VANCOUVER (CP) – A British Columbia teenager being treated for cancer and in a legal battle due to her Jehovah’s Witness beliefs has been transferred to a hospital in New York City for chemotherapy treatment.
In a statement issued Wednesday, her lawyer, Shane Brady, said the girl was transferred to Schneider Children’s Hospital from Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
The transfer came after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that allowed the transfer based on an agreement reached between the director of child, family and community service, the teenager and her parents.
The statement said the family and the ministry would not have any further comment. Brady, whose office is in Georgetown, Ont., could not be reached for comment.
“The teen, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, chose to go to New York but needed consent of the director and a court order to be free to make the transfer,” the statement said.
The New York hospital has a “blood avoidance program” aimed at avoiding or minimizing the use of blood in treating their patients.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that blood is a sacred source of life not to be misused or tampered with under any circumstance.
The teenager, who turns 15 next month, was in a court in Ontario earlier this month trying to get a different result than one she received in a B.C. court earlier.
But the Ontario judge said he did not find any fault with Justice Mary Boyd of the B.C. Supreme Court, who ruled April 11 that the girl, because she is a minor, could not refuse transfusions if doctors deem them medically necessary.
The girl’s lawyer said at the time his client wanted to get the Ontario court to consider the evidence of Schneider Hospital in New York, which has experience in treating cancer like the girl’s without using blood transfusions.
The girl and her family want to receive the chemotherapy for osteogenic sarcoma at the New York hospital.
May 18, 2005