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Jehovah's Witness blood transfusion dispute referred to the High Court

The High Court is due to decide whether a 17 year-old Jehovah’s Witness suffering from leukaemia can be treated with blood products against his will.

Mr Justice Francis has held a preliminary hearing in the Family Court ahead of a full trial.

John McKendrick QC, of Outer Temple Chambers, is acting for the unnamed NHS trust responsible for his treatment, which has asked the court for a decision on what treatment can be given in the case.

He said that the boy has refused potentially life-saving blood product treatment for his condition because of his religious beliefs, about which he was “extremely articulate”.

Mr McKendrick said NHS trust doctors are respecting the boy’s views and not treating him with blood products.

The BBC has reported that boy, who cannot be identified, recently arrived in England and that his father is dead and his mother missing.

He will be represented at a full trial by a specialist guardian, appointed by the judge, who will instruct lawyers on his behalf.