Irish Justice Orders Baby Saved Over Objections of Religious Parents

Justice Gerard Hogan of Ireland’s High Court held a novel hearing on December 27th in his own home. Hogan ordered that the government give a lie-saving blood transfusion to a baby boy born in August 2010. His parents are both Jehovah Witnesses and had refused the procedure to save their son.

The boy’s twin sister had already died and, after the transfusion, the boy was saved from succumbing to acute bronchiolitis and a hypoxic (or low oxygenation) period. Hogan noted that the parents appeared “wholesome and upright” but insisted that they would prefer death of the child to transfusions due to their religion.

As I have written before, I believe that these decisions are correct and that prosecutors continue to apply a different standard to religious parents who harm or kill their children in some cases.

Source: IrishTimes

Jonathan Turley

10 thoughts on “Irish Justice Orders Baby Saved Over Objections of Religious Parents”

  1. My first instinct is to start a comment with “good lord” or “holy crap” and the latter, it seems, would apply here. I agree with comments above and can not imagine being in the shoes of the doctors and nurses dealing with these parents.

  2. I’m with Buddha and Culheath and rafflaw. No need to add anything for they got it right.

  3. Buddha and Culheath got it right. If it is an adult deciding that he/she don’t want treatment for themselves, no problem. But when a child is involved, it is an easy call for the judge. they can still practice their religion when they have one living child and meditate why they didn’t save his twin! To me it is child abuse for a parent to allow a child to die for religious reasons.

  4. To me its simple; the child does not have the capacity to consent to the religious rationales of the parents nor do the parents “own” the lives of their children. If an adult Jehovah Witnesses wants to risk their life by refusing medical intervention, that’s their call, but they do not have the right to make that call for their children.

  5. Nothing tough about it.

    Religion is a choice. A child, especially a newborn, has neither the ability nor the chance to make that choice. As one of the proper functions of government is to protect the interests and rights of those too weak to defend themselves, the choice to save a child’s life is the correct choice from an operational standpoint. It was born. It is a living entity, albeit struggling, separate from the mother’s body. The technological means of saving the child’s life existed and is indeed commonplace medical practice. Saving the child’s life is also the ethical choice medically speaking unless the Hippocratic Oath is just gibberish.

  6. Well good to see that common sense prevails over religious nonsense when it come to human life, good for the judge, and let the parents rot in hell.

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