Wednesday, May 04, 2005

BC girl ordered to go home and get treatment

TORONTO - An Ontario judge has ordered a 14-year-old B.C. girl, who says her religion forbids blood transfusions, to return home from Toronto immediately.

The teen, a Jehovah's Witness, has cancer. Her treatment may require transfusions.

A B.C. judge ruled on April 11 that because of her age, she can't refuse transfusions if doctors determine they are medically necessary.

On Tuesday, Justice Victor Paisley of Ontario Superior Court backed the B.C. decision.

I don't really know what I think about this, should religious freedom extend to potentially endangering the life of a child? The courts don't seem to believe so, and I would think that the average person would tend to agree, but one could argue that she and her parents should have the right to seek treatment as they see fit, whether that treatment is the best treatment for her or not and it is infringing upon their rights to force her to return to B.C. to receive treatment.

There was another case somewhat similar several years ago where a boy refused treatment for religious grounds and the family fought to allow him to go to Mexico to receive treatment, eventually he was allowed to go and shortly thereafter he died of his illness, thus leaving me leaning towards supporting the court decision on this one.