1. #1
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    Arrow Hhmmm - Blood Tranfusions And Religion

    Jehovah's Witness girl loses court fight over transfusion

    Damian Inwood CanWest News Service Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    VANCOUVER -- A 14-year-old Okanagan girl who says receiving a blood transfusion would be like being raped has lost her fight against the treatment.

    B.C. Supreme Court Judge Mary Boyd ruled Monday that a lower court had the power to authorize transfusions be given to the Jehovah's Witness member against her will.

    Boyd found that provincial court Judge Paul Meyers was "considered, thoughtful and sensitive" in ensuring the child, who is undergoing cancer treatment, had a fair hearing March 18.

    She said doctors needed the "safety net" of having a blood transfusion available to continue with a more invasive form of chemotherapy.

    Meyers acted properly and "did everything possible to ensure the utmost fairness," said Boyd, including talking to the girl in her hospital bed by telephone.

    The girl, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, was diagnosed in December with a cancerous tumour on her right leg.

    The tumour was removed and she began chemotherapy.

    After the girl and her family refused consent for blood transfusions, the case was forwarded to B.C.'s director of Child, Family and Community Service.

    Lawyers for the girl fought the case on the grounds the girl was not represented by legal counsel and that she was a "mature minor" who could decide her own treatment. They also said the girl's rights under the charter were infringed by provincial law and she had suffered age discrimination.

    Boyd ruled against every aspect of the legal challenge.

    She said provincial laws allow courts to protect the rights of children when a child needs medical treatment.

    "All children are entitled to be protected from abuse and harm ... the ultimate threat of harm would be death," she said.

    Boyd also ruled that provincial laws did not infringe on the girl's rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    She said that while the girl was free to choose and practice her religion of choice, that right was "not absolute" and orders could be made in a child's best interests.

    "I am satisfied the provincial court judge very carefully considered (the girl's) views before reaching a decision," said Boyd. "Ultimately her religious beliefs don't override her right to life and health."

    Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
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    Good. Its clear that this child (ie under 18) has been brain washed by her family. This kind of stuff really angers me. You want to belive that kind of mumbo-jumbo fine, but your children need to be taken care of until they reach adult age and can make the choice for themselves.

    We had a child die from multiple bee stings here in Fla. The parents didnt call for help or take the child to a doctor as medical care was against the parents religion. This was years ago, but it still angers me when I think about it
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    Who is to say there is brainwashing here? Perhaps she completely and totally understands the situation involved here.

    While I agree with you, you can take a look at the way the law reads in many states and it gets really screwy (I understand that this happened in Canada.)

    In Massachusetts you are immancipated if you are a female and either are or WERE pregnant at any time. No stipulation of age. So, theoretically a 12 or 14 year old could make a decision to not receive a blood transfusion.

    If (I know - I hate what ifs too) she were 17 the day of the ruling, but turned 18 two days later, she could then refuse the same care that the courts ordered two days earlier.

    Nothing stopping this kid from pulling out the IVs every time they come at her either.
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    Who is to say there is brainwashing here?

    The judge?
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    The judge didn't say that, the judge said that her religious beliefs do not outweigh the healthcare issue.

    What is to stop a judge from saying the same (in the future) about an able bodied adult making the same decision?

    I am not a big believer in the whole "slippery slope" nonsense, but judicial presedence may have been set.
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    but judicial presedence may have been set.

    My guess is this is far from the first time the Canadian courts of dealt with this issue.
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    Originally posted by DaSharkie
    Who is to say there is brainwashing here?
    Perhaps a poor choice of words, but its no secret that religions do not support free thought for the most part
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    I hate to see someone refuse appropriate medical care, and it's against my nature to play devil's advocate. *HOWEVER* I feel the need to point out that we don't consider it brainwashing when parents teach their children that certain behaviours are sinful, if it happens to coincide with OUR beliefs; just when it's something we don't agree with. I'm torn on this issue because I think that refusing treatment for a life-threatening but treatable condition is absurd, but I do believe that people should have the right to do so if they wish, especially if the care is at odds with their religious beliefs. The fact that this often involves minors further muddies the waters. While I'm sure that the child is well educated about the consequences of her choice, at 14, most of us are too immature to be expected to handle life-or-death decisions. To my mind, it's a lose-lose prospect.

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    Believing in myth and fairy tales is everyone's right...until you start killing children.

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    What I can't understand is that God gave the intelligence to people to discover these procedures to save lives, and they shun them. The Jehovah's Witnesses are more like a cult than a civilized religion.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

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    Originally posted by PuffyNPFD
    What I can't understand is that God gave the intelligence to people to discover these procedures to save lives, and they shun them. The Jehovah's Witnesses are more like a cult than a civilized religion.
    Cult or religion? Silly me, I dont see a difference
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    Amen to that! I mean, uh, nevermind.

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