JW loses malpractice suit over a blood transfusion.

by behemot 3 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • behemot

    A Jehovah's Witness has lost a malpractice suit over a blood transfusion.

    The unidentified plaintiff had complications after childbirth, and her husband -- also a Jehovah's Witness -- granted permission for the blood transfusion after doctors told him that his wife, who had already refused permission, would otherwise die. She survived and sued, claiming medical malpractice.

    The New York trial court dismissed the case, holding there is no precedent for finding medical malpractice when a blood transfusion was the proximate case of saving a live -- regardless if the patient may be offended or even emotionally distressed by the hospital's actions, which in this case were inconsistent with her religious beliefs.

    Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's School of Law and founder of Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, takes issue with the ruling.

    "This lower-court judge dismissed this five-year-old case against the doctor and the university hospital, ruling that the transfusion did not deviate from accepted standards of care; and that this individual had failed to show that the infusion of someone else's blood had hurt her," he explains.

    That, according to Staver, is not the appropriate legal standard. "The criteria is not whether it actually hurt her -- the criteria is whether she has a religious objection to having a blood transfusion. And the answer clearly, for most Jehovah's Witnesses, is yes -- and therefore that's the end of the story. This judge clearly got it wrong on the constitutional issues involved."

    Staver adds that usually when courts step in and order a blood transfusion for a Jehovah's Witness, it involves a child.

    source: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=1415916

    Are they nuts or what? The husbands grants permission for the transfusion "after doctors told him that his wife would otherwise die"; she gets blood, survives, and they sue? She should sue her husband, in case. Yes, they are nuts, we know.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    Malpractice suits are NOT over conscience or choices being made it's whether violating somebody's will or choices has actively hurt them with long term effects. Malpractice suits could be over bad implants, ignoring somebodies allergies or sticking someone in an MRI without asking them whether they have shrapnel or other metal in their body. Malpractice suits assess the damages (if any) and long term pain and/or disability caused by it (if any) and compensates accordingly.

    He could sue for a host of other things that are of the nature of religious freedoms but that would not be a malpractice suit and I doubt that you can sue a non-governmental entity for violating somebody's constitutional rights (constitution only grants the governments' powers) especially since the case already looks very weak.

  • ekruks

    This is a sad, screwed-up state of affairs

  • Awen

    Why didn't the wife sue the husband? He's the one who granted permission? Is she still married to him for violating her conscience?

    If I was him, every time she took pleasure in some activity I would say "Just think, if you hadn't taken that blood transfusion you wouldn't be having this experience right now."

    This si no different that the Pharisees taking issue with Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. When are JW's gonna get it through their thick skulls that certain rules can be bent or broken when human life is at stake. Just as Jesus said: "The Sabbath came into existence for the sake of man and not man for the sake of the Sabbath." The Sabbath (like the admonition against blood) was supposed to bring relief to man not be a burden in times of distress.


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