Judge Rules Girl Must Get Blood Transfusions Despite Religion

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — A 16-year-old girl with leukemia must continue getting blood transfusions even though it's against her religious beliefs, a judge ruled Wednesday.

"Balancing all the factors, it is in (the girl's) best interest to undergo the medical treatment proposed by the hospital," said Justice Adele Kent of Court of Queen's Bench.

The girl, who cannot be named because she is a temporary ward of the province, is a Jehovah's Witness. Believers say the Bible prohibits consuming blood in any way and those who agree to transfusions won't go to paradise after they die.

She argued that forcing her to receive blood transfusions violated her constitutional rights.

"I feel that it's my religious beliefs and I love my God and I don't want to hurt him or myself by taking the blood transfusion," the girl had told the provincial court.

The girl has been forced — sometimes sedated and held down — to have 14 transfusions and is scheduled for 16 more. After intense chemotherapy combined with the transfusions, her leukemia is now in remission.