival. The quoad vitam prognosis is limited. Good medical practice indicates accompanying parents to understand with the correct information, respecting their time even in their choices of care, if anything without suspending intensive care for as long as is necessary.

None of us decided the fate of this child. The Lord has given her to us so that we can serve Him, taking care of her and her parents, accompanying them to the end without ever abandoning them.

Read also - Innocent pain and the presumption of an omnipotent state

We do not know what happened in the hours of hospice care until her death, we hope they were given the time and the means to be with Indi as much as possible. Precious time caring for her and for them, a privilege for us as caregivers.

Thank you again for the guide you are to my life, I hope there will be a possibility to meet on these issues, so crucial for us and for everyone.

Giuseppe, Milan, Italy