do you tell doc ur father doesn't want blood

by cobweb 7 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • cobweb

    Here's a hypothetical: you find your elderly JW father - a lifelong witness, unconscious in his home - you are alone with him. You ring an ambulance. At the hospital the doc says they need to give him a blood transfusion straight away or he'll die. What do you do? Tell them he's a JW and won't accept blood, knowing he will die, or stay silent?

  • Vanderhoven7

    In the hypothetical situation described I wouldn't say a word. And I would be happy to take the blame for allowing him to be saved. And of course he would not be disfellowshiped after the fact since there was no complicity involved.

  • Iamallcool

    I would tell them that he doesn’t want blood. I would not want him to wake up and get very angry with me if he received blood against his wishes.

  • eyeuse2badub

    I wouldn't say a word. If dad lived, it would be much easier to ask for his forgiveness than if he had died!

    If he dies, at least you tried and he won't know the difference.

    just saying!

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    My non JW Dad (studying) died a horrible death by not taking blood at the advice of JW's. Then they wouldn't let us have his memorial at the Hall because he wasn't baptized.

    Knowing what I now know about the history of the JW blood doctrine and the changes that have been made to it over the years (fractions) and having lived through that experience with my Dad, I would say nothing about blood unless the Doctor specifically asked me about it.

    Typically the question or whether or not to use blood, only arises if the patient is a JW and he or a relative brings it up, or a blood card is found on their person in the case of an accident. My understanding is that a blood transfusion is given as a matter of routine procedure.

    If I could do it over again, I'd beg my father not to sign the blood paperwork and fill him in on the background of the doctrine and I'd give him as much of my blood as he needed. He'd still be alive today and would have gotten to know my Sons and his new great granddaughter.

  • NewYork44M

    I have a real situation - similar but with a few additional details.

    At an end of life situation, after my father had kidney dialysis for a few weeks, it was clear that my father's blood count was at a level where he would require a blood transfusion. He was not in a position to make his own medical decisions, Thus, I initiated a no-blood decision.

    I did not see how blood would extend his life. From my position, I thought my decision was the right thing to do. He died shortly after, but not because of my decision to support his no-blood stance.

  • Incognito

    If the situation was reversed, as a capable adult, would you expect your parent or partner to uphold a decision you made for yourself which they were fully aware of your position on?

    A No Blood decision typically requires written instruction by the patient, which is the purpose for a signed and witnessed medical directive. The obligation is with the JW to always carry their medical directive with them at all times as that document is intended to 'speak' for them if they can't speak for themselves.

    Regardless of whether or not you agree with a decision your parent may have made, if he/she continues to have mental capacity to make decisions for himself, then you should respect his/her decision.

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    Very difficult situation which I may have to face myself at some point with my very elderly JW father. I would be inclined to speak frankly with your JW relative if you think this could come up. It is their responsibility to complete the advance directive, and speak with their doctor about their wishes. If they fail to do these things, I don't think its your responsibility to do it for them if you are conscientiously opposed to whatever the current WT policy might be. If they are unconscious, and have not cared for these things in advance, I would assume they privately have serious reservations that they have not expressed.

    You are left with two choices in my view:

    1. Say nothing other than "please provide the highest level of care for my.....(relative).

    2. My (relative) is a JW. However, they may have had serious reservations about supporting the policy since they did not complete the Watchtower's advance directive, and make necessary arrangements through their primary care doctor and/or specialist.

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