An Australian court ordered the parents of a cancer-stricken child to put aside their religious beliefs and allow her life-saving treatment including a blood transfusion, according to reports.
The four-year-old’s parents had refused the transfusion because it was against the teachings of their Jehovah’s Witness faith, but South Australia’s Supreme Court upheld an application by the hospital forcing them to relent.
Justice Richard White ruled that it was “appropriate and indeed necessary” for the girl, who was diagnosed with leukaemia on Monday, to receive a blood transfusion.
Paediatric oncologist Dr Petra Ritchie said without treatment the girl “will die … I would say in weeks”.
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Dr Ritchie said that the girl, who was diagnosed with cancer of the blood and bone marrow on Monday, had a 90 per cent chance of survival if she received treatment immediately.
Doctors had this week advised she needed a potentially life-saving blood transfusion – but her parents had objected on religious grounds.
The parents’ opposition prompted the hospital to petition the court saying that, without treatment, the girl would die in a matter of weeks.
In emotional scenes yesterday, the girls’ father wept as he spoke of his love for his daughter.
But he explained that his family’s faith prohibited blood transfusions.
“We adhere to strict Bible principles and one of those is to abstain from blood,” he said.
“We want the best possible treatment for (her) and the hospital are doing a great job. The only thing we don’t consent to is the issue of blood.”
The hearing came almost two years after the court made a legal-first ruling to save a boy, 10.
Many teachings and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses contradict or otherwise deny the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Therefore Christians consider the movement to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity.
Sociologically the organization, whose legal entity is called Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, has cult-like elements as well.
One of its most destructive teachings is on the subject of blood and blood transfusions. As it does on many other subjects the sect’s leadership has flip-flopped and wobbled on the issue, though, but overall it’s interpretation of the Bible’s comments about blood are unsound at best. It should be noted that Jehovah’s Witnesses have produced their own, widely discredited Bible ‘translation,’ — the New World Translation — which was needed in order to support the organization’s un-biblical doctrines.
The doctrine on blood has led to countless unnecessary deaths among Jehovah’s Witnesses and their children.
Christians, and many Jehovah’s Witnesses as well, oppose the organization’s teachings on the subject.
The website of Witnesses for Jesus, which reaches out to Jehovah’s Witnesses, includes the online book, Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask. Several chapters in the book address the movement’s teachings regarding blood.
Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses For Reform on Blood is operated by current Jehovah’s Witnesses who wish to see the organization change its stance on the subject.
Research resources on Jehovah’s Witnesses