The anti-vaxxer parents of a sick two-year-old child who needs a heart operation have reportedly refused blood from donors who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Sant’Orsola Hospital in the city of Bologna, which is located in the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, took the parents to court over the matter, deeming that they were putting their child’s life in danger.
A judge has now ruled that the operation should go ahead, denying the parents’ requests. The judge ruled that the hospital meets all of the standards and guarantees regarding the safety of the blood it uses.
The parents, who live in the province of Modena, had made the request based on “medical and religious reasons”, according to the lawyer. But their arguments did not convince judge Alberto Rovatti, who found their concerns to be unfounded. Neither the parents nor the child have been named.
The lawyer for the parents, who has been named as Ugo Bertaglia, said that they “never denied consent to the intervention and reiterated it to the tutelary judge”.
They had asked, “for religious reasons”, for the blood from the transfusion to come from unvaccinated people. Bertaglia is reportedly a former supporter of the far-right Forza Nuova political party, which has been implicated in violent demonstrations against the mandatory health pass introduced by Italy to battle the pandemic.
The parents and the lawyer are considering whether to appeal the judge’s decision. And they have reportedly found 40 unvaccinated people who are willing to provide them with blood.
Filippo Anelli, President of the National Federation of Medical Orders, said: “We understand the fears of parents: when a child, a son, suffers, we cling to any handhold, believing that we are doing him good, to protect him. For what it’s worth, we ask them to listen to the doctors who are treating him and who will know how to choose the best therapy for him, without delaying treatment.”
He added: “There is no danger in receiving blood from donors vaccinated against COVID.”
It remains to be seen whether or not they will accept the judge’s decision or whether they will attempt to overturn it and force the Bolognese hospital to use vaccine-free blood.