New Zealand’s health service has filed a guardianship application for a four-month-old baby whose parents refuse to allow life-saving heart surgery unless unvaccinated blood is used.
The baby’s parents discussed their son’s health situation and medical preferences in an interview with an anti-vaccination activist.
In the interview, the parents say their baby has severe pulmonary valve stenosis and needs surgery “almost immediately” but they are “extremely worried about the blood.” [the doctors] they are going to use”.
“We don’t want blood contaminated by vaccines,” the father said. “That’s the end of the deal: we’re on board with anything else these doctors want to do.”
Vaccines to prevent serious illness and death from Covid-19 have been found to be extremely safe and effective, with millions of people around the world vaccinated.
According to the blood service, New Zealand bloodAny covid-19 vaccine in the blood breaks down soon after injection.
In a statement, Dr. Mike Shepard, acting director of Auckland’s health service, Te Whatu Ora, said he knows it can be concerning for parents who have a sick child and are making decisions about their care.
Te Whatu Ora filed papers in Auckland high court on Monday under the Child Care Act. She asked that custody of the baby be transferred to her parents so that her consent to use the donated blood could be given, the NZ Herald reported.
“The decision to apply to the court is always made with the best interests of the child in mind and after extensive discussions with whānau,” Shepard said.
“As this matter is before the courts, we will not comment further.”
On Wednesday, the parties appeared in court to set a date for an urgent hearing, as a group of 100 anti-vaccine supporters rallied in front of the building.
Te Whatu Ora’s lawyer, Paul White, told the court that medical professionals have said that a child with such a condition would have been treated several weeks ago under normal circumstances; while the parents’ attorney, Sue Gray, another prominent anti-vaccination activist, said the parents wanted better care than the state offered.
“Because they label my clients as conspiracy theorists, [their position] is that everything my clients say can be ignored,” he said.
New Zealand blood He said: “All donated blood is also filtered during processing, so any traces that may still be present pose no risk to recipients.
“We do not separate or label blood based on a donor’s Covid-19 vaccination status.” He added that there was no evidence that prior vaccination affected the quality of blood for transfusions.
A professor of bioethics at the University of Otago, Josephine Johnstone, said RNZ it was very rare for a case to go this far. It was a distressing case for everyone involved, she added, because there was significant disagreement between the parents and the health care teams, who were trying to act in the best interest of the child.
“Parents have a lot of authority to make decisions about their children’s lives; there is a large area of discretion for parents to make decisions, including on medical issues,” Johnstone said.
“But there are limits to that, and this is one of those tragic cases where the limit has life and death consequences.”