U.K. Court Overrules Jehovah’s Witness Parents, Orders Their Infant To Undergo Lifesaving Blood Transfusions

Let’s see how many pro-life Christians unequivocally support a British court’s decision that a baby is to undergo lifesaving blood transfusions despite his parents’ religious protestations.

A High Court judge has given permission for a baby boy to undergo blood transfusions during an operation notwithstanding his parents’ objections on religious grounds.

Mr. Justice Keehan had been told by a specialist that the baby — whose parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses — had complex heart disease and no ”long-term prospect of survival” if he did not have cardiac surgery.

The baby’s parents had agreed to surgery but said they could not consent to their son — who is a few weeks old — receiving blood.

Keehan called the parent’s opposition to blood transfusions “understandable,” but ruled in favor of the medical treatment anyway with an eye on the boy’s best interests.

Unlike the Seventh-Day Adventists who recently let their baby die of rickets despite assurances by church officials that medical treatment does not violate doctrine, Jehovah’s Witnesses are officially instructed that they may not undergo blood transfusions and that they will be disfellowshipped (shunned) if they do.

In some cases, hospitals try to accommodate Jehovah’s Witnesses by agreeing to perform “bloodless surgeries.” However,

… bloodless medical and surgical techniques have limitations, and surgeons say the use of various allogeneic blood products and/or pre-operative autologous blood transfusion is the standard of care for some patient presentations.

It’s not clear whether the U.K. judge considered letting the infant undergo bloodless surgery.

Meanwhile, the JW’s Watchtower Society has, well, blood on its hands, as it has conceded that a number of Witnesses have died as a result of the no-transfusion rule.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.


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