Blood Issue: Misleading Insertion - Awake 22 Feb

by ChristianObserver 7 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • ChristianObserver

    Hello :o)

    For anyone interested, Dr Ross McL Wilson, Chairman, NSW Council on Quality in Health Care (Australia) has been contacted regarding the *misleading insertion* in the February 22nd, 2002, of Awake where a Sydney Morning Herald article about a blood audit in 10 New South Wales hospitals was *selectively edited* by the organisation, thereby allowing misinterpretation by readers in order to 'bolster' the blood ban.

    Dr Wilson responded (in part) as follows:

    "The quotation is clearly unhelpful and wrong - the combination of the media and then a special interest group puts the truth at risk. I appreciate your bringing this to my attention, but do not feel that anything will be achieved by tackling the content."

    So the author of the study considers that *the truth is put at risk*.

    Is this snippet of *medical information/comment* of any use to the girl's father in the Calgary case?

    Or possibly to Carol Harrington?

    Just wondering!

  • Pathofthorns

    I'll keep this at the top. The comments are good in that it shows the Society's desperation to find any means to support their viewpoint, but also shows their deception and efforts to mislead and misinform their members about this policy.


  • AlanF

    We can add this to the huge list of deliberately deceptive statements made under the supervision of the Governing Body.


  • sf

    Utterly Amazing!

    sKally, [>:(] Klass

  • SixofNine

    Could you post the details of the selective editing done by the org?

  • ChristianObserver

    Hello SixofNine :o)

    There are a couple of threads running on this - one started in February and another in March - but I only had limited time and could not find them when I glanced down the sections!

    The following is a copy of the original article by Judith Whelan in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16th June, 2001 for which a link was posted in the first thread:

    Doctors give `dangerous' transfusions

    Doctors continued giving blood transfusions to patients after being told they did not need the treatment and that it could kill them, an expert on hospital safety has revealed.

    Dr Ross Wilson, head of the NSW Council for Quality in Health Care, said the cases showed it was not enough to merely tell medical staff how they needed to change their practices. ``It's a bit like getting a ticket from a speed camera it won't stop you from going out and speeding again," he said.

    Last year, a team directed by Dr Wilson carried out an audit of blood use in 10 NSW hospitals. It found that one in three transfusions were being administered when, under NSW Health guidelines, they should not have been.

    The guidelines call for a blood transfusion if the patient's haemoglobin level is seven or below. One should not be given if the level is 10 or above. (A healthy male's haemoglobin level is about 14 to 16, a woman's 12 to 15.) ``In the middle is a grey area where clinical judgment should be used," Dr Wilson said. Giving an unnecessary transfusion could kill a patient by inducing heart failure, he said. It could also transmit viruses, or there was a risk of the donor blood being incompatible with the recipient's.

    Dr Wilson suggested that other checks and balances be introduced into the hospital system, such as doctors being asked to fill out forms that reinforce transfusion guidelines or double-check their requests for transfusions in computerised links to the blood supply service.

    Such changes would be likely to be opposed by doctors, on the grounds that they would interfere with their ability to make clinical judgments about their patients.

    The audit results were made public in January, and the researchers told the doctors of the results. But when they took another audit a month later, the results were the same; the doctors had not changed their practices. ``I have no reason to expect they'd be any different now," Dr Wilson said. Doctors were not deliberately endangering patients' lives, he said. ``There are some practitioners who think increasing the haemoglobin level of patients increases the safety of patient care."

    He said the study showed that ``new change strategies" had to be introduced to decrease the risk of mistakes being made. For instance, the best-practice guidelines could be included on the form doctors filled out to request a blood transfusion, or computer systems could be linked to the blood bank so that guidelines could be cross-checked with the transfusion request.

    Dr Wilson said: ``Ultimately, and this is the method I prefer, patients would be informed about it so they could question their physician directly." That might include fact sheets being given to them or their families, he said.

    Six years ago Dr Wilson co-authored the study Quality in Australian Health Care, which found that about 18,000 people a year died as a result of complications they developed directly as a result of the medical treatment they received.

    The following is a copy of the first posting made to the board highlighting the way the article had been *selectively edited* and also showing how the concluding sentence of the the SMH article was moved within the body of the text by the organisation, thus giving a misleading impression to readers:

    Misleading insertion.In the 2-22-02 Awake magazine with the cover title “How Safe are you at Work?” has an interesting article under Watching the world.Blood Transfusion Dangers
    “One in three transfusions were being administered when, under [New South Wales] Health guidelines, they should not have been,” reports Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. “The guidelines call for a blood transfusion if the patient’s haemoglobin level is seven or below.” Dr. Ross Wilson, who conducted the study on blood use, explained that “giving an unnecessary transfusion could kill a patient by inducing heart failure.”

    This next sentence is the one which has been unnecessarily moved out of context to give an impression that the large number of deaths were blood related (which is not at all the case!) <According to a study that Dr. Wilson conducted six years earlier, “about 18,000 [Australians] a year died as a result of complications they developed directly as a result of the medical treatment they received.” >
    Dr. Wilson recommends that doctors be reminded of the blood transfusion health guidelines each time they request a transfusion and also that patients be informed about the guidelines so they can question their physician directly.

    The Awake article has been further *selectively edited* and has appeared on the net with quotation marks to indicate that the Awake article is in fact a direct quotation from the SMH (which it is not) and it has then been used as a basis for the following erroneous assumptions:

    "As previously mentioned on these boards the above would confirm that statistically more people die as a direct result of receiving blood transfusions than from refusing them. These deaths could have been prevented by applying the principles found in the Bible.

    It is very rare for anyone to die as a result of refusal of blood.
    Actually statistically more people die as a direct result of blood transfusion complications and I have on several occasions posted information to this effect."

    Hope that helps :o) Maybe someone has the links to the other 2 threads running on this - maybe....

  • seedy3

    I do remember that thread, don't know where it is however. I remember seeing how the way they state it, it sounds like 18,000 people a year die as a result of blood transfusions yet that is not what is said. I love the WTS selective editing they a re actually pretty good at it.


  • dungbeetle

    Unfortunately, it isn't just in Austalia. I live in southern California, and not only have I seen blood transfusions given where medically unneeded, I have seen them given when medically contraindicated. I have also seen patients get blood transfusions even when they have refused it.

    One family I saw, was an elderly woman dying of cancer. They were going to give her blood for I don't know what reason--because her rbc's were low, but she was dying and wanted to die because her pain could no longer be controlled. The family had medical power of attorney and insisted her wishes be obeyed. When they finally went home to sleep, the nurses then went and gave her two blood transfusions. This was just about a year ago. What the family should have done was have the physician cancel the order before they went home, but really, I think the hospital wanted to ship the old lady out and have her die somewhere else so it wouldn't have mattered.

    When medical personel behave this way, it simply places more of a burden on those of us trying to change the Watchtower's blood policy. Witnesses can point to things like this and make their case.

    Of course, the fact that the Watchtower pulled this cut and paste routine means we must be making some progress!!

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