Jehovah's Witness mother dies after refusing blood

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lumbingmi

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Jehovah's Witness mother dies after refusing blood

November 5, 2007

A 22-year-old woman died within a few hours of giving birth to twins because, as a Jehovah's Witness, she was not allowed to accept a blood transfusion, it emerged today.

Emma Gough suffered severe blood loss after giving birth to a boy and girl at the Royal Hospital in Shrewsbury ten days ago.

Doctors and medics begged her 24-year-old husband, Anthony, and other relatives to overrule a form she had ticked insisting that she should not be given blood because of her faith. But the family refused to do so.

Peter Welsh, the best man at the couple's wedding on a beach in Barbados two years ago, told The Sun newspaper: "Everyone is devastated by what has happened. We can't believe that she died after childbirth in this day and age, with all the technology there is.

"What makes it even more sad is Emma had time to hold and start to bond with her twins before the complications set in."

Terry Lovejoy, spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses in Telford, said today that the local religious community had rallied round the bereaved family.

He said: "We are supporting the family - they are going through a very difficult time and we understand their grief."

A spokesman for the faith's central office in London said: "You don't find many Jehovah's Witnesses taking blood. If someone did they would be saying I don't really believe in the basic tenets of the faith."

The biblical injunction against blood transfusions was comparable to the injunctions against adultery, he said. "You can't pick and choose," he said.

Tom Taylor, Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said today: "We have offered our deepest condolences to the family, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

A spokeswoman from the British Medical Association told The Times: "It's a tragic case but its cut and dried from where we are standing. The doctors' hands are tried. Competent adults have the right to refuse any medical treatment even if that refusal results in permanent physical injury or death. I am sure the doctors will have done all they can do to try to persuade this woman or her family to allow the blood transfusion but you can't force someone to. To do so would be against the Human Rights Act."

An inquest into the death has been opened and adjourned, according to the coroner's department in Shrewsbury.

Jehovah's Witnesses, who espouse an early version of Christianity, are automatically declared outcasts from their faith if they take blood into the body, whether through the mouth or veins.

They cite verses from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to support their position, including Genesis 9 vs 3-4: "Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. As in the case of green vegetation, I do give it all to you. Only flesh with its soul--its blood--you must not eat."

Acts 15:28-29 says: "For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favoured adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things, to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!"

Transfusions of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma are forbidden. In 2004 The Watchtower Society, the official body representing Jehovah's Witnesses, did however notify its members that fractions from each of these, including red blood cells without a membrane, can be used in medical procedures according to a Witness's own conscience.

Jehovah's Witness mother dies after refusing blood - Times Online
 

LakeTahoe

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Sad though! I wish JW changes their mind to save her/his lives but it is their belief so can't convince to have a blood transfusions. :(
 

shel90

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Which is more worthy..her life or her faith? Apparently faith is more valuable to them than her life.
 

hohDougRN

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so will you bash my religion too? No, Im not JW, but am just not into destroying or ridiculing others' faith.
 

IslandGal

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No offense to JW's but I am so glad that I am not a JW because if I was, then my 8 year old daughter would not be here. She lost half of her blood due to her cord being ruptured while she was inside me. The doctors had to give her a blood transfusion in order to save her life after they did an emergency c-section on me. I just cannot imagine to let her die if I was a JW.
 

fredfam1

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While I disagree with JW interpretation of this passage of
scripture, the woman made her choice and her husband
hounord that choice. I would not have done it. I am
sad for the babies to have lost their mother. I hope
their church does whatever it can to support this
single father now, since their interpretation is responsible
for this tradgedy.
 

Wokamuka

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Catch 22?

This thread parallels the argument regarding abortion & Catholic belief.

If a woman was to end up in the emergency room and her child within her womb as little chance (if any) to be a healthy productive baby, she refuses to abort - even when it would threaten her life.

One could argue that the JW woman and the Catholic woman (in story above), through their choice, have performed suicide.

Refusal of medical treatment = Suicide = Damnation?
 

RedFox

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They refuse blood and organ transplants because they think it's like eating that stuff. Of course it's not because they are not passing it through their digestive system. The red blood cells would be destroyed and the iron recycled when they are old, transplanted or not.

That JW stole her motherhood from her children. Isn't stealing a sin according to their beliefs?

Don't they realize that by doing things like that, they are threatening the existence of their belief system? This reminds me of the Shakers who never had sex and therefore no children, so they had to gain members through conversions. There are only four left. From what I know of the nature of faith, I won't be surprised if the last JW died in a manner like this.
 

Liebling:-)))

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*shake my head slowly sadly * :( I really cannot image that her faith is powerful than her own life.

I know JW's belief a lot because I grow up with them and went same school with them and befriend with them.

The bibles of different beliefs brainwashed the people. Really sad...
 

Liebling:-)))

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JW people are not allow to accept the blood and organ transplants because its not belong to them. They are allow to accept the neutral medicine or whatever to save their life - not blood and organ transplant because it doesn't belong to them.

They also do not allow to eat blood sausages/pudding because they made of animal blood. Of course they eat meats... *scratch my head*

My JW friend who have ulcer cancer. He told the professor in agreement contract before surgery - no blood transfusion but any medicines like special water transfusion (I can't remember the name) etc... He required them to save his own blood... It took them 4 hours to save his blood. He lost only 1/4 pint of blood, that's all.. :eek3: Normally with blood transfusion, it would take them one to two hours surgery.
 

hohDougRN

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JW people are not allow to accept the blood and organ transplants because its not belong to them. They are allow to accept the neutral medicine or whatever to save their life - not blood and organ transplant because it doesn't belong to them.

They also do not allow to eat blood sausages/pudding because they made of animal blood. Of course they eat meats... *scratch my head*

My JW friend who have ulcer cancer. He told the professor in agreement contract before surgery - no blood transfusion but any medicines like special water transfusion (I can't remember the name) etc... He required them to save his own blood... It took them 4 hours to save his blood. He lost only 1/4 pint of blood, that's all.. :eek3: Normally with blood transfusion, it would take them one to two hours surgery.

Here in Salt Lake City at University of Utah we have been doing field clinical trials of what you called "special water transfusion" We call this "Polyheme" and showing some very promising results especially in acute traumas with severe blood loss. Also another one being studied is called "hemopure"....Im not sure if this one is in Canada too. Anyway I do not know of any from Europe, so I will have to do more research to get answers.
We frequently encounter patients who are JW and sometimes is very frustrating when they are critically ill in regards to severe anemia and you have to understand and respect their beliefs. That being said, there are more alternatives to transfusions and I find that Doctor's order Blood transfusions a little too much when probably 50% of time will not affect mortalty or even worsen the patients' conditions. Blood products are often a "quick fix" to an acute, or even chronic problem. Alternatives are slower to work and not quite as effective.

Sorry, I know to much blah blah blah :blah:, my appologies.
 

Eve

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Okay, so let me get this straight....JW can not accept someone else's blood, but can reuse their OWN blood, right? If so, then this woman should have gone to a blood bank and had her own blood stored for the birth or even an unforeseeable emergency.

hohDougRN, I am assuming that since you are protective of this woman's religious preference, and you are from SLC, that you must be LDS? Only asking out of curiosity, not to bash you for your religion.
 

Liebling:-)))

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Here in Salt Lake City at University of Utah we have been doing field clinical trials of what you called "special water transfusion" We call this "Polyheme" and showing some very promising results especially in acute traumas with severe blood loss. Also another one being studied is called "hemopure"....Im not sure if this one is in Canada too. Anyway I do not know of any from Europe, so I will have to do more research to get answers.
We frequently encounter patients who are JW and sometimes is very frustrating when they are critically ill in regards to severe anemia and you have to understand and respect their beliefs. That being said, there are more alternatives to transfusions and I find that Doctor's order Blood transfusions a little too much when probably 50% of time will not affect mortalty or even worsen the patients' conditions. Blood products are often a "quick fix" to an acute, or even chronic problem. Alternatives are slower to work and not quite as effective.

Sorry, I know to much blah blah blah :blah:, my appologies.


No, you are not :blah: but interesting information...

Thank you for give me the name of "special water transfusion". Oh yes, ind of "special water transfusion" ("Polyheme" or "hemopure" or whatever) are common here in Germany.

I am not JW but I don't like to receive blood transfusion from strangers... I really don't know why. I alway ask the professor/doctors to give special water transfusion before surgery. They are agree to do that but not for when I lost A LOT of blood... I remember when we told the professor of head specialist clinic before had head surgery on my son after bicycle accident at 2 years ago that we want to have special water transfusion for him. The Professor told us that they have to do with blood transfusion IF my son lost A LOT of blood. We have to agree with him because his life come first. We made agreement contract before head surgery for him. After head surgery, they told me that my son didn't lost a lot of blood and got special water transfusion.
 

Liebling:-)))

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Okay, so let me get this straight....JW can not accept someone else's blood, but can reuse their OWN blood, right? If so, then this woman should have gone to a blood bank and had her own blood stored for the birth or even an unforeseeable emergency.

yes, that's right.

Some JW did it to save their life with their own blood if any case happeend to them. Some JW doesn't.
 

Wokamuka

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Natural vs Synthetic

Let me get this straight:

PolyHeme and Hemopure are synthetic products.

It is horrible to accept a natural product (blood) into the body but acceptable to put unnatural product in the body?

I wonder what logic there is behind this within the J.W. and other holistic approach to medicine.

(I hope Doug does not mind my taxing his expertise in this matter.)
 

Liebling:-)))

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Let me get this straight:

PolyHeme and Hemopure are synthetic products.

It is horrible to accept a natural product (blood) into the body but acceptable to put unnatural product in the body?

I wonder what logic there is behind this within the J.W. and other holistic approach to medicine.

(I hope Doug does not mind my taxing his expertise in this matter.)

I searched German website for translation. I found right name for special water tranfusion is saline.

I really has no idea what exact name of special water tranfusion into English. I need a right name... Is saline a correct name?
 

Eve

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yes, saline (salt water) is given intravenously often
 

Reba

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Let me get this straight:

PolyHeme and Hemopure are synthetic products.

It is horrible to accept a natural product (blood) into the body but acceptable to put unnatural product in the body?

I wonder what logic there is behind this within the J.W. and other holistic approach to medicine.

(I hope Doug does not mind my taxing his expertise in this matter.)
I think it's because JW's can't use real blood because the Bible says that the life is in the blood. There is no "life" in synthetic products.

Of course, a JW would be a better person to answer your question.
 
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