An Irish High Court has given permission to a Dublin maternity hospital to give blood transfusion to the child of a Jehovah's Witness couple. The child is 26 weeks gestation age.
The court was told the Jehovah's Witness mother of the child, whose name is withheld on court orders, came to the Coombe Maternity Hospital, after she had suffered a spontaneous premature ruptured membrane. The Irish Independent reports doctors at the Coombe Hospital said the child was likely to be born premature and would very likely need a blood transfusion. The doctors said if the child is born in the next four to five weeks it will very likely need a blood transfusion or blood related products to safeguard its life.
The Irish Examiner reports the parents of the unborn child, however, refused to grant the hospital permission to give blood transfusion to the child if the need arises. The child's father said he and his wife were unable to grant the hospital permission to administer blood transfusion on the child because it was against their religious belief.
Mr. Justice Kevin Feeney, after hearing from both the parents of the child and the hospital, said it was more important for the court to protect the life of the child. Mr. Justice Kevin Feeney said his decision to grant the hospital permission to administer transfusion was based on expert medical opinion that it was likely the child would be born premature, and would need blood transfusion.
The father of the child asked the court to urge the doctors to consider other alternatives before taking decision to administer blood transfusion.
According to Breakingnews.ie, representative of the Chief Executive Officer of the Coombe Hospital Eileen Barrington, said the hospital respected the religious beliefs of the parents and said the baby might not need blood transfusion if it is not born premature.