by Lawrence Hughes 59 Replies latest jw friends

  • TD

    In oncology, transfusion is not curative. Chemotherapy can bring the production of red cells and platelets to a complete standstill and transfusion is administered to remedy that side-effect. Intense chemo is not possible otherwise.

    I have no clue how the law in Canada works, but it seems to me that the real problem here is that WT attorneys dispensed medical advice.

  • Lawrence Hughes
    Lawrence Hughes

    The Watchtower lawyers came up with about ten different alternative treatments which they said offered Bethany a much better chance of a cure without using blood transfusions. The doctors and the court considered these alternative treatments and decided that they did not offer a cure. Then the lawyers arranged for Bethany to receive arsenic. I would say the lawyers dispensed a lot of medical advice. That was one of the things that the Alberta Court of Appeal kept hammering the lawyers about.

    The world expert of Pediatric Oncology, Dr. Arceci, is one of my expert witnesses and who has testified that arsenic is not a cure for skin cancer or AML subtype M1 and that it would not be used for palliative care. He would also tesify that to administer arsenic to Bethany without blood support would and did cause her death. So I guess the question is WHY did they use arsenic ?


  • jehovahsheep

    this reminds me of that foolish study of the revelation book.the part with the earth sending out a deluge of water,the wts applies it to the governments coming to the aid and restoring the preaching work.its good now to see the governments coming to the aid of the wts oppressed members.hopefully this will be a crippling blow to their self-promoting grandiose religion.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    This is not legal advice. Under the facts as I see them, liability is a long shot. Certainly, someone of 17, almost 18, has more autonomy over her body than her parents. It is legal to belong to controlling religions. Arsenic is used in palliative care. Causation that no transfusion caused her death, esp. when she was dying, is farfetched. If the answer is questionable, the doubt goes to the defendant.

    I know from civil rights in the States that jurors are now very sensitive to the overall impact of damage claims. Excessive damage claims have a societal impact. We pay in higher insurance premiums. From my viewpoint and reading of the law, case after case that met the criteria came before a jury. Juries go with an overall feel. They don't want mere negligence. Without aritculating it, they seem to holding people to a gross negligence standard.

    Anyway, the Witnesses were dismissed as defendants, if I am correct. It means in the states that if everything alleged were proven, no liability would exist.

    Adults are free to make wrong-head silly decisions affecting their autonomy. As much as I despise the Witnesses, I see no liability concerning anyone. This is a tragic case. The law does not correct every sadness or injustice. I disagreed with my JW father. IN fact, when he died I was ready to go to court so I could finish high school. Law has to be neutral. You can't pick your principles.

    Losing a child must be utter hell. I feel like crying. She should have had a long life. Maybe fundraising for treatment of her cancer type would be a good way to invest time. This case has been hanging around for a while. Is something else going on?

  • Scott77

    Kudos to you for what you're doing. Your case has all the horrors of what this cult is capable of. To 'worldly' people, they cannot comprehend that any 'Christian' religion today denies medical treatment to their members because of some stupid, ridiculous arbitrary interpretation of something that was written thousands of years ago. And in addition to them denying proper treatment, the father of the victim is thrown out, divorced by his wife and shunned by everyone he ever knew, because he tried to save his daughters' life.


    Mary, you have said it the best way I wanted it to be. Thank you. These Watchtower people are hardcore modern-day killers for having setup teachings that forbid members from getting lifesaving blood tranfusion. They shamelessly pass on as christians. What hurts me so much is that,there are thousands of innocent families held sway by this organisation. Its a total disgrace to the very god they claim to worship or represent. Mr. Hughes, kudos for all that you have done. You are advancing a legitimate issue with a potential, profound outcome that I think, might influence public opinion for the greater good.


  • Scott77

    Lawrence Hughes,

    Iam sending some $50.00 in the mail tomorow. Iam using snail mail. Best wishes and good luck with the case. We are all rooting for you. Please, confirm back if this Mailing address of yours is correct.

    P.O.B 20161; Calgary Place, RPO; Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 4J3

    Much love and best wishes.


  • steve2

    Band on the Run's post is perhaps the most legally level-headed on this subject to date because it looks at the case strictly from the point of view of the judiciary. It won't please those who are intent on exposing the Watchtower's medically dangerous policies on blood transfusions - but it captures nicely the Courts most likely focus, whether it be in the United States, Canada or any other Western "liberal" democracy. In these democracies, adults right to choose to accept or reject medical treatment takes precedence over personal or collective opinions about whether a religion is or isn't "Christian".

    None of these comments detract from the huge loss when one's (legally adult) child chooses to reject blood transfusions and dies. But that is hardly the focus of the judiciary when laws enshrine the individual's right to choose or reject medical treatment.

  • Paralipomenon

    For me, this issue has always been muddied by the fact that the doctors are attached to the lawsuit as well as the cancer society, but the posts here are portrayed as a legal battle against the Watchtower.

    I can't help but think the WT angle is played up here for financial support which makes me doubt the sincerity of the lawsuit.

  • steve2

    I can't help but think the WT angle is played up here for financial support which makes me doubt the sincerity of the lawsuit.

    While that sounds harsh, there could be at least something in it. I can now see why lawyers are not lining up to represent Lawrence pro bono. I don't doubt Lawrence's sincerity, but he has overly highlighted the claimed wrongful lawsuit against the Watchtower whereas in fact it is a delimited lawsuit against the named individuals who do not represent the Watchtower.

    In addition, others have jumped on the bandwagon with their usual salivations against the Watchtower. Their judgements are perhaps more a reflection of wishful thinking than evidence of an understanding of the specific legal issues in the present case. Many ex-JWs have used this to advance their tirades against the Watchtower, when the lawsuit is not directed against the Watchtower. In any other setting, this would be a case of "smoke and mirrors".

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    The court dismissed the claims against the Watchtower. If vicarious liabiiity existed, they would stay as defendants. I am certain something tragic happened. Most US states allow citizens to write advance directives. Personal autonomy should be paramount. It looks as though the arsenic was a reasonable palliative treatment. She was terminal. Maybe she did not want her suffering drawn out. I was extremely ill for a long time. Suffering wears you down, esp. when there is no point to the suffering.

    Hospice units don't do aggressive therapy.

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