Teen witness of pregnant Jehovah loses offer to stop blood transfusion

(File) The seventeen-year-old had refused a blood transfusion on religious grounds.

A teenager may be forced to receive a blood transfusion this weekend when she gives birth in Victoria.

The 17-year-old Jehovah's Witness, who can not be identified, was to be induced on Wednesday afternoon in the hospital, but refused to receive potentially salvageable blood transfusions for religious reasons.

Jehovah's Witnesses forbid his followers to receive blood transfusions or blood products.

Mercy Hospitals Victoria Ltd requested an urgent legal action in the Supreme Court of Victoria to obtain authorization to give blood to the girl if she suffers a postpartum hemorrhage.

On Friday, Justice Macaulay ruled that doctors at the hospital could administer blood to him as "reasonably necessary" to save his life.

"The court stated that the plaintiff is authorized to administer D1 blood and / or blood products when two registered doctors deem it reasonably necessary to save his life or to prevent serious injury during the course of induction of labor, cesarean and related procedure. and the postnatal period with respect to her current pregnancy, "said Judge Macaulay.

The court was told that the first-time mother is considered to be at a higher risk of bleeding because she is "short in stature" and the baby is large, which means she may have a prolonged birth, assisted delivery or cesarean delivery. emergency.

The risk to the baby is considered "low", it was heard in court.

Under section 24 of Victoria's human tissue act, children can receive blood transfusions without parental consent if a doctor believes it is a reasonable and appropriate treatment without which the child could die.

However, it was published in 1994 with the concept of a "mature minor" who could "make a decision," they told the court.

Child psychiatrist Campbell Paul said at the hearing that he did not believe that the girl had the "decision-making capacity" to be considered "Gillick-competent", a term used to describe whether a child can consent to his or her own medical treatment .

Professor Paul said that the girl had suffered "considerable upheavals and traumas throughout her life" and that she had "transgressed a great value of her family and her community" by having premarital sex.

She said, therefore, "you could imagine that she feels very scared" and worried about "an additional punishment".

Obstetrician and gynecologist Jacqueline van Dam told the court that she was concerned about the girl's "naivety" that if something happened, "she would be protected by her faith."

However, the girl's mother told the court that receiving a blood transfusion would have a significant impact on her daughter's well-being.

"Being forced to do that against their will would be something like violence or being violated," he said in a statement read in court.

"She wants to do the right thing for Jehovah, for God's sake.

Earlier this week, the hospital's lawyer said the birth could be induced on Sunday afternoon.

– with AAP