Meet the Douchebags.
They're a nice young religious couple who believe that letting your children die when action could feasibly save them is a righteous way to live their lives.
They believe that blood transfusions can also infuse a body with sin. Yes, that's right, their definition of 'bad blood' means that you can become a bad person by accepting the blood of a bad person into your body. I think it must have something to do with the Red Cross not screening for Dark Side Midichlorians.
They also believe in the sanctity of every precious life. Or so they say. In fact, what it means is that they believe that their own souls are precious. They don't want to go to hell. They are scared that if someone else forces them to allow their children to have a life-saving proceedure which happens to be against the tenets of their specious religion, that they - the parents - will fall from grace with god. Therefore it is better for them (and supposedly the children) to allow their children to die. Perhaps the children have been spared. Not from hell, but from being raised by parents who have fallen into the Watchtower Society's trap of spiritual slavery.
It borders on hypocrisy that the Douchbags would allow themselves into a pregnancy which could only be achieved by modern medical miracle, yet not accept the added benefit of saving their children's lives via those same modern miracles.
Or perhaps the Douchebags just got in over their heads? One (or two, or five) children too many? And luckily for them their religious beliefs supported a choice that would ease their load?
Personally, I think that the Douchbags have forfeitted their right to a say in the treatment of their babies. There is a Hypocratic Oath for doctors. If you ask me there should be one for parenting.
What are the surviving kids going to think when they grow up? It's not like this is going to be something that can be hidden from them. It's simply too public. They will put it together. They'll Google (v. 11.51) it and find a backlogged history that their church cannot keep covered. They could even read this very post. (Sorry for calling your parent's 'douchbags', kids - but they are, and I hope you are recognizing that by now, because your disdain is the true hell which they deserve for reasons I shall discuss henceforth. If your real family name was not being kept secret, I wouldn't have to make up a symbolic one.) They can read that their own Mother and Father were willing to let them suffer and die so that THEY THEMSELVES might avoid going to hell... or at least avoid being ostracized by their JW elbow-buddies. Two (so far) of thier former wombmates have already died. It could have been any of them. That's how much your parents care. They are willing to let you die so that their social life with YHWH isn't disturbed.
The Douchbags have every right to refuse their own medical treatment, but if they have no such right to impose such gobbledy-gook on children too young to have a say. It's nonsense. The sooner the government can re-set and save those babies from their parent's dogma the better. And hopefully it will set a clear precedent for the future so that next time some a-wipe zealot squirts out a prodigious litter in need of ICU attention, they'll get it without any sort of interference from a collectively insane religious sect.
Apparently before someone can refuse medical treatment they need to satisfy three conditions: they must be deemed competent, adequately informed and be free of coercion. (I'm not sure exactly how this - particularly the second item - is applied in DNR cases or in the case of people who have declared that they are not to be left on life support if their quality of life has been compromised, but that's a different issue.) So let's break that down quickly...
Competent: I'm thinking that if 5 week old babies were considered competent that we'd give them the right to vote.
Adequately informed: "Hello 5-week-old-baby. I'm your paediatrician. If you don't get new, potentially sin-filled, blood into your vascular system ASAP, you are going to die and possibly be saved from a life ruined by a tidal wave of sectarian gibberish and lies imposed upon you by Ma & Pa Douchbag and their zealot chums. Stare blankly or cry if you understand."
Coercion: I think it's pretty safe to say that any choice, positive or negative (however one defines those based upon their political and religious beliefs) is being forced upon the child, so I figure that we have to go with the default - which by definition of these conditions is to adhere to a treatment regimen. But even if we look past the kids to the parents... I'm going to turn to an excerpt here to make my point: (Full Text.)
"Congregations are deliberately kept to no more than about 100 people so everyone can get to know each other, said Mr. Ruge. They spend hours together doing door-to-door canvassing and attend a number of meetings each week, he said. Other parents of multiple-birth children say such aid is crucial in dealing with the monumental child care challenge.
However, the infants still have months of medical care in hospital ahead of them, with their survival not at all assured, physicians say.
Extremely premature babies experience a drop in levels of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, to the point where anemia often develops, said Ian Mitchell, a Calgary pediatrician who has dealt with Jehovah's Witness patients.
It is very common for such infants to require transfusions as a result, he said. Jehovah's Witnesses, citing various parts of the Bible, believe that blood is sacred to God and that Christianity forbids its consumption, storage or transfusion.
In a paper published with Dr. Mitchell last month in the journal Pediatrics and Child Health, Ms. Guichon argued that patients and their families sometimes feel pressure from the organization to oppose a transfusion even when they might feel differently themselves.
The fear, both explicit and implied, is that anyone who agrees to accept a transfusion will be banished from the organization, and lose the social network on which they depend, said Ms. Guichon. That prospect may be even more frightening for the B.C. couple, given how much they will need the help of their fellow Witnesses, she said.
But Mr. Ruge said Jehovah's Witnesses do not reject transfusions because they feel coerced. In addition to their religious beliefs, most are convinced that they are better off physicially without the blood, and there are many alternatives now to transfusions, he said.
"I wouldn't have a blood transfusion for a million bucks."
However, he did not deny the consequences of willingly undergoing a transfusion. Anyone who does so "wouldn't be a Jehovah's Witness [any more], of his own accord," said Mr. Ruge. "Jehovah's Witnesses follow the teachings of Christ and by your own actions you wouldn't be one."