Babies' Health Trumps Religious Rights

June 15, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Australian

Wire Service: AFP,25197,23866917-2703,00.html

Donald Brenner, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, ruled yesterday that child welfare authorities were right to briefly seize the couple's four surviving children so they could receive doctor-recommended blood transfusions that their parents had refused.

He said state intervention was justified because existing science and medical assessments of the infants made transfusions "essential to preserve the infants' lives or to prevent serious or permanent impairment of their health".

The parents of the sextuplets had argued that the province of British Columbia violated their rights under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.