‘Baby W’ undergoes heart surgery in Auckland after court ruling

(Update 1: Changes head, lede, updates with surgery information, minor edits)

Sydney, Australia, Dec 9 (EFE).- The New Zealand baby at the center of a “vaccinated blood” dispute that was heard in Auckland’s High Court underwent heart surgery on Friday.

Lawyer and representative for the family of “Baby W,” Sue Grey, told state broadcaster RNZ’s Checkpoint program that she had received a text message from the baby’s parents confirming the surgery was over and that he was doing well.

Earlier, around 50 people staged a rally outside Starship hospital where the 6-month-old was being cared for by doctors under High Court guardianship after his parents had refused any operation that could involve blood from people vaccinated against Covid-19.

On Thursday night the parents tried to prevent doctors taking the baby for pre-operative checks and threatened to file criminal charges against health personnel, RNZ reported.

A new High Court ruling was then issued ordering the parents not to obstruct medical staff.

It was likely that the surgery would require a blood transfusion, and the parents had wanted blood donors to be taken from their own proposed list of people who had not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Blood donations in New Zealand are managed by NZ Blood, an official body that does not ask donors to declare whether they are vaccinated against Covid-19, and says on its website that “any Covid-19 vaccine in the blood is broken down soon after the injection.”

“All donated blood also gets filtered during processing, so any trace amounts that may still be present poses no risk to recipients.”

On Wednesday, an Auckland High Court justice determined that the court would take over temporary medical guardianship of the child until Jan. 31, 2023, to proceed with the operation and until the post-operative treatments are complete.

Justice Ian Gault, who heard the parties on Tuesday, ruled that the baby should be operated on without delay and gave doctors the power to use NZ Blood products. EFE


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