A High Court judge in the UK ruled that a baby boy can receive life-saving blood transfusions despite his parents’ objections.
The parents, who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, refused to have the life-saving transfusions administered to their child based on “religious grounds.” The Watchtower Society and IBSA (in the United Kingdom) instruct their followers to reject blood transfusions even in emergency situations. The Watchtower teaches that accepting blood intravenously through a tube equals “eating blood” and is “forbidden in scripture” according to doctrines based on their interpretation of the Bible.
The baby has complex heart disease but doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital applied for an order to proceed with cardiac surgery and transfusions because they felt the child had a fair chance of survival.
The judge, Mr Justice Keehan, agreed to order the transfusions after he heard evidence that the baby would have had no “long-term prospects of survival” without the surgery.
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