A Matter of Faith

India News/October 9, 2004

The father of a critically ill baby girl, who took her away from the Siliguri Sadar Hospital to avoid a blood transfusion as it was against his faith was persuaded by the authorities that it was necessary to save the child's life.

The two and a half years old baby girl, Manorama Lakra, suffering from acute anemia diarrhoea, was admitted to the Sadar Hospital on October seven, Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Rajiv Mishra said today.

The baby's father, Sanjay Lakra, a member of Jehovah's Witness, refused when doctors told him that she needed a blood transfusion to save her life saying it was against his faith. He then ran away with his baby girl, Mishra said.

The Jehovah's Witness is a Christian sect that denies many traditional Christian doctrines and preaches the Second Coming.

Sanjay, a resident of Labour Bustee of the Bagdogra Tea Garden, and his daughter were traced by the authorities that same evening and persuaded to return to the hospital, Mishra said, where Manorama was given a transfusion.

She was given a second blood transfusion today, Dr A K Saha, under whom she was admitted said, adding that the baby girl's condition had improved.

The blood was provided by the North Bengal Voluntary Blood Donors Forum, said its Secretary Pijush Kanti Ray who together with the police superintendent were instrumental in convincing the father and bringing the baby back to the hospital.

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