THE IRISH TIMES: Judge orders blood can be administered to Jehovah’s Witness girl

by AndersonsInfo 10 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • AndersonsInfo

    A teenage girl who urgently requires surgery can, if necessary, be administered blood or blood products against the wishes of herself and her parents, all members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, the president of the High Court has ordered.

    Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he was satisfied, notwithstanding the views of the girl and her parents, the orders are necessary for preserving the girl’s life and not to permit them would be “hazardous”.

    The orders take immediate effect, he directed.

    David Leahy BL, for the HSE, sought the orders in an ex parte application, one side only represented, on Friday afternoon.

    A solicitor for the HSE told the court he had informed the girl and her parents of the court application and the parents had indicated they were not attending court to oppose it.

    The solicitor said the parents were not objecting to surgery but, should a situation arise where the medical team wanted to administer blood or blood products, they could not agree to that and wanted the team to explore all other alternatives.

    They had also said they wanted the best for their daughter and would not stand in the way of a court order.

    Mr Justice Kelly said court applications for leave to administer blood or blood products against the wishes of members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, while not a regular occurrence, are not unusual.

    He referred to a number of decisions permitting that to be done in “exceptional” circumstances.

    On the medical evidence, including that antibiotic therapy had not reduced the infection and the serous risk of sepsis if surgery is not carried out, he was satisfied she needed the surgery.


  • cofty

    Thankfully this is the norm in many countries now. In emergencies UK doctors can obtain a ward of court order by telephone.

    There is a kind of dance that everybody has to perform. The elders pretend they must resist blood. The parents tell the doctors they can't possibly give consent to blood. The doctors politely suggest it would be good to let the court take responsibility. The parents acquiesce. The court notes its respect for the sincere beliefs of all concerned and give temporary custody of the child to a ward of court who gives consent. The parents assure the court and the doctors of their respect for the decision of the court.

    Outcomes - The child's life is saved. The parents are massively - and quietly relieved. The elders are even more quietly relieved. Job done.

    Nobody actually believes that blood is more sacred than life.

  • Phizzy

    This "dance", though farcical, is O.K I suppose in Countries that have the facility in their Legal system, I presume not all do.

    It is of course high time that the Org. dropped this totally nonsensical and unfounded doctrine. It simply cannot be supported from Scripture without some very weird interpretation of texts, which are in addition to being weird, are dishonest and hypocritical.

    Of course the important thing to the org. is $$$. They dare not receive " New Light" on this for fear of litigation for the years of using this murderous doctrine, adopted in the first place so rumour has it, by Mad Freddie Franz as a way of making the religion very different.

    How Elders in the know, that the "dance" is encouraged from the highest level, can square this with a belief that the org. is not a total sham I know not. How can such an evil Doctrine have ever come from a loving god ? And operating a covert way of getting round it must make their Cognitive Dissonance become an internal scream.

  • slimboyfat

    It depends how old they are. In some countries even adults have been forced blood transfusions. I can’t see that being a good idea, especially if they are conscious and opposed to the treatment. I think if I was a teenager, I might have put up a fight. It could be traumatic, and people have a right to say what happens to their own body, even if it’s a stupid decision. I don’t know what the age cut off should be, but 18 or even 16 seems a bit old. I would have wanted my wishes respected younger than that. If it’s a younger child or they are unconscious it would be easier to take the decision to give a blood transfusion. It’s a complicated issue. Adults should be able to choose and children should be given blood if they need it, but where do you draw the line? Maybe around about 13 or so? Or perhaps it needs to be judged on an individual basis on the specific views and level of feeling. I don’t think it’s moral or feasible to force blood on an older teenager who really doesn’t want it.

  • DesirousOfChange

    We have family members whose minor child required major surgery. It was actually the JW Hospital Liaison rep that told the parents to just state that they could not approve a transfusion in good conscience as this would result in the hospital seeking the judge's order to transfuse if necessary. In this manner, they could maintain a clean conscience before God (and most of all the Cong Elders) and the doctors and judges would be the ones accountable to God.

    Simple way out. No death for blood loss. No "stealing" child from hospital. No bad media publicity.

  • Finkelstein

    by Mad Freddie Franz as a way of making the religion very different..

    Yes Franz was a crook and crock pot, this doctrine is but of one example of Franz and his cohorts to make "their" created religion look more righteous and purer in the eyes of god, even more so than the religious sect who created this blood abstinence doctrine, the orthodox Jews. ....... and of course they do accept blood transfusions in the attempt to save a human life .

  • Listener

    It comes down to the fact that they will accept the court order. In effect, they are obeying mans law above Gods law.

  • cofty
    I don’t know what the age cut off should be, but 18 or even 16 seems a bit old. I would have wanted my wishes respected younger than that ... Maybe around about 13 or so? - SBF

    Why should a court care about a teenager's wish to become a martyr? The task of the state is to protect a child from themselves and others

    Teenagers brought up in the cult are brainwashed. Their access to contrary information is completely controlled therefore they are incapable of making an informed choice. At 13 I could have given a convincing case that I understood why I didn't want blood and made it sound like my own choice. It would have been a total sham.

  • slimboyfat

    Why should a court care about anyone’s wish to refuse treatment?

  • smiddy3

    More importantly, how did any government in this world ever let a religious movement get away with this type of doctrine religious or otherwise when human lives are at stake .? How ?

    That is what gets my blood pressure up ? How ?

    This religious doctrine of the Jehovah`s Witnesses about saying no to blood transfusions and correct me if I am wrong only came about in the 1940`s or theirabouts.And then they made it a disfellowshipping offence if a JW did accept a blood transfusion which involves a cutting off from all family and friends they ever knew if they were born into the religion that was adopted by their parents. ?

    So in effect they are being blackmailed into staying with the religion otherwise you will lose all contact with family and friends if you leave the religion.

    We will all shun you.and you will be on your own in satans world.Is what they in effect say.

    How is it that no secular Government on this earth has never taken them to task for these cult like activities that has literally cost ex amount of human lives with their no blood policies and their untold number of marriage breakdowns in society ?.Not to mention of their number of suicides that are a result of their doctrines policies affecting young people. ?

Share this