NZ blood donor case: Baby’s surgery takes place at Starship hospital

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Protesters outside Starship Hospital
Protesters outside Auckland's Starship Hospital supporting the parents of a baby who are trying to prevent his surgery because they do not want blood from any who has had the Covid-19 vaccine to be used. Image: Marika Khabazi/RNZ News

RNZ News

The baby in Aotearoa New Zealand whose parents did not want him to receive blood from people who may have had the covid vaccine underwent urgent heart surgery today.

Anti-vaccination lawyer Sue Grey confirmed to RNZ Checkpoint late this afternoon that the baby, known as baby W, had undergone surgery today.

Grey said she had received a text message from the baby’s parents confirming the surgery was finished and the six-month-old was doing well.

Baby W was this week placed under the guardianship of the High Court until the completion of the surgery and post-operative recovery.

Te Whatu Ora asked the High Court to take guardianship of the baby this week to allow the surgery to go ahead with blood from the NZ Blood Service.

Doctors from Te Whatu Ora were made agents of the court to carry out the surgery, including the administration of any blood products, while his parents were agents of the court for all of his other care.

Protesters gathered near Auckland’s Starship Hospital today to support the parents.

Protesters near hospital
About 60 protesters were near the hospital many with signs such as “do not experiment on our children” as they awaited an update on whether the operation had gone ahead this morning.

A new ruling last night ordered the parents not to obstruct health staff at Starship Hospital.

In a statement this morning, police confirmed they were present at the hospital yesterday evening and overnight.

In a statement last night, Justice Gault said he had been informed by the lawyer acting for Te Whatu Ora that the baby’s parents had prevented doctors from taking blood tests, performing a chest X-ray and an anaesthetic assessment.

The parents objected and the hospital asked the police for help.

A new ruling last night ordered the parents not to prevent medical staff from carrying out their work.

The health service said officials would not be commenting on specific details of individual patient care or providing clinical status updates for ethical and privacy reasons.

Person trespassed
Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland Interim Director Dr Mike Shepherd had said it remained a priority to work alongside the baby’s whānau to care for him.

“In addition, we’re doing everything we can to support our teams through a difficult situation for all involved,” he said.

He confirmed a person had been trespassed from the hospital.

“As general comment, from time to time, it may be necessary to trespass an individual or individuals from our site, sometimes only for a few hours, if they are impacting on our clinical team’s ability to care for patients.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ. 

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