JW Bulletin

Jehovah's Witnesses in the Media

Translation: Mileno – 18th June 2018

Mileno – 18th June 2018

State that can intervene in family autonomy

The Court will discuss a project that proposes that the State can intervene in family autonomy when the life or health of a minor due to religious beliefs is at risk.

Mexico City / 06/18/2018 12:37:16
When the life or health of a minor due to religious beliefs is at risk, the State can intervene in the family autonomy , establishing a draft sentence that will be discussed by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation .

Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea will propose denying an injunction to the parents of a seven-year-old girl, members of the Rarámuri ethnic group and Jehovah’s Witnesses , who oppose blood transfusions for their daughter who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia .

The decision of the parents is based on the beliefs of their religion , who understand that the Bible categorically prohibits human beings from using blood in any form and by any means; For this reason, the parents demanded alternative treatments , but none is as effective as the transfusions that keep the minor alive.

Arturo Zaldívar mentions that minors have the right to receive the treatment most likely to recover their health and rid them of a fatal risk .

“For this reason, if the alternative treatment has a much poorer outcome or one that is not comparable to the use of blood transfusions, if the treatment is not available, or if there is no evidence to guarantee its efficacy, the State must replace the decision of the parents and authorize the indicated treatment, because only through this intervention can the child’s life be protected, “the minister’s project details.


Luisa “N” and Manuel “N” procreated two girls: Carmen “N” and Clara “N”, who were born in 2006 and 2011, respectively.

In April 2017, Clara presented signs of chickenpox, so her mother took her to the office. On the 19th of the same month the girl was examined and the attending physician informed Luisa that Clara probably had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, so it was urgent to take her to the Children’s Hospital of Specialties of Chihuahua.

The girl was treated in the emergency area that same day; the doctors explained to the mother the implications on the child’s health as a result of the probable diagnosis.

Two hours later, a hematologist performed an evaluation of Clara’s health status and the doctor concluded that the girl had a viral infection , so she requested the minor’s pass to intermediate therapy, the start of antiviral treatments, antibiotics and blood products. (products derived from blood).

The hematologist informed the parents of Clara’s seriousness, as well as the medical treatment she considered suitable, including performing blood transfusions.

However, the parents commented that their desire was to find an alternative measure.

In view of this situation, the social worker of the hospital considered that the minor should be placed at the disposal of the Deputy Attorney for the Auxiliary Protection of Children and Adolescents of the judicial district Morelos, Chihuahua, to carry out the transfusion treatment, due to the seriousness of the minor and the opposition of the parents to said treatment.

The foregoing led Luisa to present an amparo against the determination of the Deputy Attorney General, who assumed the guardianship over her minor daughter, in order to authorize the medical procedures that were necessary.

* all translations provided on JWBulletin.com are for information purposes only and are sourced from automated translation services.  These are not checked for accuracy.  To ensure accuracy, please refer to the original language text.

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