Ruling: Judges lack authority for hotlines on emergency care

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(Source: Oleg Dudko via 123RF) (Source: Oleg Dudko via 123RF)

An Arizona appellate court ruling says judges generally lack the authority to grant hospital workers' oral requests to authorize medical procedures such as blood transfusions for a minor without consent of minors or their parents.

The Court of Appeals' ruling Tuesday erases a Maricopa County Superior Court judge's orders allowing transfusions for a 14-year-old boy undergoing cancer treatment after hospital employees used an emergency hotline to call the court.

The ruling says the boy wasn't under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court and there's no authorization under state law or court rules for setting up emergency hotlines to consider ordering medical treatment of a non-consenting minor.

According to the ruling, the boy and his parents are practicing Jehovah's Witnesses and objected to the use of blood transfusions on religious counts.

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