Respect for God means letting their child die: A seven-year-old boy in Australia needs a liver transplant and a blood transfusion to live, but his parents are refusing the life-saving treatment because such medical procedures violate their sincerely held religious beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A hospital in Brisbane is currently appealing to the Australian Supreme Court to allow the young boy a life-saving blood transfusion after his parents refused to consent due to their religious beliefs.
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital is hoping legal intervention will allow the boy to receive the transfusion, which is an essential component of the liver transplant operation the child needs to live.
The parents have consented to the liver transplant, but refuse to consent to a blood transfusion, which is almost always necessary in such procedures.
Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions because they believe the Bible commands them to abstain from ingesting blood and that avoiding blood pays respect to God as the giver of life.
Earlier this year reports surfaced about the death of a 7-months pregnant Jehovah’s Witness along with the death of her unborn baby after she refused a blood transfusion. Doctors in Sydney were forced to let the pregnant woman and her unborn child die in hospital after the mother refused a blood transfusion because she was a Jehovah’s Witness.
As for the boy, identified as “J” by court documents, doctors say “a liver transplant is the only treatment available to address (the boy’s) condition and will give him the best chance of survival.”
In a court affidavit filed in the case, Queensland Liver Transplant Service director Dr Jonathan Fawcett said that 95 percent of transplants required necessary blood transfusions.
The hospital’s application before the Supreme Court is scheduled for hearing next month.