NSW court allows health officials to give blood transfusion to Jehovah’s Witness toddler

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Regional New South Wales health officials have won a court order authorising them to give a blood transfusion to a Jehovah’s Witness toddler if needed in surgery.

The  Supreme Court has been told the girl, three, who can only be referred to as JI, is in need of two surgical procedures.

Justice Trish Henry, when handing down her judgement on Thursday, outlined a range of medical issues impacting the child.

“JI was born with a range of serious medical conditions, including renal abnormalities, cardiac defect and developmental problems and is dependent on tube feeding which requires regular replacement,” Justice Henry said.

The justice said due to their religious beliefs the child’s parents did not consent to the use of blood.

“The plaintiff’s application has been brought as JI’s parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses,” she said.

The justice said the court could legally intervene in some circumstances.

“The power of the court under that jurisdiction to make orders, including where the parents of a child have not consented to medical treatment, is well established,” Justice Henry said.

“The role of the court on an application such as this is to exercise an independent and objective judgement so as to balance the advantages or disadvantages of the medical procedure under consideration.”

Content retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-24/nsw-court-order-granted-allowing-health-officials-to-give-blood/103013578.

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