Court grants transfusion order for Jehovah's Witness baby

Newstalk 106-108 FM, Ireland/September 23, 2011

The High Court has made an order allowing the Coombe Hospital to carry out an emergency blood transfusion on a baby girl born prematurely last week.

Her parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and object to the procedure on religious grounds.

The Coombe Hospital made it clear this is a pre-emptive strike.

The baby girl does not at present a require a blood transfusion as she is not at immediate risk.

The child who weighs just under 1 kilogram was born last week 3 months prematurely.

Counsel Eileen Barrington for the hospital said there is a fear the girl may develop an infection.

In this situation a blood transfusion could be a life-saving procedure.

This goes against the religious beliefs of the parents who are Jehovah's Witnesses.

The girl's father told the court the best he can hope for is that a transfusion would be carried out as a last resort.

Judge Patrick McCarthy has given the hospital permission to carry out the procedure.

But he has also given the child's parents permission to return to court to apply for the ruling to be changed in circumstances where the situation of their daughter improves and the risks diminish.

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