Doctors at a St. Petersburg hospital had to ask a court to sanction a blood transfusion for a child whose parents, members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, had refused to give permission on religious grounds, city child rights commissioner Svetlana Agapitova said on Wednesday.
On Monday a car ran down three pedestrians in central St. Petersburg, including a woman with a baby in a stroller.
The girl was in a serious condition and needed an urgent blood transfusion and an operation but her father forbade the doctors to administer the procedure.
“It turned out that he is a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses whose religion forbids blood transfusion even when a person’s life is in danger,” Agapitova said in a press release posted on her website.
The father's lawyer told the doctors they had no right to perform any medical intervention without parental permission, even in a life or death situation.
Only a court ruling could reverse their decision.
The hospital chief went to a court which issued an order within hours that a blood transfusion and operation be carried out as soon as possible.
The operation went ahead but the girl’s injuries are very serious and she remains in a near-critical condition.