Top court may rule on transfusions

by izobcenec 19 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Swan
    Mature Teen is Canadian legalese. The WT did not make it up.

    Thank you jgnat and all of you others who responded. I didn't realize this was a recognized legal age in Canada. I thought maybe the WTBTS was trying to pull another fast one, but I'm kinda suspicious about anything they say or do.


  • BluesBrother

    Whilst I abhor the unnecessary loss of life when it occurs due to the blood issue, I do firmly support the concept of a patient's right to chose. That would still hold good whether the treatment in question was a blood transfusion or anything else, eg an abortion . How would you like to have a hospital doctor force you to have any kind of treatment that you were resolved not to accept?? The question at issue is one of civil liberty and the medical profession and the courts overiding your personal choice in connection with that most personal area, your own body.

    The question is whether a "Mature teen " is capable of making a valid lfe or death decision. It would seem that it should be taken in paralel with other responsibilities. Does the law allow her to vote? To join the Army, to marry?

    There is a difference between protecting minor children and curbing the freedom of young adults.

    I am not saying that I agree with her stand, of course not! but civil freedom is on a slippery slope if we take away freedom of choice

  • Shutterbug
    Unland said she arrived at the Misericordia about 1 p.m. and at 10 p.m. was taken to a conference room where she and her parents met a provincial court judge and a lawyer who was to represent her.

    "I had no time to speak to my lawyer at all," she remembers. "I felt I was not listened to at all."

    If I were Canadian this type of kangaroo proceeding would scare the hell out of me. If they can use this type of court to force their will on a teenager, it doesn't take a legal eagle to see ways they could use this type of judicial power to control almost anyone.

  • Uzzah

    This 'kangaroo court' enabled this girl to be alive to later criticize the system.

    In emergency situations such as this young girl slowly bleeding to death, the court albeit hasitly arranged is the best of options available. It is an independant third party (not the patient nor the doctors) to weigh what is in the best interests of the child on a case to case basis.

    Representation for the teen was provided so she had legal counsel.

    What alternate arrangement do you suggest in emergencies?


  • Shutterbug
    This 'kangaroo court' enabled this girl to be alive to later criticize the system

    Really? Was this that much of an emergency, was she on her death bed? She apparently walked into this little trap they had set up, indicating she wasn't about to die in the next few minutes. My problem isn't with tranfusions, it is with a legal system which will not let someone even talk with her lawyer before the proceeding. Her "lawyer" didn't even know her arguments, hardly good representation.

    Why didn"t they just have the cops tie her down and force the needle in her arm ? Why go thru this charade. This doesn't even address the emotional problems this kangaroo court could have caused the young lady. If she was going to die within the next ten minutes without the tranfusion I could see your point, but this was apparently not the case.

    I know where I'm coming from. My wife's blood count got down to three, which is extremely low and she was still walking around, cooking, cleaning and doing her shopping. She did receive four units and now she is fine.

    This young lady was facing surgery in which there was only a 20% chance she would even need a transfusion. In other words this was not an emergency, yet. There was evidently plenty of time for her to hire a lawyer of her choice. I suspect they did it this way so it would be a done deal before she had a chance to present her side of the issue. I repeat, this was a kangaroo court. Bug

  • jgnat

    Some interesting links on the Mature Minor issue. (slideshow, nice summary) (not a JW case, but it outlines the issues well) (A story about our girl who died of leukemia in Calgary)

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    There are no simple answers about such complex matters. It seems clear in my mind that the vast majority of JW teenagers (mature minors) cannot comprehend the complex issues in these situations. They are acting on misinformation that has been carefully instilled by both their JW parents and the WTS society. There is also a measure of coercion involved. That said, I also believe that some of these JW youngsters sincerely believe that God does require they reject the WTS current list of banned blood products (the list changes regularly as we have documented at )

    One of the things I am personally troubled by is the fact that so many JW children eventually leave the religion anyway - my best estimate is 2/3. The implication is that the vast majority of JW children who die supporting the WTS position on blood would probably have elected to leave the faith voluntarily if they had simply lived long enough to gather additional information and make some objective conclusions - usually in their early 20's. These factors make the courts decision very difficult but it appears that judges usually make the correct call in my view. The reckless and inconsistent nature of WT policy will become increasingly clear to outside observers when JWs begin using bovine and human hemoglobin in the near future where available - yet deny the use of red cells where hemoglobin solutions are not available. (Red cells are 97% hemoglobin).

    Lee Elder


  • jgnat

    Aye, there's the rub. Sixteen year olds may indeed be able to make informed decisions about their own health, but all JW's young and old, are fed misinformation and half-truths about blood.

    I've told my honey on more than one occassion, that if he is abstaining from blood, strictly for religious regions, knowing he may well die, that is fine. But don't think he is going to live through a massive blood loss. That is the part I hate. The WTBTS makes it sound that, due to marvels of modern technology, the alternative treatments will "save" abstainers from certain death.

    Let's be honest about the true cost of following this teaching.

  • Scully

    What was it that Clive Thomas said regarding the lawsuit Vicki Boer launched against the elders in Shelburne and the WTS, a year ago today??

    "The elders were trying to provide her with spiritual help during a difficult time and the elders feel that she is basically biting the helping hand"

    Yes, Clive... "biting the helping hand".... is that what Candice Unland's lawsuit is about too?

    Oh, the irony....

    Love, Scully

  • kgfreeperson

    For various reasons, I do not think medical treatment should be forced on people. I know the issue is very difficult when the patient is a child. But part of me feels this is all part of the process of natural selection. And I really do not think medical treatment should be forced on people. And it has nothing to do with the Bible!

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