Canada: Government delays hearing into seizure of Jehovah Witness sextuplets

VANCOUVER (CP) – The next round in the battle over the future of four surviving sextuplets born in Vancouver has been postponed.

Their parents were to appear in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday to appeal the government’s decision to seize their children and give them potentially life-saving blood transfusions. The family are Jehovah Witnesses and their theology does not permit the medical procedure.

But their lawyer said Wednesday the government asked for an adjournment of proceedings and the family agreed.

The case has been put over until at least April.

B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Families said they asked for an adjournment because of the significant amount of information that had been put forward in the case.

The babies were born in the first week of January almost three months premature and two died within weeks.

Three of the four surviving babies were seized by the ministry over the parents’ refusal to allow blood transfusions.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood

“[T]he Jehovah’s Witnesses organization prohibits the use of blood transfusions. Individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are expected to die or let their children die, rather than break this command, even though the Scriptures nowhere teach that blood transfusions are wrong.”
Four Dangers of the Jehovah’s Witness Organization

The lawyer for the family says court precedent dictates the parents be given a chance to appeal that decision, but the children were taken before that was allowed to happen.

In a surprise move, the government then handed control over the children’s medical futures back to the parents as their lawyer showed up at court to argue the decision.

But the parents have chosen to continue their appeal.

The identity of the family is protected by a publication ban and the family has not spoken publicly about the children.

The family’s lawyer said Wednesday they are “progressing.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday February 22, 2007.
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