Baby dies after parents refuse blood transfusion

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Baby dies after parents refuse blood transfusion

A 2-month-old baby born with heart defects died recently after her parents, members of Jehovah’s Witness, refused to allow surgery because of their faith prohibiting blood transfusions, hospital officials said yesterday.

The baby, identified by her surname Lee, was born in August with a congenital heart disease. Doctors at the Seoul Asan Hospital, where she was first admitted, concluded that she needed surgery, but her parents refused to give permission, according to the officials.

Hospital officials, ethics teams and lawyers sought and won a court order in October allowing doctors to override the parents’ objections and perform the surgery, but the parents refused to comply and transferred their child to another hospital, whose name was withheld, which they claimed succeeded in performing the same kind of surgery without a blood transfusion.

The baby died less than a week after she was moved.

“Even if I go back to that time again, I would insist on surgery without a blood transfusion,” the mother said.

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