Family court no jurisdiction for Jehovah's Witness blood case

CBC News/October 18, 2002

Calgary -- An Alberta family court judge threw out a case involving a dying teenager forced to have blood transfusions, saying it was out of the court's jurisdiction.

Judge Alberta Vickery ruled family court can't hear arguments the province violated the rights of 16-year-old Bethany Hughes.

She was made a ward of the government in February after she refused to receive blood transfusions for her leukemia. Bethany argued her Jehovah's Witness faith would not allow her to receive blood.

Before she died on Sept. 5, Bethany asked her lawyers to continue arguing against forcing teenagers to receive medical treatment.

Lawyers for Bethany say they may pursue a last resort, but say it may be too costly.

Bethany's mother Arliss Hughes also argues her rights were violated when her daughter became a ward of the government. She is seeking financial compensation.

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