The High Court has placed a 10 month old, Miss A, into the guardianship of the Court and appointed three of her treating clinicians as agents of the Court for the purpose of consenting to blood and blood product transfusions after her Jehovah's Witness parents indicated that they were unable to consent to such transfusions.
Miss A had recently been diagnosed with neuroblastoma and wide spread metastatic disease. Her parents had consented to chemotherapy, and would likely consent to surgery required to remove the tumour. However, because of their religious beliefs they would not consent to blood or blood product transfusions. Although Miss A had previously received an urgent transfusion under section 37 of the Care of Children Act 2004, the Court noted that "it would not be appropriate for the hospital to simply rely on section 37 in the longer term for A's treatment because it is known that a transfusion is highly likely to be required in the course of chemotherapy and surgery. The hospital has therefore acted responsibly in bringing the present application". The Court was satisfied that it was in Miss A's best interests that the orders be made, noting that the orders "confine, as far as is possible in the circumstances, the displacement of the parents' decision making in respect of the care for A. Her parents are able to make decisions in connection with the principal part of A's treatment, namely the chemotherapy and surgery, and their role in respect of all other aspects of A's day to day care remains unaffected".