According to a Sunday Star Times report, a two-year-old Auckland girl has been put into the guardianship of the High Court because she is suffering from a rare form of kidney disease and her Jehovah's Witness parents are denying her life-saving kidney and liver transplant.
With the girl – identified only as ‘M’ - already having had her kidneys removed, and currently surviving on dialysis treatment administered under a specialist team’s care, urgent orders were sought the Auckland District Health Board in June, to have the toddler placed under High Court guardianship.
The orders for placing the girl under court’s care had been sought due to the fact that her condition is highly unstable and she is at risk of infection. The doctors were apprehensive that the girl would die of infection if she was not given an urgent kidney and liver transplant.
The girl’s parents have been denying her the life-saving treatment because though Jehovah's Witnesses permits transplants, the faith is very strict in terms of rejection of much-required blood transfusions which are a part and parcel of transplant surgeries.
Meanwhile, Justice Helen Winkelmann, who heard the doctors’ application, said in her ruling that while it was necessary to place the girl under the court's care, her doctors as well as her parents would be appointed as agents for the court.
The judge said: "By making the orders which are sought, this resolves for M's parents what must be an agonising conflict between their firmly held religious beliefs and the pressing needs of M.”
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