New South Wales Supreme Court Tells Brainwashed Teenager He Can’t Kill Himself for Religious Reasons… Yet

We’ve heard stories of Jehovah’s Witness parents willing to let their children die rather than accept a life-saving blood transfusion. Thankfully, the law almost always sides against the parents. If they want to refuse the blood to save their own lives, so be it. But they have no right to kill their children because of their own religious beliefs.

In Sydney, Australia, a 17-year-old Jehovah’s Witness cancer victim compared receiving a blood transfusion to “being raped.” He told doctors he would “rip the IV out of his arm” if they gave him the transfusion. He would rather die than betray his religious beliefs.

Thankfully, the New South Wales Supreme Court told him he has to accept the transfusion. He’s a minor, so he doesn’t get to kill himself… yet.

“The interest of the state is in keeping him alive until [he turns 18], after which he will be free to make his own decisions as to medical treatment.”

The boy turns 18 on January 18 next year, when he will then be able to exercise his right as an adult to refuse further treatment.

I think that’s exactly the right decision. While the line that distinguishes a child from an adult is arbitrary, it’s solid. Australia, like America, says you’re an adult when you’re 18 and this kid’s not 18. So there.

Considering that reports show his parents are also JWs, it’s a safe assumption that they drilled this nonsensical belief into his head. Somehow, they’re able to live with themselves knowing that they’ve given their own son a death sentence that’ll come to fruition in a few months if his cancer doesn’t get better.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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