Ireland orders transfusion for baby of Jehovah’s Witnesses
National Post Staff January 13, 2011 – 2:05 pm
By Lauren Strapagiel
An Irish court has ordered a life-saving blood transfusion for the infant of a Jehovah’s Witness couple, RTÉ reports.
The couple’s baby boy came down with bronchitis on Dec. 25 and was placed in hospital the following day. The boy was suffering from low hemoglobin levels which restricts oxygen flow to the organs.
The usual procedure in this situation is a blood transfusion, however Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that according to the Bible they should not ingest blood, including transfusions.
Doctors decided the only way to save the boy was by transfusion and when the parents refused they sought and received a court order.
According to RTÉ, the judge in the case decided the courts had the right to order the transfusions, despite the parents’ religious beliefs, because the child’s life was in danger. The written judgment was published Wednesday.
In January 2007, the British Columbia government sparked a debate over religious rights when it seized sextuplets from a Vancouver-area Jehovah’s Witness family after the parents had refused blood transfusions for the premature babies.
Transfusions were given against the wishes of the parents with the B.C. Supreme Court later ruling that the parents’ rights were not violated.