A teenage girl who urgently requires surgery can, if necessary, be administered blood or blood products against the wishes of herself and her parents, all members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, the president of the High Court has ordered.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he was satisfied, notwithstanding the views of the girl and her parents, the orders are necessary for preserving the girl’s life and not to permit them would be “hazardous”.
The orders take immediate effect, he directed.
David Leahy BL, for the HSE, sought the orders in an ex parte application, one side only represented, on Friday afternoon.
A solicitor for the HSE told the court he had informed the girl and her parents of the court application and the parents had indicated they were not attending court to oppose it.
The solicitor said the parents were not objecting to surgery but, should a situation arise where the medical team wanted to administer blood or blood products, they could not agree to that and wanted the team to explore all other alternatives.
They had also said they wanted the best for their daughter and would not stand in the way of a court order.
Mr Justice Kelly said court applications for leave to administer blood or blood products against the wishes of members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, while not a regular occurrence, are not unusual.
He referred to a number of decisions permitting that to be done in “exceptional” circumstances.
On the medical evidence, including that antibiotic therapy had not reduced the infection and the serous risk of sepsis if surgery is not carried out, he was satisfied she needed the surgery.