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Five year-old ‘can receive blood transfusion’ Judge rules

The critically-ill five year-old daughter of committed Jehovah’s Witnesses should receive a blood transfusion despite the religious objections of her parents, a Judge has ruled.

Blood transfusions are forbidden by the evangelical Christian sect and members who willingly accept one for themselves or their children can be expelled. The girl is currently a patient at the Leeds Children’s Hospital and the local NHS Trust applied to the High Court for permission to intervene.

Sitting in the Family Division of the High Court, Mr Justice Hayden noted the girl’s life was at risk without a transfusion. She suffers from sickle cell disease – an inherited condition which affects the circulation of oxygen within the blood – and her health is worsening, he explained.

Her father became emotional during the hearing, insisting that he wanted his daughter to live but explaining that he and his wife could not condone a transfusion, but said they did not object to a judge making a decision on their behalf.

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