New Zealand: Baby has life-saving surgery after court takes custody from anti-vax parents

A New Zealand court had taken temporary custody of a sick baby whose parents refused life-saving treatment because the blood donors may be vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19). 

A day after the custody, the baby, who is identified only as Baby W, has received the surgery and is doing well, The Guardian reported quoting the lawyer of the parents.  

The lawyer Sue Grey confirmed to broadcaster RNZ on Friday that the six-month-old baby boy had had the procedure and was doing well. 

Previously, the parents had blocked a procedure as they claimed that the donated blood might have come from a donor jabbed with an mRNA vaccine for Covid. 

The case was heard by the Auckland High Court, which ordered that the baby will be placed under partial guardianship. The court’s decision allowed an urgent treatment for a heart disorder known as pulmonary valve stenosis to go ahead. 

In a statement, the court said: “The overriding issue is whether the proposed treatment is in (the baby’s) best interests.” 

The court now has the medical “guardianship” of the baby, which will protect the child until the “completion of his surgery” and recovery, which is expected to end by the end of January at the latest. 

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The court’s ruling also stated that the parents will remain custodians “for all other purposes”. The parents will also receive information related to Child’s health “at all reasonable times of the nature and progress of Baby W’s condition and treatment”. 

The extraordinary case remained a talking point in the country. Health New Zealand spokesperson Mike Shepherd said it was “a difficult situation for all involved” and “the decision to make an application like this to the court is always made with the best interests of the child in mind.” 

(With inputs from agencies)

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