Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Ill son of Jehovah's Witness can be treated with blood without mum's consent, rules judge

A seriously ill teenager can be treated with blood products even though his mother is unable to consent because of her religious beliefs, a High Court judge has ruled

A seriously ill teenager can be treated with blood products even though his mother is unable to consent because of her religious beliefs, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Cobb said the 13-year-old boy's mother was a Jehovah's Witness and was not "happy".

The judge gave medics permission to administer "plasma exchange treatment" after concluding that without it the youngster's prospects of recovery were slight.

Detail of the case has emerged in a written ruling by Mr Justice Cobb following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

The judge had been asked to make a decision by specialists treating the boy. He did not identify anyone involved.

"This treatment is ... controversial in this case because the mother is a Jehovah's Witness and finds herself unable, by virtue of her religious principles, to consent to this treatment," said Mr Justice Cobb.

"Without this treatment, the prospects for (the boy) of recovering very much from where he currently lies is slight."

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