As the baby at the centre of a row over the use of vaccinated blood recovers in hospital, the lawyer for his parents has vowed the fight “isn’t over”.
Baby W underwent life-saving surgery yesterday after a heated stand-off over the use of vaccinated people’s blood.
His parents wanted the surgery to go ahead but opposed their child receiving transfused blood from vaccinated donors. Instead, they wanted blood used from unvaccinated people they had sourced.
This morning, lawyer Sue Grey said his exhausted parents were relieved the surgery had gone well and their son was recovering but the issue “had not gone away”.
“They are absolutely relieved things went well but it has been such a massive massive stress and it has opened such a can of worms of the approach of the public health system,” Grey said.
“It could have been done in such a different way.”
Police uplifted the critically ill baby on Thursday night so he could prepare for his surgery after his parents objected to doctors’ and officers’ attempts to carry out the life-saving heart operation.
Baby W was born premature and had an obstruction in his right ventricle.
The police intervention in the hospital room was captured on video.
In the emotionally charged video, four police officers in stab-proof vests speak to the family about the need for medical checks before the surgery.
The video shows an officer saying the baby needs the procedure as soon as possible, as another walks toward the baby to take him.
The mother, crying, says “please stop”, and the baby’s father steps in and starts calling the officers “criminals”.
“You guys are criminals, you are criminals, you are conducting a criminal act here,” he said.
Grey said the issue hadn’t gone away just because the operation had been completed.
“It is a much bigger issue about the lack of informed consent and the lack of respect of the medical system for the views of the patient,” she said.
“We have got to have a bit of time and a deep breath and obviously the priority is getting baby back home and healthy but there are certainly a lot of medical issues and legal issues that need a good look.”
Baby W is expected to spend the next two to three weeks in hospital recovering from the surgery for an obstruction in one of the chambers of his heart.
The Herald understands the operation took more than half a day. Baby W’s father stayed with him through the night and his mother went home to care for their other children and to sleep.
Grey said the parents expected the recovery time, but that was a separate issue.
“The parents aren’t being given the information they need.”
After a High Court ruling on Wednesday, Baby W was placed under the guardianship of the High Court until January 31, 2023, at the latest.
Unhappy with this, supporters of Baby W’s parents gathered in protest in front of the court, and outside Starship Children’s Hospital.
Starship had to beef up its security throughout the week as protesters gathered outside.
Auckland health authorities confirmed they trespassed one person from hospital facilities after tensions rose.
Te Whatu Ora Auckland interim director Dr Mike Shepherd told the Herald in a statement extra security measures had been implemented to ensure clinical teams could continue to provide patient care and allow families to visit their loved ones.
He said he was proud of the team caring for Baby W and they had his “full support”.
“We’re doing everything we can to support our teams through a difficult situation for all involved,” he said.
“Our kaimahi are doing a fantastic job, working together, to focus on caring for our patients and their whānau; we are all really proud of them.”