How to make a bad situation...even worse.
How to make a bad situation...even worse.
The doctors did have a responsibility if they had the information that this woman had a history of unusual bleeding. It is, like the intelligence failures of September 11, a matter of analysis. But if the doctors, who may have known this, and who just might have put it together with her refusal of blood, have some responsibility, the unfortunate patient and her family hold much more. If the emergency was not foreseen, the hospital was nonetheless prepared - with donated blood and blood products.
The doctors did have a responsibility if they had the information that this woman had a history of unusual bleeding. It is, like the intelligence failures of September 11, a matter of analysis. But if the doctors, who may have known this, and who just might have put it together with her refusal of blood, have some responsibility, the unfortunate patient and her family hold much more. If the emergency was not foreseen, the hospital was nonetheless prepared - with donated blood and blood products
Unfortunately, in the case of DIC, the only thing that can be done for the patient is to replace the blood that's being lost. I've seen many cases where this has happened, and the outcome for the patient has been good. It's taken at least 10-12 units of blood to save a person's life, but they survived, recovered, and thrived. These people are very very sick, and sometimes spend days in ICU clinging to life by a thread, but to see them a few weeks after the ordeal, you'd never know the trauma they lived through.
While the family is justifiably angry - that the husband lost his wife and two children lost their mother - they fail to realize that their anger and desire for compensation for their loss is not the fault of the physicians, who were operating to the best of their ability within the limits the patient herself place on them by her refusal of blood transfusions. The only reason she refused them was because the WTS told her that she needed to in order to please God. And now, the WTS has again added insult to injury by not offering assistance or compensation to these people for their unquestioning obedience to a policy that doesn't even hold water.
So very very sad.
Thanks to Scully for her technical information and simplifying it for us
This had me reaching to pul out my old Blood Card. Point three says
" I hereby.... accept full legal responsibility for this decision and release all those treating me from any liability for the consequences resulting from such exclusion"
Does not that have a bearing on the ability to sue?
They sue if they GET a transfusion and they sue if the DON'T get a transfusion!
>>>" I hereby.... accept full legal responsibility for this decision and release all those treating me from any liability for the consequences resulting from such exclusion"<<<
This release from liability for the doctors, nurses and hospital staff is pretty much a standard statement that is seen on AMA ("Against Medical Advice") forms. We even have patients sign them if they want to go out of the hospital to have a cigarette. The doctors' and nurses' responsibility, once it is made known that the patient wishes to do something that is NOT in their best interests while under medical care, is to then explain to the patient why their wishes (either refusal to accept treatment, or non-compliance with the planned treatment) are not in their best interests and the consequences thereof.
Such a release allows the medical staff to honour the patient's wishes, without fear of legal ramifications, PROVIDED THAT THEY CONTINUE TO PROVIDE COMPETENT, NON-NEGLIGENT CARE to the best of their knowledge and ability. If it can be determined that the medical staff did not do that, then you have a malpractice and/or negligence issue.
In this situation, the people caring for Mrs. Carter would have likely said something like: "You are losing all your blood, the red cells are breaking down and seeping out into the tissues, and the only thing we know how to do to fix it is to give you blood transfusions. If we don't give you blood now, you will die." Saline infusions, plasma volume expanders, pentastarch, Ringer's Lactate - all of the "acceptable substitutes" listed on the blood card - are useless in treating DIC.
It seems like the family in this case felt that this situation could have been predicted and avoided, given her history of blood clotting problems. However, when you take away the doctor's ability to use the ONLY tool that will fix this particular problem, there really wasn't anything else they could have done. I can't begin to describe the feeling of powerlessness when a patient refuses to have treatments that could help them tremendously, or even save their life.
I've been reflecting on this case, and it seems like the medical community is in a catch-22 situation: the patient died because she refused blood, likely with the medical staff doing everything within their power to do everything for her while abiding by her wishes - and they get sued. I'm sure the WTS would have helped the family sue the doctors had she been given blood transfusions against her wishes, and lived. As a matter of fact, they have strong legal precedent to do so: to proceed with a treatment against the patient's expressed refusal is "assault and battery". A doctor can lose his/her licence to practice medicine over something like that.
Rather than waking up and seeing how foolish the blood doctrine is, JWs choose to blame everyone except the ones who are responsible for forcing this dangerous doctrine on them. Very sad.
I have a question. Whenever the WTS gets involved in a court case where there is a lawsuit being issued from the witness family/person for a substantial amount of money and the WT attorneys are representing the family, does the WTS ask for a percentage of any monies recovered? Most times, attoneys who take a lawsuit to court and win typically ask for ~40% of the winnings. If a lawsuit is settled out of court, then usually the take home pay can be in the range of 25-35%. I have always wondered if the same holds true for the WT bottom dwellers. I can see them asking for reimbursement though for all court costs and other pertinent fees associated with a trial, if it goes that far.
It wouldn't surprise me if that's precisely the reason why the WTS is not involved in the case. They knew they didn't have a leg to stand on legally, and didn't want to waste their time and resources in pursuing the matter.
Do WTBS lawyers keep part of money for their own or they just volunteer for service and whole money goes to WTBS?
>>> Do WTBS lawyers keep part of money for their own or they just volunteer for service and whole money goes to WTBS? <<<
From what I gather, the WTS has an "arrangement" with lawyers whose education they have financed. In exchange for said schooling, the lawyer provides voluntary legal services on behalf of the WTS for a certain period of time, usually several years.
[Edited to add: This is a "verrrry interestink" arrangement between the WTS and lawyers they have trained, considering how JWs believe that Armageddon is "just around the corner"...]
There are other posters on the board who can give more detailed responses.
Edited by - Scully on 29 August 2002 16:42:23