Parental refusal of transfusion on religious grounds: an exception to the standard approach

Clinical Ethics 2 (3):146-148 (2007)

The standard approach to parental refusal of transfusion on religious grounds in many newborn intensive care units and paediatric services is to override the refusal and provide the transfusion, usually with court intervention if time allows. This approach is justified by the child's right to effective treatment, seen to outweigh the parents' right to religious freedom and their right to decide for their child. That justification, however, may be limited by the predicted effectiveness of the transfusion (or any proposed treatment) in preventing significant harm to the child. A case where parental refusal was appropriately respected is briefly discussed
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DOI 10.1258/147775007781870092
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