Manitoba Jehovah's Witness teen says she was scared by forced transfusion

Winnipeg, Canada - A 15-year-old Jehovah's Witness with Crohn's disease says she was overwhelmed and scared when she was given a blood transfusion last spring against her will.

The girl, who can't be identified, was in Manitoba Court of Appeal with her parents today.

The family's lawyers were appealing an order that gave Child and Family Services the power to force the teen to have a transfusion they deemed medically necessary.

Jehovah's Witnesses oppose transfusions because they interpret certain passages of the Bible as forbidding the ingestion of blood.

The teen told The Canadian Press the support of friends and family has helped her come to terms with going against her church's wishes.

But she said she wants to make sure her rights are never violated again.

Shane Brady, who is representing the girl's parents, told the three justices that the girl should have been treated as a "mature minor" under the law because she understood her illness and why she was refusing the transfusions.

Lawyers for the Manitoba government argued the priority is to put the child's best interests first.