It is a common misconception that a JW baby who requires a blood transfusion will get one through a court order. This does not always happen.
The following study demonstrates how a JW baby is vulnerable to being used for experimental procedures.
The condition that these two JW babies had was hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice). In both cases, the parents refused to give permission for their babies to receive an exchange transfusion after the standard treatment of phototherapy didn't work. In both cases, the hospitals were prepared to seek court orders to give the babies the transfusions when intervention (presumably from the HLC) facilitated the experimental use of a drug that had been being used as a preventive drug for jaundice or used in conjunction with photo therapy. To use this drug instead of an exchange transfusion was beyond what the drug had been used for up until the time that the HLC arranged for it to be used that way for these two JW babies.
From the abstract:
CASE 1: This patient was a preterm male infant (gestational age: 35 5/7 weeks; birth weight: 2790 g) whose plasma bilirubin concentration (PBC) at 1 hour after birth was 5.0 mg/dL. Despite intensive phototherapy with 3 banks of lights and 1 biliblanket, the PBC increased steadily with no diminution in the rate of increase for 75 hours. In view of the problems of immune hemolysis, and prematurity, and the inability of phototherapy to stop progression of hyperbilirubinemia, a decision to carry out an exchange transfusion was made; the decision was, however, rejected by the Jehovah's Witness parents. Pending legal action to compel use of the procedure, a request to this (Rockefeller) laboratory for SnMP was made; its use was approved by the Food and Drug Administration; and the inhibitor was delivered to the physician-in-charge (D.P.M.) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The single dose of SnMP was administered to the infant at 75 hours after birth; the course of hyperbilirubinemia before and after the use of the inhibitor is shown in Fig 1. [figure: see text].
CASE 2: This female term infant (gestational age: 38-39 weeks; birth weight: 4140 g) with immune hemolysis was delivered by cesarean section and because of problems related to meconium aspiration required helicopter transfer to the Special Care Nursery in Abilene, Texas, where 10 hours after birth the first PBC was determined to be 18.0 mg/dL. Double-bank phototherapy plus a biliblanket was initiated; a third bank of lights was later ordered. The PBC fluctuated in the ensuing 2 days between 13.8 to 25.8 mg/dL during which suggestive clinical signs of possible bilirubin encephalopathy became manifest. In view of the clinical circumstances and the continued severe hyperbilirubinemia, permission for a double-exchange transfusion was requested. The parents, who were Jehovah's Witness adherents, refused the procedure. While preparing legal action to compel use of the exchange, a request was made to this (Rockefeller) laboratory for use of SnMP to attempt control of hyperbilirubinemia. With FDA approval, the SnMP was delivered to the attending neonatologist (J. R. M.) in Abilene and administered in a single dose (6 micromol/kg birth weight) at 56 hours after birth when the PBC was 19.5 mg/dL. The course of bilirubinemia before and after SnMP use is shown in Fig 2. [figure: see text].
The above article/study was published in Dec 2001 (the treatment likely occurred in 2000).
InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corporation was founded in 2001.
InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corporation engages in the development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals for the neonatal and pediatric patient population. It offers Stanate, a heme oxygenase inhibitor for the treatment of infantile jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Trevose, Pennsylvania. As of September 25, 2017, InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corporation operates as a subsidiary of Mallinckrodt Public Limited Company.
Infacare filed for a clinical trial in 2003:
The purpose of this protocol is to make Stanate (TM) [stannsoporfin, tin-mesoporphyrin] available to infants who meet the following criteria:
the infant has a very high level of bilirubin without an adequate clinical response to phototherapy;
the infant requires an exchange transfusion; and
the family refuses to allow the administration of blood products, particularly on religious grounds, such as within the Jehovah's Witness community.
And that is why JW babies are valuable to the pharmaceutical industry. JW babies become tiny little guinea pigs, their treatment being controlled and arranged for by the WT/org's Hospital Liaison squad.