Parents in New Zealand who refused to allow their baby to take a transfusion of blood if it contained the COVID-19 vaccine now find the state in possession of their child after worldwide coverage of the story.
As reported by the Guardian, the baby boy is now in guardianship of his surgeon and cardiologist “for the purpose of consenting to surgery to address the obstruction and all medical issues related to that surgery, including the administration of blood,” said Justice Ian Gault, the judge presiding over the case.
New Zealand health authorities including the blood services sector have said that allowing parents to refuse the transfusion would set a "dangerous precedent" and open up the door to patients making demands as to where their blood comes from, including whether or not it contains vaccines, as in this case.
The state will remain in guardianship over the boy until he recovers from his surgery, which is said to be January 2023 at the latest. The parents will not be punished further in terms of custody of the child.
While the open-heart surgery is said to be lifesaving, the father stated, “We don’t want blood that is tainted by vaccination.”
"We're fine with anything else doctors want to do," said the parent of the baby, just 6 months old, in an interview with a woman named Lizz Gunn.
During the same interview, the father says that authorities told him his say "was not a scientific say, it's your concern but not our concern."
In an press conference in front of a crowd of protesters and reporters outside the courthouse, the mother commented on the need for "safe blood" while insisting on having the right as a parent to choose:
"We're desperate for an operation, but we need to have safe blood, that is our right, as a mother and as a voice for my baby," she remarked.
"They're saying we know what's best, we know what's good for your baby and we want to do it our way, and we are not even going to talk to you," a spokesperson for the parents said in the press conference.
"We're going to go into the court and we're going to try and get somebody from the court to gang up with us, effectively," the woman claimed of the health officials. "[We'll] make you do what we want to do, because we're going to show you we're the boss," she continued.
According to the judge, New Zealand blood services has seen a significant rise in requests for unvaccinated blood or direct blood donations to recipients in the last six months.