A B.C. court has ruled that physicians acted within reason when they infringed upon the rights of two Jehovah’s Witness parents by giving blood transfusions to four of their sextuplets born in January 2007.
The parents objected to the transfusions because of religious beliefs that prohibit such treatment.
“Freedom of religion is not absolute,” wrote B.C. Supreme Chief Justice Donald Brenner in his reasons for judgment, released Friday. “While it is difficult to conceive of any limitations on religious beliefs, the same cannot be said of religious practices, notably when they impact on the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.”
The lawyer for the parents argued that the transfusions were not necessary, and as a result, the parents’ rights had been breached.
However, a doctor who testified in favour of the government’s case said that the babies’ hemoglobin was well below safe levels.
“Given that each of the infants was returned to the care of its parents very shortly after receiving its blood transfusion, it is clear that this proceeding is moot,” wrote Brenner.