Jehovah’s Witness girl could receive blood against her will during childbirth

by Tahoe 9 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Tahoe

    A Jehovah’s Witness girl may be forced to receive a blood transfusion against her will this weekend when she gives birth in Melbourne.

    Victoria’s Mercy hospital was granted supreme court authority on Friday to give the girl blood as a “last resort” if she suffers a postpartum haemorrhage when induced into labour on Sunday afternoon.

    The 17-year-old first-time mother is considered to be at increased risk of haemorrhaging because she is of “small stature” and the baby is large, meaning she may have a long labour, an assisted birth or an emergency caesarean section.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses forbid followers from receiving blood transfusions or blood products.

    The risk to the baby from the mother refusing blood is considered low.

    The Human Tissue Act has a provision that minors may be given blood transfusions without parental consent, but it was edited in 1994 with the concept of a “mature minor” who could “make up their own mind”, the court was told on Friday.

    However, the child psychiatrist Campbell Paul told the hearing he did not believe the girl had the “decision-making capacity” to be considered as having “Gillick competence” – a term used to describe whether a child can consent to their own medical treatment.

    Paul said the girl had “been through considerable disruption and trauma through her life” and had “transgressed a major value of her family and her community” by having pre-marital sex.

    “You could imagine that she feels very frightened” and worried about “further punishment”, he said.

    The obstetrician and gynaecologist Jacqueline van Dam told the court she was concerned about the girl’s “naivety” that if anything happened, “she would be protected by her faith”.

    She said several strategies could be undertaken first in the case of haemorrhage, such as injecting a drug to limit bleeding or stitching the uterus.

    The girl’s mother, who said she would not consent to the hospital administering blood to her daughter, told the court receiving a transfusion would have a significant impact on the girl’s wellbeing.

    “Being forced to have that done against her will would be something like having violence done to her or being raped,” she said in a statement read to the court.

    “She wants to do the right thing by Jehovah, by God.”

    Justice Cameron Macaulay granted Mercy hospital the authority to give the girl a transfusion if necessary as “a last resort” but only if they first used all other strategies to stop the bleeding and obtained authority from two doctors.

    “I’m not satisfied that [the girl] has the maturity to understand the consequences of her choice,” he said.

    “I do not consider that allowing her, in effect, to choose to die ... is in her best interests.”

  • nugget

    I always think that likening a blood transfusion to rape is a terrible analogy. It is designed to create an atmosphere of fear and disgust so that the person receiving blood and those administering it feel that they are in some way violating the recipient. That the mother made this statement and would rather her daughter die shows she is not an appropriate person to advocate for her daughter. It may also explain how she got into difficulties in the first place.

  • baldeagle

    Let's hope everything goes well for the mother and child. This young girl will have an uphill battle in this crazy religion.

  • Finkelstein

    No wonder people have said the JWS religion is run by the spirit of Satan rather than the spirit of God and his son Jesus Christ.

  • ThomasCovenant

    What a lovely religion

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    I guess this 17 year old minor is not married?

    Given that no reference is made to her being a victim of (statutory) rape I guess her faith isn't so strong after all?

    Is she trying to make up now by refusing blood?

    Or are her parents putting the pressure on to save their faces in the congregation and before their vindictive bloodthirsty tribal god?

  • DesirousOfChange


    After the inquisition she endured at the hands of 3 old Elders asking personal questions (i.e., Did you enjoy it? Did you orgasm? Was there oral sex involved also?) about her fornication, she probably believes that dying to prove her repentance is the best route to go. Hopefully, 10 years from now she will be among the 2/3 of JW youth who leave the religion and get on with their "real life"!

    The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!

  • Phizzy

    This is a wonderfully sensible Ruling by the Court, and I hope Medical Ethics Committees in other Lands take notice.

    How grateful this young mother will be, and her baby, when they both are old enough to realize that at least the Hospital and the Court had her best interests at heart.

    It is time the JW Blood Doctrine was done away with, not by JW Org, they won't, in case victims' relatives Sue, but done away with by the Courts would be good. Any Mind Controlled JW is not fit to make a decision on a B.T, whatever age they are.

  • smiddy3

    The fact that the mother would rather let her daughter die than offend her J.W.religious leaders should that need arise speaks volumes as to how inhumane this religion really is.

    The mother favour`s acceptance of her religious peers over the love of her daughter.

    So sad.

    I wonder how many other J.W. parents around the world have been down this path, lost their child to this religion and now regret it .

  • smiddy3

    Wasn`t there a post on here some time ago about a young lady whose parent`s refused a blood transfusion for her or her mother giving birth and the court intervened and a transfusion was given and as an adult she thanked the courts otherwise she would not be here today ?

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