If this story doesn't scare you, you need to read it again. (Here's another version.) A 14-year-old Canadian girl has gone into hiding to avoid being forced to have a blood transfusion that some doctors in British Columbia believe she needs because of her cancer chemotherapy. The girl does not want the transfusion, and her parents agree with her. Whether you believe private medical decisions belong in the hands of individuals of any age, or of parents in the case of under-age children, this is a gross violation of individual and family rights by the Canadian government. Of course it's all done with the best of motives and "for her own good," but somehow that makes it even more frightening.

"The girl has gone into hiding with her family in Ontario to avoid blood transfusions that a [British Columbia] court ordered should be given."

"B.C. courts ruled the girl is capable of making a decision, but B.C. law requires that a person be 19 years or older before they are allowed to refuse lifesaving medical treatment."

"April 11 B.C. Supreme Court ruling said she couldn't refuse treatment despite her religious beliefs."

"The B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development was granted custody of the girl last week."

"All children are entitled to be protected from abuse and harm . . . the ultimate threat of harm would be death. . . her religious beliefs don't override her right to life and death."

"[An] order of apprehension issued in B.C. remains on police computers."

"We are using all of the resources available to us to make sure that we know where she is."

"An air ambulance to return her to B.C. is on standby."

Think about it.
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, May 2, 2005 at 4:45 pm | Edit
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For the record, I am not a Jehovah's Witness and have no specifically religious objections to blood transfusions. I am a believer in individual and family rights and responsibilities and have particular objections to people who trample on others in the name of doing good.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, May 02, 2005 at 5:56 pm
Hmmm, maybe American girls are just wiser and more mature than Canadian girls. A judge in Florida has cleared the way for a 13-year-old girl to have an abortion, having ruled that she is competent to make that decision. (Here's the story.) In this case, no family rights are being violated because the girl is in custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. (Her parents' rights -- and hers -- may well have been trampled on earlier in the story, but we don't know that.) I can't help wondering how the judge would have ruled had the issue been a blood transfusion rather than an abortion.

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 4:35 pm
Update:

"A 14-year-old Jehovah's Witness from British Columbia broke into tears at the end of a court hearing in Toronto"

"Judge Paisley ordered the girl to comply with a B.C. Supreme Court order that had placed her in the custody of the provincial director of child-welfare services, who is empowered by court orders to force her to have a transfusion if her doctors deem it necessary."

"the girl was hustled into an elevator surrounded by a phalanx of police, enforcing an earlier Ontario court order allowing police to apprehend her on behalf of the B.C. government."

"B.C. child-welfare officials intervened when the girl, with the support of her parents, said that because of her religious beliefs she did not want a transfusion, even if it would save her lifeā€¦.Last month, the B.C. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that gave the child-welfare officials the authority to order a transfusion as part of her treatment."

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 9:19 am
i think that the girl is to young to make an important medical decision like that. especially in her case, having cancer. she needs all the treatment and help she can get.

Posted by bw on Monday, October 17, 2005 at 9:13 am
Even if she is too young (which I don't agree with) the point remains that it should not be the government making those decisions. If she is too young to make her own decisions, her parents should have that right. As it is, I believe she is old enough to take wise council from parents and trusted friends and choose accordingly.

Posted by joyful on Friday, October 21, 2005 at 1:49 pm
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