I wanted just to inform you about a publication, in case you are not aware of it, called Declaration on the Refusal of the Jehovah's Witnesses to accept blood transfusions (published in Catalan, Spanish and English) by the Observatori de Bioètica i Dret (i. e. Observatory of Bioethics and Law) of the University of Barcelona from November 2005, which states: "it is important to recognise and highlight the issue which underlies the debate: the doubt arising in certain cases on the part of medical personnel regarding the degree of autonomy with which members of Jehovah’s Witnesses take decisions to refuse blood transfusions. The usual presence of persons who act as mediators between the patient and the doctor may lead to doubts regarding the moral autonomy with which certain patients make decisions concerning their treatment. Certain health profes sionals claim –although confi rming these claims would prove diffi cult– that for some Jehovah’s Witnesses imposition by the doctor of the blood transfusion is a form of liberation of the patient’s own moral responsibility since «the patient is not then allowed to decide anything» and the risk to life is avoided. This interpretation is reinforced by the view that the ethical norms associated with religious beliefs have often been imposed rather than freely accepted by members, i.e., they were in effect authoritarian as opposed to autonomous ethics, unless we apply a trivial interpretation of «autonomy». In such cases then, the claim would be that the religious norm forbidding transfusion was an imposed norm." (pages 36-37) and the committee that wrote the document recommends on page 41: "surrogate decisions will not be accepted in the case of children when refusal to accept the unanimously recommended medical treatment involves a grave risk to the life or health of the child. These situations, when ocurring, must be reported to the competent authority". You can read this document online here: http://diposit.ub.edu/dspace/bitstream/2445/11374/1/Testigos_de_Jehova.pdf
Publication about blood transfusions and JW
Thanks for posting this. this is awesome because it is exactly what I have been saying for some time. A patient's true autonomy is only realized when the doctor steps in aand forces a blood transfusion thereby saving their lives. The reason why this "liberates" the patient is as long as the Death committee is there bullying the witness guilt tripping them into dying for their stupid cause, no autonomy exists and the patient's true desire outside of extreme religious pressure is never known. It is only when an authority for the OTHER side of the issue steps in and asserts opposing pressure that a BALANCEd moral dilemma is finally presented to the patient. If the patient at that point was really serious about preventing so much as a drop of blood into their bodies, they would fight and kick and scream rape like all of our parents told us to do as kids if we were ever going to have a transfusion forced upon us.
But if the patient relents and allows the so-called forced blood transfusion, that shows that when it allcame down to it they really didn't give a crap if they got blood or not. Their true feelings about the matter would show then. that doesn't mean that once they get back to the Kingdom Hall they won't sue the pants off the doctor with the support of FREE legal representation from the society. But deep down inside they will be happy to be alive. god bless them.