Update on Vancouver Sextuplets


B.C. intervened to save 3 sextuplets after 2 died
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | 4:10 PM PT


The B.C. government got court orders in the past week to seize three of the
surviving sextuplets born in Vancouver earlier in January and ensure they got blood transfusions if necessary. Two of the sextuplets have already died.

The babies were part of the group of of six born at B.C. Women’s Hospital into a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious group that prohibits blood transfusions.

B.C.’s director of child protection sought an order under provincial child-care legislation on Jan. 26 to seize one child for a transfusion.

The government sought an order for a second child the following day, and a third order was sought on Monday.

Two blood transfusions were done, and the babies have been returned to the custody of their parents.

2 babies dead

Two of the babies, who were born prematurely, have already died, says an affidavit filed in court on Tuesday by the babies’ father as part of the family’s appeal of the transfusion orders.

“[The mother] and I could not bear to be at the hospital when they were violating our little girl,” he said in the affidavit.

“We took our immense sadness and grief and tried to console each other in private.”

The minister responsible for child care defended the government’s intervention.

Tom Christensen, the minister of children and family services, said he would not comment directly on the case, but he explained that the government sometimes has to act.

“So in the event that there is a child that is need of a medical treatment, and it appears that the child is not going to receive that medical treatment because a parent doesn’t want the child to, then medical practitioners have an obligation to report that to the ministry.

“We will review the situation and if necessary, we would go to court to seek an order to have that medical care.”

Lawyers representing the family of the sextuplets went to B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday filing an appeal.

The parents will be back in court later in February where they will argue against future seizures, and, according to their lawyer, demand an apology for what they call the province’s outrageous and illegal handling of their case.

Members of the family can not be named due to a publication ban.


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