Dad Blames Church for death of teen; also case referred

by Dogpatch 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dogpatch
    Dogpatch

    A half-dozen protesters picketed in front of Court of Queen?s Bench on Tuesday to support a Calgary man who has sued the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada and others for being responsible for his daughter?s death. Inside the court, a hearing by the society, Edmonton?s Cross Cancer Institute, two doctors and several Jehovah?s Witnesses to have Lawrence Hughes? $1-million statement of claim quashed was eventually adjourned.
    Lawyers will be back in court today to set a new date for the hearing.
    ?I believe the evidence I have will prove there was a conspiracy that brought about the death of my daughter,? Hughes said outside court.
    ?Bethany was given medical treatment for a disease she did not have. I believe evidence will prove criminal negligence.?
    Bethany Hughes, 17, died Sept. 5, 2002, less than six months after she underwent a series of blood transfusions against her wishes after Alberta Children?s Services took custody of her when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
    Hughes also accused the Watch Tower Society of protecting pedophiles in its fellowship; forcing its members to work in ?slavery,? without being paid, then turned onto the streets when old; and giving out bad medical advice to its members. In particular, Hughes, once a Jehovah?s Witness who split from the religion and his family over the medical beliefs, cited the group refusing vaccinations, organ transplants and blood transfusions for members, that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of adults and children in the past 100 years.
    Allan Ludkiewicz, the Winnipeg lawyer for the Watch Tower Society fighting Hughes? lawsuit, could not be reached Tuesday for comment. But after a similar protest last week at the society?s Canadian headquarters for Jehovah?s Witnesses in Georgetown, Ont., a spokesman denied Hughes? blanket claims.
    Mark Ruge, director of public relations for the organization, said they had not yet been served with the lawsuit filed in August. He told reporters that Hughes ?can say whatever he wants,? but there was no truth to the claims. ?We?re not that kind of people,? he added, calling the claims ?outrageous.? Hughes said he now has his daughter?s medical records to prove his case. ?I believe the Watch Tower Society was afraid because Bethany?s health was improving and she may be forced to be given blood transfusions, so that?s why they hid her away for the last two months,? said the father. ?It makes me sick to think Bethany could be alive today if they had given her proper medical treatment.?

    DSLADE@THEHERALD.CANWEST.COM

    ALSo: Witness suit referred

    DARYL SLADE CALGARY HERALD

    A judge has recommended case management for the wrongful death lawsuit filed by a father who claims the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is responsible for his teenage daughter Bethany's death.
    Court of Queen's Bench Justice Barbara Romaine said during a hearing Wednesday that she will refer her recommendation to have a judge appointed to shepherd through the case to Associate Chief Justice Allen Sulatycky for consideration.
    Romaine then set aside three days starting Feb. 22 to hear an application by Allan Ludkiewicz, lawyer for the defendants, to strike the statement of claim filed by Lawrence Hughes in August.
    Hughes filed the claim against the Society, Edmonton's Cross Cancer Institute, two doctors and several Jehovah's Witnesses, saying the Jehovah's Witness church's policy against blood transfusions prompted the death of the 17-year-old girl from acute myeloid leukemia on Sept. 5, 2002.
    Vaughn Marshall, Hughes' lawyer, said outside court he agreed case management was the most sensible route.
    "Given all of the court activity during the guardianship proceedings in Bethany in 2002, where 26 separate applications were made, this lawsuit cries for case management," said Marshall.
    The lawyer also said he was confident the application to quash the lawsuit will be defeated.
    Bethany Hughes, 17, died less than six months after she underwent a series of blood transfusions against her wishes after Alberta Child Services took custody of her when she was diagnosed with leukemia.
    DSLADE @ THEHERALD . CANWEST . COM

  • Quotes
  • Mary
    Mary

    OK, what am I missing here?? This girl had leukemia, she was given blood transfusions and she died anyway...........I'm not sure I understand what the father is suing the Borg for........

  • Evesapple
    Evesapple

    Uh..yeah, Mary I'm with you...what did I miss Hmm



  • johnny cip
    johnny cip

    the whiole point in this case is the wt used their heavy hand . and went beyond the father rights. as head of the house hold. even if mr. hughes loses this case. he may help some people from dying. he's doing the right thing. the wt . got into his business. now he's kicking as hard as he can. we need more stand up people like MR. HUGHES.. john

  • darkuncle29
    darkuncle29

    OK, to try and answer the question I think you're asking:

    OK, what am I missing here?? This girl had leukemia, she was given blood transfusions and she died anyway...........I'm not sure I understand what the father is suing the Borg for........

    Hughes said he now has his daughter?s medical records to prove his case. ?I believe the Watch Tower Society was afraid because Bethany?s health was improving and she may be forced to be given blood transfusions, so that?s why they hid her away for the last two months,? said the father. ?It makes me sick to think Bethany could be alive today if they had given her proper medical treatment.?

    there, does that help? I wondered the same thing and read it twice carefully to pick out the answer. This could actually be interesting in how it might work. It could be argued not on the grounds of religious issues, "No Blood Blah Blah", but instead on removing her from medical treatment. I hope works.

  • Mary
    Mary

    So.......they gave her transfusions, she started to improve and then the congregation grabbed her and hid her away?? Is that what happened??

  • sf
    sf

    I completely comprehend the dynamics of this lawsuit. And I back this father all the way, on THIS issue.

    What I DON'T get is the "false prophets" poster. It has NOTHING to do with the twisted, lethal blood transfusion policy.

    When I see him holding it, I just become baffled as to why. And am hoping it does not cause him any less credibility for what he is suing for.

    sKally

  • Balsam
    Balsam

    Lawrence realizes his daughter may have died in time, but the policy on blood hassened her death prematurely. I agree his sign had nothing to do with his case. He is very angry at this point and is lashing out at the whole organization because he feels it betrayed him. Much the way we all have felt over the years after leaving the JW's. Learning the WTS is teaching bogus dates and much more, and he spent years preaching the end is coming really has him riled up.

  • jgnat
    jgnat

    We are watching a grieving father work through his loss.

    A bit of history on his daughter, Bethany. At the beginning Children's Services took guardianship of her so that the hospital could administer blood transfusions. Later, as she became critically ill, the courts ruled that she was a "mature minor". They determined that Bethany had brushed close enough to death to understand the consequences of her refusal to take blood. Around the same time Lawrence was estranged from his wife over the blood issue, and the wife hid Bethany from him during her last few months of life. He was called too late to be at her side when she died. If the hospital was continuing to administer chemotherapy without the corresponding replacement of blood, the treatment very well may have hastened her death.

    Reading the court documents, I find it very sad that Bethany had a very reasonable philosophy at the beginning. She figured she could be a "passive resister", and that the hospital could administer the transfusions over her protest. The mother was the one who became hysterical, tore at the tubes, etc. The court did not paint the mother in a very flattering light. I find it horrifying that this very sick girl had a "support group" surrounding her in her last days that were actually encouraging her death, her martyrdom. It is also reprehensible that so much energy was expended to estrange her from her loving father.

    I sincerely hope the courts can come to some understanding of the twisted reasoning that affected Bethany. She was not as informed and independent (as we know too painfully) as the WTS tried to paint her.

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