Ashya King with his mother, Naghemeh King, before he was taken
Ashya King with his mother, Naghemeh King, before he was taken

The life of a five-year-old boy with a brain tumor hangs in the balance after his Jehovah’s Witness parents took him from his hospital bed and fled the country with him.

Ashya King was receiving “constant medical care within the UK due to recent surgery and ongoing medical issues” according to Hampshire police.

But his parents, Brett King, 51, and Naghemeh King, 45, removed him from his ward on Thursday afternoon and are now on the run – believed to be headed to Spain.

“The need to find Ashya is now desperate. It is really important that we find him and ensure he receives medical attention at the earliest opportunity,” Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead has told Sky News.

Ashya is likely to be in a wheelchair or buggy, cannot communicate verbally and is immobile, according to police.

Though it is still too early to know for certain what Ashya’s parents’ motives are, it is worth noting that the issue of Jehovah’s Witness parents imposing their religious beliefs on children when it comes to medical treatment is a growing concern internationally.

Increasingly the legal system is being called upon to grant doctors the powers needed to give Witness children life-saving medical treatment that would otherwise be deprived them by their parents due to Watchtower teachings about blood, which have only been in place since 1945.

Ashya (left) and his parents Naghemeh (center) and Brett (right)
Ashya (left) and his parents Naghemeh (center) and Brett (right)

 

It would appear the Jehovah’s Witness community is already closing ranks in defense of the Kings’ actions.

One post on the Hampshire Constabulary’s Facebook page read: “This is my mother’s friend, she has run away in desperation because they cannot accept that there is nothing that can be done for their son and want to look for help abroad. Please don’t judge, they are a very sweet loving family and I can only believe they are doing this because they want to help their son.”

If you know the King family or have information as to their whereabouts, please contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101, quoting “Operation Aquilion” (the number is 0044 1962 841534 if calling from outside the UK).

***UPDATE***

Since this article was published, Ashya and his family have been found in Spain. It has emerged that, thankfully, refusal of blood was likely NOT a factor in Brett and Neghemeh absconding with their son. In the interests of fairness, I am posting the King family’s video where they explain their motivations themselves. Please read this update to the story.

 

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122 thoughts on “Jehovah’s Witness parents on the run after grabbing child from hospital

  • August 31, 2014 at 11:54 am
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    Glad to hear Ashya has been found and hopefully will receive help.

    As to comments about Cedars losing credibility because of writing this article. Truly ridiculous. All who said or insinuated this clearly have the ability to ignore obvious facts.

    1. Watchtower policy on blood costs thousands of lives

    2. Watchtower repeatedly over its history has held many erroneous viewpoints, not just blood but even the use of vaccines. Their viewpoint continues to change seeking to appear as if they know by means of God more than doctors when this is manslaughter by deception and decree. These viewpoints have bred contempt for healthcare workers and have cost countless lives.

    3. Jehovah’s Witnesses have an HLC that deals with health care matters of its followers as well as HVC that visits its members when they are sick. They have ZERO, that is right ZERO arrangements to help with the cost of healthcare even though they are a multibillion dollar company.

    4. Fact Watchtowers policies are set up for control, not for help. If they offered aid to their followers then someone might successfully argue that the WT’s committees are there for reasons other than control.

    5. Ignoring these facts when dealing with Jehovah’s Witness behavior that puts small children in danger is reckless. Even the media made the connection of the family and their beliefs with justifiable cause.

    To all opposers and questioners I say this. Can you speak for the children who died as martyrs without any say for this stupid religion? Would they tell you when they see this family run with their child, ignore what happened to me? Don’t question why they feel capable of making such a decision.

    Those who ignore the facts and seek to undermine the credibility of a man who reports openly honestly are at best willfully ignorant or at worst made stupid by WT teachings. Cedars giving you a voice only makes it more clear to me how ignorant JW sympathizers and followers are. Feel free to crawl back in your hole but in time you will be exposed for what you are, or wake up and join us in exposing this cult and help save the lives of other innocent children we do not know of now.

  • August 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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    Cedars, i loved to read your blog until yesterday. But i am annoyed to see that you, too, fall into the trap of mass media. What is said in the newspaper is not automatically the truth. Similar situation to watchtower. We all have a brain and we are invited to use it. It was obvious that the ashya case is not about religion ….. also for people like me and i am not in the witness organization.

    • August 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm
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      Eva – Thank you for commenting. Please re-read the article. I wrote that it was impossible at the time to know what the motives of the King family were, and in my update I have said that very likely this has nothing to do with religion. I have also posted the video of Brett King speaking so that he has opportunity to state his reasons clearly on this website.

  • August 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm
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    Paul Watson, thank you for your comment. I also lived a similar situation with a bad outcome, and it was too late for us to understand the option taken way back was the wrong one and when it was a point of no return, the doctor leading the treatment dropped us just like that.

    I certainly wouldn’t qualify myself knowledgeable enough to advance that on medical terms and on the point of view for getting a second opinion he did the right thing, but eventually it was a move made by a father in despair.

  • August 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm
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    @ anonymous

    “What about all the blood that was donated to make those fractions? Why would it be okay to take fractions and not to donate it? Think about it.”

    I had not really thought about that. Happy to take anothers life saving gift, but not prepared to contribute to the blood bank.

    It is all wrong.

  • August 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm
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    J,W’s, Have it drilled into them, that they are part of God’s
    Organisation directed by Holy Spirit.. This creates a certain
    arrogance against all human institutions, a feeling that ,We
    Know Best.

    But the many flip flops, and blunders, prove beyond doubt
    that they are neither Gods organisation, nor spirit directed,
    An example in proof, was the 13 year ban on transplants,
    1967-80.. Quotes from their own publications show the ban
    was not based on a Bible command, but some mans fantasy.

    Being now. enlightened by “Gods Word”.. “Gods People”
    understand that Transplants are against divine principles
    and cannibalistic. W,T, 15/11/1967, p, 702-704.

    There is No BIBLICAL COMMAND pointedly forbidding the
    taking in of other human tissue. It is a matter for personal
    Decision. W,T, 15/3/1980.

    No apology was given to people badly affected by this man
    inspired doctrine. The excuse of the light getting brighter
    was out of the question. This was a complete U Turn.

    During the ban, the W,T, came out with the usual scare stories.
    Claiming the personality of the donor could be transferred to
    the recipient. All such horror stories were dropped when the
    ban ended. In an Awake mag, some time later, they had the
    nerve to make the following claim. Aw,22/8/1989, p,6

    “Recent Watchtower publications applaud transplants, as
    procedures that have helped people. It takes your breath
    away!.. Who would want to trust such duplicitous men.?

    Here’s my weak attempt at humour. Why did Freddie Franz
    make a noise in the Bethel corridors?,… It was his flip flops.

  • August 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm
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    @ Ted Lol, you made me laugh with your Fred Franz comment

  • August 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm
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    Cedars – some of these people are only half out of the barn.

    The crazy JW barn. Keep writing them as you see them. There was nothing wrong with the initial story. Yet you edited it anyhow and some of the still unstable can’t handle a doctrinal change.

    Jesus, why can’t they handle a doctrinal change? You could call it “Cedars new light” lol. The only difference is that it is based on actual facts. LMFAO.

  • September 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm
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    Without any source reference, tiger123 makes the wild claim that WT policy on blood costs 1000’s of lives. This is a bizarre and untrue statement. Tiger123 must be on drugs.

    The fact is according to the W.H.O., in sub-Sahara Africa, 25million people are infected with the HIV virus (AIDS) and states 10pc of these people contracted HIV from contaminated blood products and blood transfusions. Do your maths tiger123, that’s the lives of 2.5million people destroyed by bood transfusions. Had they followed the teachings of the Bible and used alternative non-blood medical management, they would unlikely to be infected with any blood borne pathogen. Cutting through tiger123’s anti-WTBTS rantings, that’s all JW’s and the WTBTS point out is that there are safe, alternative non-blood medical management. Rather than tiger123 policy of “give em blood” as if it were a miracle cure only to reap the dire consequences.

    The screwed up policies of the likes of tiger123 will lead millions of unsuspecting individuals into a life-sentence of pain, suffering and untimely death. The post written by tiger123 should have a public health warning attached to it.

    • September 3, 2014 at 1:41 am
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      Do you have a source for that quote. What I found: your quote is misleading. The WHO says “up to 10 percent” of the infections are from blood transfusion (basically they are just guessing) and that’s a quote from 2007.

      If you google for “New HIV Infections by mode of transmission in West Africa”, there is a paper/study by unaids.org into HIV transmission (grrr, google doesn’t show me complete url). It says:

      “All the models found that the percentage of new infections due to unsafe medical injections is less than one percent (0.4%, range 0.1%-0.9%) and that the percentage due to contaminated blood transfusions is even lower (0.1%, range 0.0%-0.5%).”

      Simply stated, it’s quite hard to determine the source of an HIV infection, especially if people engage in multiple kinds of risk behavior. Therefore a model has to be used to try to estimate these figures properly. If you read the paper you will better appreciate the background of this.

  • September 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm
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    @Really? concerning what you said about Tiger123. Nobody is saying that it’s ALWAYS safer to take whole blood. There are cases when blood is the only alternative. That is the kind of blood that we are talking about here.

    In Africa, most H.I.V. comes from multiple sex partners and prostitutes but in Africa, they are getting H.I.V. from blood transfusions down because they are doing better at screening for H.I.V.

    But say that you got H.I.V. from a blood transfusion? In the U.S. many people are at least still alive with treatment but what about all the babies that died on the operating table because the Watchtower made the rule that they can’t have blood and we have to let our baby die because of their “not ordained” opinions about what the Bible means when it says to abstain from blood? Do you think maybe that scripture could mean “don’t kill anybody either by accident or on purpose so you don’t have blood on your hands?”

    The Governing Body admits to not being any more spirit inspired than you or me. They have no more right to impose their opinions on what that scripture means than for me to impose my opinion on you for what it means.

    We have no idea just how many people die each year because of the Watchtower’s edicts on blood. We’d all like to know. The Watchtower refuses to release those numbers but I am sure they don’t even care and probably don’t even know themselves because they don’t care how many of us will die or how many little babies will die because of their insane arrogance in calling themselves God’s spokesman when the only claim to fame is that somehow, sometime in the past, they “felt” that they were going to heaven. Big deal. Any one of us could say the same thing. That doesn’t give us the right to tell you or me or anybody else that we have to die instead of taking blood or if we chose life, get disfellowshipping for not following their (not Bible) rules.

    Why is it okay to take fractions and not to donate it?

    Can you prove 607? You are going in service trying to convert your neighbors to the J.W. religion because you think everybody else is going to die at Armageddon, right? You need to be responsible enough before you go out in service to prove what you are saying to them by what the Bible really says, not what the Watchtower says it says.

    Your faith needs to be firmly rooted in truth, not suppositions such as the 607 theory. If that theory fails, then your whole religion fails. Go to your 2011 November 1, Watchtower page 23 and look at the footnote on the article that the Watchtower tries to prove the 607 theory of Jerusalem’s destruction instead of what the whole world says happened in 586/587. This is what the footnote says: Note: None of the secular experts quoted in this article hold that Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E. The Watchtower has known for over 30 years that they have absolutely NOTHING to prove 607 but you have to believe it and teach it or you are an apostate. Can you prove 607? Do you tell people that fairytale and teach it as a fact? If so, you are a hypocrite.

    It isn’t the screwed up policies of tiger123 that has led to pain and suffering of millions but it’s the Watchtower who has handily perfected that ability.

    P.S. I’d like to know how many have died by refusing blood. Can you find out? By not knowing how many, doesn’t give you permission to say it is only a few. Even if it was just one person that died, that’s blood guilt in my way of thinking if the Governing Body can’t prove that God appointed them as my law givers. They appointed themselves as my law-giver and your law-giver and we all either do what they say to do or get disfellowshipped for disobeying them. You are fearful of displeasing men, not God.

  • September 3, 2014 at 6:22 am
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    Gareth, the statistics for the spread of blood borne pathogens via blood transfusions in sub-Sahara Africa is in fact far worse than I previously reported. According to a report in 2006 by Dr Neelam Dhingra
    Coordinator, Blood Transfusion Safety
    World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/bloodsafety/makingsafebloodavailableinafricastatement.pdf), Dr Dhingra states:

    “Globally, AIDS has been responsible for more than 25 million deaths since 1981; an estimated
    40.3 million people are currently living with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa, with just over 10% of the
    world’s population, is home to more than 60% of all people living with HIV – 25.8 million in 2005.
    With an estimated 3.2 million new infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2005…

    …Unsafe blood transfusions have contributed to the enormous burden of HIV infections in sub-
    Saharan Africa and still continue to add to this burden. The risk of HIV infection through unsafe
    blood and blood products is exceptionally high (95–100%)”

    So of the 3.2million new infections of HIV in sub-Sahara Africa, 95-100% are attributed to blood and blood products. And thats just Africa… this is the tip of the ice-berg!

    I just wonder how many of the 3.2million lives could have been saved had they used non-blood medical management which the Watchtower promotes because of the Bibles injunction regarding blood at Acts 15:28. How many of the 3.2million could have used safer, non blood products that run zero risk of contracting any blood borne pathogen!? BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS DESTROY LIVES.

    Why are you not questioning where tiger123 has got his evidence from that the Watchtower policy on blood has cost 1000’s of lives!? You and tiger123 growl and scowl at JW’s Bible stand on blood and hypocritically ignore the “million” of lives destroyed by blood transfusions.

    I challenge you or tiger123 to provide any evidence that someone has died as a direct result of their refusal to accept a bllod transfusion.

    • September 3, 2014 at 7:16 am
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      Yeah, what Paul said. In addition to that, most people have a lot more sex ‘acts’ than they have blood transfusions. So even though the odds of HIV transmission during a single sex ‘encounter’ is quite low, the cumulative odds are way higher. Also note that in that article the total percentage is more than 100%. E.g. mother-to-child is listed as 11-32% odds of transmission, in the same sentence as you quote but you left it out, this should have triggered you to think twice before you post.

  • September 3, 2014 at 6:50 am
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    really?, you’ve completely missed the point of the article you quote. The 95-100% in the article doesn’t relate to the amount of infections caused by infected blood, it relates to the chance of getting the infection IF you are given a transfusion of infected blood. Your figure of 3.2 million new infections being attributable to blood transfusions is completely wrong. And do you really think that the medical risk for any treatment in the outback of a third world country is a good comparison for medical risk for the same procedure in a first world modern hospital in an urban centre?

  • September 3, 2014 at 8:04 am
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    really,

    Do you have proof that tiger has partaken of “drugs”?

    You slander him as you try to drown us in statistics.

    The case is this: even if whole blood transfusions were 100% safe and 100% effective! you as a JW would not accept one. That is what the real situation is.

    Stop trying to obscure the real reason why JWs refuse whole blood transfusions.

    It is because your Governing Body have misapplied the dietary laws regarding blood to medical use as well.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • September 3, 2014 at 8:32 am
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    I have neighbors who are JW’s it is actually a clan of them. We constantly hear the mother of 3 children yelling and screaming at her kids and sometimes beating the youngest. She tells her children that they are worthless and should have never been born. The church holds parties ( a lot) on this property with excessive drinking and then driving home with the kids in the car. If the elders knew of this…would the followers be punished?

  • September 3, 2014 at 9:24 am
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    B FLOWERS,

    I entreat you to contact child protection about the child being beaten. Please do that as soon as you can. There is no place for such barbarism in the 21st Century.

    If these folks are JWs, then they should not be habitual drunkards. That is specifically banned in the bible.

    I am sorry that you have to experience such unChristian acts and I urge you to contact the authorities about the beating of the poor little child.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  • September 3, 2014 at 9:46 am
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    B FLOWERS, even calling her children worthless and should never have been born is child abuse. They need to be turned into the authorities. I wouldn’t tell the elders. I’d call the police and child services over that one. Since you aren’t a Witness, you can do that. We as Witnesses can’t and should be able to, but our hands are tied by the Society. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society will come down on us for turning them in to the authorities without going to the elders first, because it is more important to the Society to keep it’s “good name” than it is to protect the children.

  • September 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm
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    I think this type of abuse goes on a lot behind the closed doors of JW families.

    It pains me to say it, and please do not think I want to appear to be castigating the normal R&F JWs, but the truth needs to out, and in recent years I have been told terrible stories of domestic abuse (beatings) that the children and wives of normal everyday JWs have been subjected to. (This has been told to me by ones I grew up with – the very ones who have endured it.)

    The Org does not permit associating with ones who are not JWs – viewing them as bad associates, but when I discovered what had been going on behind the closed doors of JW families deemed worthy by The Org of associating with – I felt sick to the core.

    (Sorry Cedars, for going off-topic)

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