Her Baby Needs Heart Surgery. But She Is Demanding ‘Unvaccinated’ Blood.

A New Zealand couple are refusing to allow their infant son to undergo life-saving heart surgery using the blood of people vaccinated against Covid-19, suggesting misinformation. Vaccine bias continues to manifest in unexpected ways two years after global vaccination campaigns.

A 4-month-old critically ill patient with severe pulmonary valve stenosis, heart valve disorder. The boy’s mother said she wanted her son’s surgery to happen immediately, but she asked for “safe blood” to be used, her lawyer said the family was concerned about the blood. contains traces of vaccines using new mRNA technology.

Health Service New Zealand has denied the family’s request to use blood from unvaccinated volunteers, saying the vaccine poses no risk to the donor supply. On Tuesday, the High Court in Auckland will decide whether to grant the medical service, Te Whatu Ora, temporary custody of the baby so it can remove the baby from the family and perform surgery. art or not.

Paul White, the agency’s attorney, describe the baby “gets sicker with each heartbeat”.

The famous legal dispute has drawn public attention and deeply exposed skepticism about a Covid vaccine in some communities in New Zealand, which once led the world in containing the virus– withdraw corona for a while.

The case and the family’s flawed scientific arguments highlight the ongoing dangers of online misinformation and conspiracy narratives, experts say. The dispute has “become a well-known cause in the most virulent way,” said Sanjana Hattotuwa, a researcher, leading to a spike in hate speech on fringe platforms where Conspiracy theories spread. misinformation projecta New Zealand monitoring group.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have interacted with this content on Telegram alone” in the past week, he said, referring to the encrypted messaging service. “Tens of thousands of people have watched videos” of babies on far-right content hosting platforms, he added. In some cases, he said, there was a clear incitement to violence.

Reverse vehicleA conspiracy-oriented outlet that shares content with US site Infowars, live-streamed a 12-hour “truth” over the weekend focusing solely on the baby’s case.

academic and New Zealand Security services pointed to ongoing concerns about violent extremism related to anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. This monthA 62-year-old man has been convicted after being found guilty of sabotage for conspiring to bring down the country’s power grid to draw attention to his anti-vaccination beliefs.

The family of the sick infant and their supporters, including a senior New Zealand conservative politician, insisted that state intervention was unnecessary because the donors had not Vaccinated ready to give blood.

In an email passed on to her attorney, the boy’s mother, who was not named by The New York Times to protect the child’s privacy, said she was “very concerned” about the baby’s health and did not want to surgery takes place. be postponed.

She blamed the medical service for the withholding, saying they ignored the family’s concerns and unnecessarily asserted their authority in court.

“We cannot understand why Auckland Children’s Hospital Starship and NZ Blood did not help protect him against the risk we have identified,” the mother wrote, referring to the public health facility and organization. blood donation in connection with the incident.

Sue Gray, the family’s attorney, said the mother’s fear was centered on “the safety of blood from recipients of mRNA technology”, describing the risk arising from “residual contamination”. from the injected mRNA or the spike protein produced by the mRNA”.

(Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by causing the human immune system to identify the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus and destroy it.)

Ms Gray said the family had drawn blood from 30 “pre-screened” unvaccinated donors, although she said the family was willing to use limited “vaccinated” plasma to avoid contamination. delay in surgery.

Among those who support the family’s right to call for “unvaccinated” blood transfusions is Winston Peters, who leads the center-right New Zealand First party and serves as deputy prime minister in a coalition government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. top.

“We have had cases where parents said they wanted to donate to their child from an unvaccinated donor, and I couldn’t understand why that couldn’t be done and why we were wasting our time. time in court,” Mr. Peters said by phone on Friday.

“This is not for or against, or in denial of, science; this is about freedom, truth and informed consent,” he continued.

Experts have speak that providing an alternative blood supply would be complicated by urgent screening and quality control requirements. New Zealand’s official blood service does not distinguish between “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” blood in its blood supply, said on his website that there is no evidence that the spike protein residue, which is rapidly absorbed in the donor system, poses any threat to the recipient.

Mark Henaghan, a law professor at the University of Auckland, said he did not expect the impasse to set a new legal precedent in favor of the family.

In similar cases, he said, “the courts almost in all cases follow what medical advice is; That’s the pattern around the world.

“Parents have never had absolute power” in such cases, he added. “It’s all about what’s best for the child’s health.”

The interim director of health services in Auckland, Dr Mike Shepherd, said in a statement: “The decision to apply to the court is always made based on the best interests of the child and after discussions. widely discussed.” The prime minister’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Polls show social divisions rooted in New Zealand’s pandemic response, including mandatory vaccination of certain categories of workers, have contributed to decrease in popularity to the prime minister, Ms. Ardern.

While she rode to a decisive election victory in 2020 with New Zealand’s successful strength in fighting the virus, she seems much more vulnerable as the general election approaches next year. In a survey commissioned by The New Zealand Herald, significantly more respondents said the country’s Covid response had push the country away from each other than unify it.


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