A New Zealand court on Wednesday ruled against the parents of a sick infant who refused to use “vaccinated” blood for the baby’s surgery and instead gave the child’s custody to the country’s health agency.
The parents of the infant, who urgently needed open-heart surgery, had said that they wanted the blood to come from people who have not received the Covid vaccine.
The four-month-old baby has severe pulmonary valve stenosis, the parents said. Surgery is needed “almost immediately”, but added that they are “extremely concerned with the blood [the doctors] are going to use”.
“We don’t want blood that is tainted by vaccination,” the father said. “That’s the end of the deal – we are fine with anything else these doctors want to do.”
New Zealand’s health agency had sought guardianship of the child and applied for custody.
The four-month-old boy is in a hospital in Auckland awaiting surgery that his parents had blocked because they did not want to use the blood of a “vaccinated” person.
On Wednesday, high court judge Ian Gault, in a landmark ruling, said he accepted the affidavits of health experts who said there have been millions of blood transfusions performed around the world since coronavirus vaccines were introduced, and the vaccines hadn’t caused any known harmful effects.
Observers said that the ruling will likely set a precedent and come as a relief to healthcare groups that collect and use donated blood.
Justice Gault ordered that the baby be placed under the guardianship of the court “from the date of the order until completion of his surgery and post-operative recovery to address obstruction to the outflow tract of his right ventricle and at latest until 31 January 2023”.
The ruling added that the baby’s parents remain his legal guardians aside from the medical matters covered in the order.
The judge asked the hospital in Auckland where the baby is awaiting surgery, Starship Hospital, to keep the parents informed of their baby’s condition and treatment at all times.
In his ruling, the judge also said that he accepted the parents of the baby had genuine concerns about the risk of using blood from vaccinated donors.
”However, the issue here is what is in [the baby’s] best interests,” Justice Gault said.
The parent’s alternative proposal was not viable, the judge said.
”I cannot conclude it is a safe alternative that is in [the baby’s] best interests. For these reasons, and given that [the baby] needs urgent surgery, an order enabling the surgery to proceed using [NZ Blood Service] blood products without further delay is in [the baby’s] best interests.”
Meanwhile, anti-vax activists in New Zealand gathered outside the court to rally support for the parents.
In an audio message posted to social media shortly after the decision, Liz Gunn, an anti-vax campaigner, said, “New Zealand, I have absolutely devastating news. Little [baby] is going to be handed to Starship hospital. This is wrong on every level.”