James Nowicki: Longtime judge would rise to the occasion with an ...
Detroit Free Press, United States -
... whether a dying boy should receive a blood transfusion against the wishes of his parents, whose beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses prohibited the procedure
WT BLOOD GUILT EXPOSED TO THE WORLD
James Nowicki: Longtime judge would rise to the occasion with an ...
Province denied parents fair hearing, lawyers say
Globe and Mail, Canada - 1 6 minutes ago
VANCOUVER -- The government was in such a rush to give transfusions to premature sextuplets last January that it denied the Jehovah's Witness parents their IN COURT: THE SEXTUPLETS
Province denied parents fair hearing, lawyers say
Jehovah's Witnesses say state seizure of babies for blood transfusions 'didn't meet principles of fundamental justice'
VANCOUVER -- The government was in such a rush to give transfusions to premature sextuplets last January that it denied the Jehovah's Witness parents their right to a fair judicial hearing, the Supreme Court of British Columbia was told yesterday. Lawyers for the Fraser Valley parents, who can't be identified because of a publication ban, are asking Chief Justice Donald Brenner to make a ruling that the process followed by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Families in apprehending four surviving babies so that they could be given blood transfusions "didn't meet the principles of fundamental justice." The six babies, which weighed only 700 to 800 grams each when they were born at 25 weeks gestation, struggled to survive from the outset and two died. The province seized the other four at the hospital, and took them away for transfusions before returning them to the care of the parents. The father, who attended the hearing yesterday, said the four babies "are doing really well," and that he and his wife are caring for them at home. As devout Jehovah's Witnesses, the parents opposed blood transfusions, and had been urging alternative medical care for the infants. Chief Justice Brenner noted in his comments in court that no decision he could make would turn back the clock for the parents concerning the blood transfusions, but he acknowledged that his decision might have significance in similar cases. "You can characterize this case as being not about religion at all, but about the right of parents to make decisions [on behalf of their children]," said Chief Justice Brenner. Shane Brady, one of two lawyers appearing for the parents, agreed with that assessment, but said the court should weigh the importance of the family's religious views because it explains the "great emotional and psychological impact," of the government's actions. He said the parents felt violated when blood transfusions were imposed on their babies. The state moved quickly to authorize transfusions after two babies died and the hemoglobin levels of the surviving four began to drop. But Mr. Brady said the government moved before the hemoglobin levels had reached a level that was of imminent medical concern. He presented a chart that showed a wide range of views among doctors over what hemoglobin levels are safe in premature infants, and said the babies had not yet fallen to the lower end of that spectrum. "Certainly by medical standards, transfusions weren't necessary [immediately]," he said. Mr. Brady said although there was "ample time" for the government to allow the parents to make a legal argument, authorities chose to authorize the transfusions without a judicial hearing. When the parents went to court to challenge the apprehension orders after three of the children had been transfused, the government filed a withdrawal form to return the babies formally to the parents. That negated the parents' opportunity to make their arguments in court. Mr. Brady said later that same day, only hours after leaving court, the government restarted the process and seized the fourth baby for treatment. "The parents' main attack is on the ... process," he said. "This is not a case saying a state never has a role," said John Burns, who is also representing the parents. "But state intervention must be justified." Responding to a question from Chief Justice Brenner about what happens when the urgency of a medical situation comes up against the rights of parents to a fair hearing, Mr. Burns laid out the timeline of the sextuplets' birth and subsequent treatment. He said that it is clear from the record that the government had planned for nine days to apprehend the babies, and that it did not hold a hearing during that period. "There was a reasonable opportunity ... [but] the state acted to avoid a fair judicial hearing," he said.
The Watchtower legal hacks are their own worst enemy,they won't let this rest. Medical emergency faced by babies, lawyer says
Globe and Mail, Canada - 44 minutes ago
... blood transfusions - despite the religious objections of their Jehovah's Witness parents - the Supreme Court of British Columbia was told yesterday. ...
Father demands investigation
Edmonton Sun, Canada - 1 hour ago
As devout Jehovah's Witnesses, Bethany and her mother had refused blood transfusions for her. Their disagreement over her treatment methods saw Hughes leave ...
Medical emergency faced by babies, lawyer says
Globe and Mail, Canada - 28 minutes ago
... blood transfusions - despite the religious objections of their Jehovah's Witness parents - the Supreme Court of British Columbia was told yesterday Comment link http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070831.wbcsextuplets31/CommentStory/National/#comment
The insane part about this sextuplets case is that the babies were getting whole blood injections of their own blood all the time when nurses needed to check the kids haemoglobin levels.
The Watchtower lawyers who are elders and the JW parents thought that this type of blood therapy was okay but not other whole blood therapy.
In other words the parents and the Watchtower did not have a belief that they honestly and in good faith held.
Don't you think JW parents have a problem when they would rather watch their kid die over an ever changing doctrine ...
So the WT Lawyers argued that the babies were not near death 'enough' to warrant being given a blood transfusion.
At what point would the parents or the WT lawyers agreed to allow these infants to receive a blood transfusion to save them? Never!
So basically, the WT lawyers are arguing about a technicality that is so irrelevant that they shame themselves in even having the balls to bring it up!
Screams extreame CULT like nothing I've ever heard.
These so called 'loving parents' and so called 'loving Christian religion' would rather have seen these tiny babies suffer right to death rather than treat them to save them.
'Satans' governments' had to step in and act as parents to protect these children from their abusers, their parents and the WTBTS who forced the parents into the position of being abusers!
http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb/2003-/ca/civil/2007/2007abca0277.pdf PDF file Calgary Dad Wins Partial Court Victory in Daughter's Death
770chqr.com, Canada - 4 hours ago
CALGARY/AM770CHQR - The father of a Calgary Jehovah's Witnesses teen who died after refusing blood transfusions has won a partial victory in the Alberta ... firstname.lastname@example.org reporter to above Calgary Dad Wins Partial Court Victory in Daughter's Death
770chqr.com, Canada - 4 hours ago
CALGARY/AM770CHQR - The father of a Calgary Jehovah's Witnesses teen who died after refusing blood transfusions has won a partial victory in the Alberta ...
Another Legal Victory For Calgary Landowner Fighting the Province
770chqr.com, Canada - 4 hours ago
CALGARY/AM770CHQR - Alberta Infrastructure has failed in a bid to stop a new trial for a Calgary-area woman unsatisfied with the dollar amount offered for ...
Calgary Dad Wins Partial Court Victory in Daughter's Death Aug, 31 2007 - 12:30 PMCALGARY/AM770CHQR - The father of a Calgary Jehovah's Witnesses teen who died after refusing blood transfusions has won a partial victory in the Alberta Court of Appeal.
The province's highest court has ruled that Lawrence Hughes should not have been removed as an administrator of his late daughter's estate.
The court has also restored his lawsuit on behalf of the estate alleging the Watchtower Society and its lawyers used mis-representation and deceit to convince his 16-year-old daughter Bethany chemotherapy and blood transfusions would not help cure her cancer and were experimental.
However, the appeal court upheld the trial judges dismisal of Hughes' other claims including conflict of interest, undue influence and conspiracy.
Jehovah's Witness suit reinstated
Canoe.ca, Canada - 39 minutes ago
But the appeal judges noted the case will not put on trial the belief of Jehovah's Witnesses that blood transfusions are wrong. ...
Jehovah's Witness parents in BC court over sextuplets' blood ...The Canadian Press
Province denied parents fair hearing, lawyers sayGlobe and Mail
all 12 news articles » ------------------- http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/2007/09/01/4462795-sun.html Jehovah's Witness suit reinstated
Canoe.ca, Canada - 16 minutes ago
By KEVIN MARTIN , SUN MEDIA Shunned Jehovah's Witness Lawrence Hughes can proceed with legal action on behalf of his daughter's estate over allegations the ... Shunned Jehovah's Witness Lawrence Hughes can proceed with legal action on behalf of his daughter's estate over allegations the church's influence hastened her death. In a written decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal yesterday said Hughes should be restored as administrator of his dead daughter's estate. And, the top court ruled, litigation over allegations church members misrepresented the benefits of blood transfusions to Bethany Hughes could proceed. But the appeal judges noted the case will not put on trial the belief of Jehovah's Witnesses that blood transfusions are wrong. "The pleadings will not require any examination of the 'truth' of the (church members) beliefs about blood transfusions," the judges said. A lower court judge ruled last year the allegations of misrepresentation was simply an attack on Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs. Justice Patricia Rowbotham said litigation couldn't proceed on the basis a religious belief is wrong. But the appeal court said Charter protected freedom of religion is "subject to those limitations that are justifiable in a free and democratic society." "It is not at all clear to what extent a religious adherent can convince another person to take actions for religious reasons that will cause him or her bodily harm or even death, even if the religious belief is sincerely held," they said The appeal judges said those issues could only be resolved in a full trial. Bethany Hughes, 17, died Sept. 5, 2002, two months after court-imposed transfusions were stopped when doctors determined they were ineffective. She had refused to approve the treatments based on her religious beliefs. Lawrence Hughes commenced his nearly $1-million wrongful death suit two years later after a court approved him as administrator of the estate. That decision was later struck, effectively ending his legal action, but the appeal court reinstated him. "It might be that the Charter protected right of freedom of religion would protect actions of this sort if they are honestly held," they said. "It might be argued at trial that there is no reasonable limit that would be recognized in a free and democratic society that would prevent the religious adherent from giving such medical advice."
This is the TOP ranked news worldwide on JW keywords as I type this
Children's right to life should trump parents' rights, BC lawyer ...
The Canadian Press, VANCOUVER - 6 hours ago
Jehovah's Witnesses believe blood transfusions clash with certain passages of the Bible that forbid the ingestion of blood.
Case of sextuplets seized for blood transfusions back in courtWestmount Examiner
all 17 news articles »
Father of dead Jehovah's Witness girl can sue church: court
Globe and Mail, Canada - Sep 1, 2007
Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to accept transfusions because it clashes with their interpretation of certain passages of the Bible forbidding the ...
Jehovah's Witness parents in BC court over sextuplets' blood ...
The Canadian Press, VANCOUVER - Aug 30, 2007
The sextuplets were born last January to Jehovah's Witnesses who cannot be named under a publication ban. Two of the babies died and the other four were ...
Danny, Please post the following on "blood guilt exposed to world" thread http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=536
Court okays lawsuit against lawyers for alleged ‘deceit’ By Cristin Schmitz
Alberta’s top court has permitted the father of a Jehovah’s Witness teenager who died of leukemia to sue, on behalf of his daughter’s estate, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada lawyers who he alleges advised her to reject the blood transfusions prescribed by doctors. The estate’s claims for alleged “misrepresentation and deceit”– which are vigorously denied by the two defendant lawyers – venture into terra incognita at the crossroads of lawyers’ religious beliefs and duties and their professional obligations.
The boundaries of freedom of religion are too unclear to warrant striking out” the plaintiff’s claims, the Alberta Court of Appeal wrote in reversing, in part, a decision below in favour of the defendant lawyers and the Watch Tower Society which struck some of the claims. Speaking generally, Justices Peter Martin, Jack Watson and Frans Slatter commented in their per curiam judgment released Aug. 31 that “it is not at all clear to what extent a religious adherent can convince another person to take actions for religious reasons that will cause him or her bodily harm or even death, even if the religious belief is sincerely held. “Assume, as an example, that a religious adherent persuades a third-party diabetic that he or she should stop taking insulin, and that divine intervention will cure him or her. Assume further that the diabetic follows this advice and dies as a result. Can it be said that the estate of the deceased would have no cause of action against the religious adherent? If the religious adherent withheld antibiotics from a sick person, either in favour of a divine healing, or in favour of traditional herbal remedies, is the religious adherent immune from an action if the patient dies? Cases... show the answer to these questions is far from clear.” The suit was commenced by Lawrence Hughes, administrator ad litem of the estate of Bethany Hughes, against Shane Brady and David Gnam of W. Glen Howe and Assocs. in Georgetown, Ont., the firm which does much of Watch Tower Society’s legal work. Hughes, who is divorced from Bethany’s Jehovah’s Witness mother, Arliss, complains of statements he alleges the two defendants made to his 16-year-old daughter. Gnam represented Bethany, and Brady represented her mother, in the unsuccessful appeal of a 2002 court order that made Bethany a temporary ward of the state on the basis that her religiously-motivated refusal of the blood transfusions risked her life and thus demonstrated that she was incapable of exercising independent judgment about her medical care. Gnam told The Lawyers Weekly neither he nor Brady made the alleged misrepresentations to Bethany or her mother. “As a lawyer my role is to take the instructions of the client and represent them in court or represent them in a legal forum, and so my religious beliefs, whatever they might be, whether in agreement with my client’s or opposed to my client’s are irrelevant and so it certainly would not be my responsibility to try to convince my client of my religious beliefs,” he said. “That’s well beyond my role as a lawyer and I think that would be improper conduct.” Gnam called it ”a very worrisome development” that a lawyer’s religious beliefs should be used to attack his professional representation of a client. Under Canadian law judges and lawyers are presumed to be acting as judicial officers in compliance with their professional standards, he said.
“We have never wanted to be in the situation in Canada where we ask the judge: ‘What religion are you?’ Or, for example, do we need to know if a lawyer representing a gay person is gay? Does that impair, or enhance, the ability to represent the person? We just don’t go there.” Gnam suggested religious prejudice lies at the root of the allegations which are proceeding to court. “If you are a Jehovah’s Witness it’s presumed, you are stereotyped to be, putting pressure on people. If I was a Jehovah’s Witness, it’s presumed that I am putting pressure on Bethany because she is a Jehovah’s Witness.” However, Calgary’s Jennifer Pollock, who argued the appeal pro bono as one of several lawyers who have assisted the self-represented Hughes at no charge, said the case raises thorny issues around conflicts of interest, and the extent to which religious freedom encompasses actions taken in “non-religious areas” such as the provision of legal and medical advice. “I would say the veil of religion was lifted by the [appeal] court,” Pollock suggested. “I think that for lawyers they should consider their position and the conflicts that they are placed in these matters. Certainly this [decision] should give lawyers caution.” Bethany died in September of 2002, seven months after being diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer, and two months after doctors stopped her court-ordered chemotherapy, which was supported by blood transfusions, because the treatment wasn’t working. By then she had had 80 blood transfusions. With respect to Hughes’s subsequent civil suit, the Court of Appeal overturned, in part, a decision last year by Alberta Queen’s Bench Justice Patricia Rowbotham (who has since been elevated to the appeal court). Justice Rowbotham struck out Hughes’s allegations that the two lawyers, who the appeal court described as Jehovah’s Witness “elders”, engaged in deceit and misrepresentation by telling Bethany that “blood transfusions... would not help cure her cancer and intentionally misstated to Bethany that a chemotherapy/blood transfusion treatment protocol for her leukemia was experimental when in fact it was not.” Justice Rowbotham ruled that the plaintiff’s claims of deceit and misrepresentation should be struck out because “the crux of the statement of claim is that the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witness regarding blood transfusions are wrong and contrary to scientific knowledge.” The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled definitively that the law does not permit courts to adjudicate on the validity of religious beliefs, she noted. “Mr. Hughes asks this court to interpret the content of a religious precept,” she reasoned. “This request is not justiciable and those portions of the statement of claim which raise those allegations are struck.” But the Court of Appeal ruled last month that Charter jurisprudence makes it clear that the right to freedom of religion “is a very personal and subjective right.” “Freedom of religion does not include any right to impose religious beliefs on third parties” and “is subject to those limitations that are justifiable in a free and democratic society,” the appellate court stipulated. “Whether religious views provide a defence to, or justification for, misrepresentations that cause bodily harm or death should only be decided on a full factual record,” they further held. Alluding to the test for striking pleadings as disclosing no reasonable cause of action, the appeal court concluded that it was “not ‘plain and obvious’ that a sincerely held religious belief would be an answer to a claim where application of the religious doctrine is said to have caused a death.” Hughes, who says his approval of Bethany’s treatment regime led to him being shunned by his wife and other children, as well as being excommunicated and “disfellowshipped” by his Jehovah’s Witness congregation, contends, in essence, that the Watch Tower Society, the two lawyers, Bethany’s minister, as well as a number of doctors and medical centres who treated her after her court-ordered treatment failed, conspired in the wrongful death of his daughter. With respect to Brady and Gnam, he alleges the lawyers were “unable to differentiate their roles” as counsel for his wife and daughter, and as lawyers who act for, and are members of, the Watch Tower Society which condemns blood transfusions. With respect to Bethany’s medical treatment, they were therefore unable to give “objective and reasonable advice” in her best interests, he contends. Gnam adamantly denies that. “Our position has always been I was not Bethany’s minister, never was, never gave her religious advice of any kind, not my role,” said Gnam. “I came into Bethany’s life when she was 16 years of age. She says to me ‘Mr. Gnam, represent me. I don’t want blood transfusions but I want treatment’. And I do the job.’ And further, to make this whole idea preposterous, is that Bethany was not represented by just me, but I am the only [one] that’s sued.” Bethany was also represented, in appeals, by “eminent counsel” David Day and Eugene Meehan, he noted. “I think everybody accepts that neither Mr. Day nor Mr. Meehan are Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The appeal court stressed that the estate’s pleadings do not require any examination of the “truth” of the defendants’ beliefs about blood transfusions since the misrepresentations pleaded are that the lawyers falsely represented that blood transfusions are an experimental treatment, and that such treatment is ineffective. “There is no indication on the record that either of these topics are the subject of any religious belief of the respondents,” said the Court of Appeal. “The record indicates that the respondents are opposed to transfusions as a matter of faith, not because they are experimental or ineffective.” The appeal court also admonished that “the objective validity of the belief of the respondents that blood transfusions are prohibited by scripture is not an issue in this litigation, will not be the subject of discovery or production, and will not be an issue at trial. This is so even though the respondents may raise their sincerely held beliefs as a defence or justification.”