New Zealand parents who refused to allow blood transfusions for their sick 4-month-old baby unless it came from donors not vaccinated against COVID-19 have been temporarily stripped of medical custody of the child.
New Zealand’s High Court on Wednesday ordered that the baby, identified in documents only as Baby W, be placed in the care of health authorities until after he undergoes urgently needed open-heart surgery and get back
The child’s parents remain their primary guardians and are still in charge of decisions about their child that are not related to the medical procedure, according to the court decision.
The parents’ legal battle was taken up by anti-vax activists, who gathered outside the courtroom this week as evidence was presented.
High Court judge Ian Gault said he accepted affidavits from health experts who said there had been millions of blood transfusions carried out around the world since the COVID vaccines were introduced, and the vaccines they did not cause any known harmful effects.
Citing evidence from New Zealand’s chief medical officer, the judge said that “there is no scientific evidence that there is a risk of Covid-19 vaccination from donated blood” from vaccinated donors.
The ruling is likely to set a precedent and come as a relief to health care groups that collect and use donated blood.
Baby W’s parents had said they had unvaccinated donors willing to give blood for their son’s surgery, but health officials argued that such direct donations should only be in exceptional circumstances, such as for recipients with very rare blood types.
Health authorities also said that unvaccinated donors will not necessarily give them access to all the blood products they may need during the child’s surgery.
Parents used discredited arguments and fringe theories to try to prove that mRNA vaccines were unsafe.
The judge said that the boy’s parents loved and wanted the best for their son and accepted that he needed the surgery.
The judge also noted that the relationship between the parents and the doctors suffered and that they should try to improve before and after the surgery and be respectful of each other.
Doctors will be required to keep parents informed at all times about their child’s treatment and condition, BBC News reported.
Court rules prevent the name of the child and the parents. Court documents identify the mother as a midwife.
In an interview with anti-vax Liz Gunn published last month, the boy’s father spoke about his concerns surrounding his son’s surgery to treat severe pulmonary valve stenosis.
“We don’t want blood that is contaminated by vaccination,” said the father. “That’s the end of the deal — we’re fine with whatever these doctors want to do.”
With Post wires