I wonder just how long these documents have been used. In the article I quoted earlier, the doctor actually directs physicians to www.noblood.com to obtain similar documents, but when I searched the site today, I could not find them. However, I was searching as a guest and didn’t have full access.
Back in 1998, Maylon seems to be referring to the “acknowledgement statements” referenced in my previous post.
Under the subheading, “Children and parental/medical responsibilities,” he writes: “They cannot and should not be expected to consent to a medical treatment which they feel is against God’s wishes and may be medically questionable. Again, new overtures by the hospital liaison committee network enable the development of trust between a child’s doctor and the parents. The doctor acknowledges the parents’ refusal of blood, yet agrees to honour their refusal to the point in his opinion, of not allowing the child to die or suffer injury. Jehovah’s Witnesses and everyone else are bound by the present understanding in the law that doctors must act in the best interest of the child as an overriding factor.” (italics added).
24 J. Med. Ethics 376, 378 (1998)
He does not say how this trust building was happening, but it was likely a written document. The trust statement has two parts: 1) acknowledgement of the patients’ beliefs, and 2) notice that the doctor will transfuse to not allow a child to die or suffer injury.
I don’t see any important differences between Maylon’s statement above and the verbiage in the Sick Children’s document, which is as follows:
“Caregivers at The Hospital for Sick Children recognize that parents or substitute decision makers of children who are Jehovah’s Witnesses usually do not want their children to be given blood products. Knowing this, doctors will look for other reasonable ways to treat these children that do not require blood products. [doctor acknowledges the parents’ refusal of blood]
In an emergency, where your child is apparently experiencing severe suffering or is at risk, if the treatment is not administered promptly, of sustaining serious bodily harm, medical staff will provide treatment that is allowed by the law, which may include blood transfusions.” [doctor will transfuse to not allow the child to die or suffer injury]
Like everyone else, I would love to see a change in the WTBTS’s policy, but Maylon’s 1998 statement leaves me even less convinced that any wholesale policy change has occured. Instead, it appears that they have been using these documents for quite some time. Anony's experience is the best evidence of change; time will tell.