Teen back in B.C. for cancer treatment

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia girl who has been fighting to avoid blood transfusions as part of chemotherapy treatment was back in a Vancouver hospital Wednesday, says a source in the B.C. Ministry of Children and Families.

Doctors in B.C. have told the 14-year-old, who is a Jehovah’s Witness, that they need to have the option of giving her blood transfusions while she’s getting chemotherapy treatments.

The teen appealed to the B.C. Supreme Court in an effort to prevent any transfusions, on the grounds that they would violate her religious beliefs.

But the judge ruled that the girl, who cannot be identified, must accept a blood transfusion despite her strong opposition.

The teen and her family then fled to Ontario to avoid that court order, but an Ontario judge ordered her to be returned to B.C.

Now under government guardianship, she was flown back to Vancouver on Tuesday night. The ministry source says she is now at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

While B.C. Children and Families deputy minister Jeff Berland would not confirm the girl’s whereabouts, he said it will be a tough situation if the girl ends up needing a transfusion.

“It will be tricky, but it isn’t the first time these kinds of cases have happened in Canada,” Berland said. “They happen from time to time and doctors and social workers have established ways of working through them.”

Berland also said his officials and hospital staff will work with the parents to try to restore relationships that has been damaged by all the court action.

“Our hope would be that we’ll be able to work with the parents and restore to them their rights and responsibilities as soon as possible, ” he said.

“It’s not our intention to deprive the parents of their role of planning for their daughter.”

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CBC News, Canada
May 4, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday May 4, 2005.
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