The father of a severely jaundiced 14-day-old premature baby who denied the baby life-saving blood transfusion on medical and religious grounds, on Saturday explained his side of the story.
Mr Emmanuel Onokpise claimed he and his wife were never informed their child was in any danger of death to the baby due to the weight.
The Lagos State Government evacuated the baby via a court order following information from a concerned member of the public informed its Office of the Public Defender that Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Onokpise had, contrary to medical advice, discharged their severely ill baby from hospital after refusing her blood transfusion on religious and medical grounds.
Baby Onokpise, who was born on December 18, 2019, is now in an orphanage home.
According to the government, the baby’s parents, who were on Medical Insurance with a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), “vehemently opposed the blood transfusion” for the baby and took her home, where her condition deteriorated and death was imminent.
Onokpise, who responded to enquiries from The Nation via a statement, said he and his wife loved their child and believed in medical intervention to cure ailments.
He added that being Jehovah’s witnesses, they also had an obligation to obey Jehovah’s commandment to abstain from blood consumption.
Read more: https://thenationonlineng.net/why-we-rejected-blood-transfusion-for-our-baby/
By Guest Indiana
The Congolese woman, Bibiche Tshibola Makola, who is a Jehovah’s Witness by faith, was hesitant to have her own blood taken in advance, frozen and re-transfused into her.
BENGALURU: A 39-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with a cardiac ailment, approached a city hospital, stating that she was ready to undergo any treatment, provided there was no blood transfusion involved in it. The Congolese woman, Bibiche Tshibola Makola, who is a Jehovah’s Witness by faith, was hesitant to have her own blood taken in advance, frozen and re-transfused into her. For Jehovah’s witnesses, transfusion of blood is against their religious belief.
After a lot of analysis, surgeons at Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Road managed to perform a bloodless open-heart surgery and valve repair. According to doctors, the woman suffered from restrictive cardiomyopathy, where a chamber of the heart is unable to stretch and results in bleeding. The patient came to India for treatment, as many countries and centres refused to carry out the surgery.
Dr Vivek Jawali, Chief Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at Fortis Hospitals said, “Makolo had severe restrictive cardiomyopathy, in which there is restrictive filling of the ventricles. With due respect to her religious beliefs, we recommended her to undergo a bloodless surgery.”
The doctors then sat together and had a peri-operative plan. “We put the patient on a series of medications, including blood conservatives that helped increase her haemoglobin level to 14.8 g/dL. The surgery was conducted using all the blood conservation techniques practised at our unit for all patients , It was successful and no blood transfusion was required during the entire procedure.”
Dr Murali Chakravarthy, Department of Anaesthesia, explained that bloodless surgery is a risky situation and can lead to hemorrhagic shock in the patient. Bibiche’s husband Roger Muamba said, “We were very worried about her treatment. We were very happy with the doctors.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses against blood transfusion
They believe, according to the Bible, that one must not ingest blood, even through transfusion. Under Quebec’s civil code, an adult who is conscious and of sound mind, has the right to either accept or refuse medical treatment.
By Guest Nicole
Un grupo de testigos de Jehová realizó lo que podría considerarse como uno de los secuestros más extraños hasta el momento, y es que privaron de la libertad a sus vecinos asegurando que se encontraban huyendo del fin del mundo, de acuerdo con reportes policiales de Alberta, en Canadá.
Jacqueline Schaffter, juez de la corte provincial argumento que los tres detenidos, dos mujeres y un hombre que hasta el momento no han sido identificados, sufren de un extraño trastorno psicótico el cual hasta el momento no ha sido revelado y por el que deberán llevar un tratamiento para evitar hacerse daño a si mismos o a terceros.
El extraño secuestro ocurrió en el mes de noviembre del año 2017 cuando cinco personas entre ellas dos menores de edad, fueron obligados a abandonar su hogar y abordar una camioneta junto a los testigos de Jehová, cuatro de los cuales se encontraban completamente desnudos.
El hombre y su familia lograron escapar y ayudaron a las autoridades a dar con los sospechosos quienes de inmediato fueron arrestados.
Al declararse culpables por los delitos de secuestro y confinamiento ilegal, los detenidos recibieron como sentencia un año de servicio comunitario y dos de libertad condicional, además de tener que someterse a un tratamiento de consejería.
By Guest Nicole
Paramedics say one person is dead after two small planes collided in mid-air over Ottawa‘s west end just after 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Ottawa police said that one of the aircraft crashed into a field near McGee Side Road just east of the 417 in Carp in rural west Ottawa. A spokesperson for Ottawa paramedics said an occupant of that plane was pronounced dead on the scene.
The other aircraft was redirected to Ottawa International Airport and landed safely, sustaining only minor damage. No injuries were reported aboard that plane.
It’s not known how many people were aboard each aircraft, or how exactly the collision occurred.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating
Read more: https://globalnews.ca/news/4628657/ottawa-aircraft-collision-midair/
By Guest Nicole
Substitute of Biological Blood:
These are substances which act like biological blood and are used in cases requiring a blood transfusion.
The main purpose served by blood is oxygen carriage to organs of the body. The artificial blood synthesized so far are serving functions varying from carrying oxygen to the function of volume expansion. Thus, volume restoration can be done with the help of these substances. These substitutes are mostly under clinical trials.
Blood was considered supernatural having magical properties. Many of the rituals were performed related to blood.
Many beliefs are still followed. Several TV programs focused on the theme of blood like the vampires drinking human blood for survival. Jehovah’s witnesses are obligated to not receive or donate any blood-related products according to their beliefs even in case of matter of life and death.
The history of blood transfusion dates back to very old civilization but documented research on this topic started after William Harvey discovered in the 16th century that blood flows in the arteries and veins. The blood transfusion often proved fatal. So different transfusions were tried like liquids from cows, goats, human milk as well as beer.
The first cross-matched blood transfusion was done in the 20th century in Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. Later advancements led to the Blood Component Therapy in which blood was separated into different components, which has made whole blood transfusion obsolete.
Progress in the field led to improvements in the safety of blood transfusion with respect to decreasing transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and C etc.
Who needs it?
Artificial blood is used in cases which require a blood transfusion.
The situations include;
Patients of hemorrhagic shock: a state of decreased perfusion of organs due to the increased amount of bleeding. In case of emergency situations like roadside accidents In situations when blood donation is not accessible or not available such as remote or far-flung areas To meet the high demand for blood transfusion Types of Synthetic blood:
Perfluorocarbon-based Hemoglobin-based Stem cells https://techengage.com/artificial-blood-saving-lives/
By The Librarian
New research in the USA shows that Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions recover from heart surgery faster and with fewer complications than those who have transfusions.
Patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses had better survival rates, shorter hospital stays, fewer additional operations for bleeding and spent fewer days in the intensive care unit than those who received blood transfusions during surgery, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows.
Jehovah's Witnesses undergo extensive blood conservation before surgery, including red blood-cell boosting erythropoietin drugs, iron and B-complex vitamins to guard against anaemia. The practice offered a "unique natural experiment" for scientists to study the short and long-term effects of the blood management strategy and may point to ways to reduce need for transfusions, researchers said.
The study included 322 Jehovah's Witness patients and 87,453 other patients who underwent heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic from 1983 to 2011. All Jehovah's Witness patients refused blood transfusions. In the other group, 38,467 did not receive transfusions while 48,986 did.
The authors wanted to look at the difference between patients who receive blood transfusions during surgery and Jehovah's Witness patients, who undergo strict blood conservation practices before, during and after surgery, Koch said.
While many patients do not have blood transfusions during and after heart surgery, they also do not undergo the same blood conservation practices that doctors use for Jehovah's Witness patients.
Jehovah's Witness patients had an 86 per cent chance of survival at five years and a 34 per cent chance of survival 20 years after surgery, compared with 74 per cent at five years and 23 per cent at 20 years for non-Jehovah's Witness patients who had transfusions.
By JOHN BUTLER
Jehovah has clearly and unambiguously prohibited the use of blood for sustaining human life. Many times, OT and NT.
Can I question this point please ?
Did Jesus ever forbid the use of blood to save a human life ? Can you show me a scripture where JESUS forbids the use of blood to save a human life ?
Let us look at a few points here.
I think it is true that the Jews / Nation of Israel practised something known as Pikuach Nefesh
This meant life was precious and should be saved even if it meant going against the Law.
Add to this that Jesus gave an example which in my opinion goes much deeper than the actual words of the scripture. Matthew 12 v 9 through 12.
9 After departing from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and look! there was a man with a withered* hand!k So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him.l11 He said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out?m12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath.”
Surely here Jesus is saying that it is right to go against 'the Law' and /or the principles of it, to save a life.
And please tell me, from where do those 'blood bits' come from that the GB say the congregants can use ? I honestly have no idea on that one.
However if those 'blood bits' come from blood itself then isn't that actually using blood ?
My wife hates cherries in cakes, so she picks them out, but she still eats the cake. If a person uses bits out of blood then in my opinion they are still using blood.
Over to you guys.
By Guest Nicole
The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.
The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, practice of not associating with him in any way, hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion explained, “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
See the WND Superstore’s collection of Bibles, including the stunning 1599 Geneva Bible.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that the Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing, “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the ability of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question is one of property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
Its position is that the court should keep hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said, “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued, “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the fight was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By Bible Speaks
RARE VIDEO OF STEVE: Last night in parts of Canada, dogs started barking at the midnight sky. The canines were responding to a bright purple ribbon of light--also known as "STEVE." The apparition, which occurred during a G1-class geomagnetic storm, was so long-lasting that at least one onlooker had time to capture rare video of the phenomenon. This is a still frame from a video of STEVE captured on April 10th by Matthew Wheeler of Robson Valley BC Canada. .
Romans 1:20. #OurCreatorJehovahGod?
By Guest Nicole
The parents of a 14-year-old boy with bone cancer won a legal challenge against a Mesa hospital that attempted to override their religious objections to blood transfusions.
The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that a lower court's emergency hotline used by hospitals to authorize medical treatment on behalf of patients is not allowed under state law.
The parents of a 14-year-old boy with bone cancer challenged Banner Cardon Children's use of a Maricopa County Superior Court emergency hotline to authorize blood transfusions on behalf of the child. The parents and boy are Jehovah's Witnesses and objected to blood transfusions on religious grounds.
While Banner Cardon's medical-treatment plan initially consisted of alternative therapies to fit the parents' religious views, hospital staff later determined that blood transfusions were medically necessary.
Hospital staff called the Maricopa County Superior Court hotline multiple times from October through December last year to seek authorization for the blood transfusions. The court granted three of five requests, according to court documents.
The parents filed a petition with the Arizona Court of Appeals seeking to halt the transfusions.
The parents, identified as Glenn and Sonia H., argued that the Superior Court hotline "lacked jurisdiction" for such emergency medical requests and also argued that hospital staffers did not justify the medical need for blood transfusions.
The lower court said that such emergency requests were "standard practice" nationwide and the hotline rotated among Superior Court judges who answered requests after hours.
In an opinion written by Judge Kenton D. Jones, the appellate court concluded that the question of whether the lower court had jurisdiction to OK emergency medical treatment was one "of significant statewide importance."
Jones noted that Arizona law allows a Juvenile Court that has jurisdiction over a child to order a parent or guardian to get medical treatment for a child. However, the appellate court did not find any such jurisdiction for a Superior Court emergency hotline.
"Our review of Arizona statutes and rules of procedure reveals no provision ... authorizing the superior court to maintain an emergency hotline for the purpose of ordering medical treatment for a non-consenting minor," Jones wrote.
Therefore, the lower court's order authorizing medical treatment on behalf of the boy is void, the appellate court said.
The parents filed the appellate-court action in November but did not request a stay of the lower court's order. The boy received blood transfusions on Dec. 1 and Dec. 5 before his parents relocated his care to a medical facility in Portland, Oregon.
Banner Health officials said the health-care provider has not yet decided whether to appeal the appellate court's decision.
Representatives of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which filed a legal brief on behalf of the parents, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
A Jehovah's Witnesses website said the religion considers blood transfusions a "religious issue rather than a medical one," citing multiple biblical passages.
Patients who develop certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, often require blood transfusions as a part of treatment.
Sobrevivientes de abuso sexual alegan encubrimiento por parte de los testigos de Jehová por no reportar asaltosBy Guest Nicole
Christian es el demandante representativo en una demanda colectiva de $66 millones que se ha entablado contra los Testigos de Jehová en CanadÃ¡. Es en nombre de Ã©l y de otros sobrevivientes de abuso sexual infantil, quienes acusan a la secta de proteger a los depredadores sexuales de la justicia.
La demanda, que aÃºn no ha sido certificada por el tribunal, es simplemente la Ãºltima en lo que se ha convertido en una creciente presiÃ³n internacional sobre la secta religiosa para cambiar la doctrina que los crÃticos dicen que protege a los pedÃ³filos.
Se llama la Regla de los Dos Testigos. Al citar las Escrituras, los testigos de JehovÃ¡ requieren que haya al menos dos testigos de actos de abuso sexual infantil antes de que se pueda tomar alguna medida contra presuntos abusadores sexuales, a menos que haya una confesiÃ³n.
A travÃ©s de una investigaciÃ³n que se extiende desde CanadÃ¡, EE. UU., Inglaterra y Australia, el programa W5 expone cÃ³mo la organizaciÃ³n desalentÃ³ las acusaciones de agresiÃ³n sexual de ser denunciadas a la policÃa.
TambiÃ©n revela que los Testigos de JehovÃ¡ mantienen una base de datos secreta, documentando cada alegato de abuso sexual contra miembros que alguna vez se haya realizado.
By Guest Nicole
After being transported to Batroun Hospital suffering traumatic injuries, doctors were baffled after the girl's parents rejected a blood transfusion critical to save their daughter's life.
BEIRUT: Farah D., the young girl who was involved in a recent car crash, received a blood transfusion Thursday after the Prosecutor of North Lebanon authorized Batroun Hospital Director Ayoub Moukhtar to perform the procedure despite her family's refusal because it goes against their beliefs as Jehovah Witnesses.
After being transported to Batroun Hospital on Wednesday suffering traumatic injuries, doctors were baffled after the girl's parents rejected a blood transfusion critical to save their daughter's life.
This bizarre development forced Moukhtar to contact his district's Prosecutor, who directed him to go ahead with the grueling operation which involved a set of blood transfusions.
The prosecutor argued the hospital was legally bound to save the girl's life.
"I contacted the prosecutor, who stressed the need to save the girl's life regardless of the parent's religious beliefs, and the hospital duty is to keep the girl alive," he said.
According to Moukhtar, Farah is now recovering from her injuries.
By Bible Speaks
CANADA STUDIES THE BEHAVIOR AFTER THE DENUNCIATION OF A POLITICS AGAINST JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES.
For this, they will consult with Jehovah's ExWitnesses.
The press article says:
This is the report of the medical examiner Luc Malouin the death of Eloise Dupuis, a young Jehovah's Witness died a week after giving birth and who had refused a blood transfusion, causing the member of Taschereau to act.
The letter sent to the Vice-president of the Commission of Institutions, the member of the Parliament for Verchères StÃ©phane Bergeron, specifically mentions members of sects who are in emergency medical situations, especially women.
Although the Liberal Party has a majority in the Institutions Committee, Ms. Maltais hopes that she can convince the majority of the members to study the matter in a parliamentary committee. "Jehovah's Witnesses, former Jehovah's Witnesses, representatives of hospitals and public health could testify, the idea is to understand, because forensic reports will always say that all the rules have been respected. free and voluntary consent when a person has been in a cult for years and is under pressure, "says Maltais.
Published last week, the coroner's report indicated that Malouin is independent and without undue influence how her religious community Eloise Dupuis had rejected a blood transfusion in October 2016. The 27-year-old resident of San Marguerite, Beauce died in the HÃ´tel-Dieu de LÃ©vis a week later.
By Srecko Sostar
A group of alleged sexual abuse survivors from across the country have filed a $66-million class action lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, CityNews has learned.
The victims are seeking $20 million for damages from sexual and mental abuse by elders, $20 million for failing to protect children, and another $20 million for breach of duty of care.
By Guest Nicole
Barry W. Bussey: Last week, the Supreme Court was asked to do something courts never do: review the solely religious decision of a church
On November 2, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to do something Canadian courts never do: review the solely religious decision of a church community. Until now, the courts have recoiled from getting involved in religious disputes—and for good reason.
The case involves Randy Wall, who was dismissed from a Jehovah’s Witness church for failing to repent of his religious offences: getting drunk on two occasions and verbally abusing his wife. Wall’s appeal to another church entity was unsuccessful. He then appealed to a court of law by means of “judicial review,” on the grounds that the church had denied him a proper hearing.
In Canadian law, in a process known as “judicial review,” a person can ask a court to “review” (i.e. hear) whether the decision of a “public actor” (such as a government licensing agency) was unfairly decided. Courts rarely review decisions of “private actors” (such as a church); they generally do so only if a private actor’s decision engages property or civil rights. In Wall’s case, the court had to determine whether the Jehovah’s Witness church’s decision involved property or contractual rights, which would then enable the court to review the church’s decision.
"The church argued it was a private religious body, not a public body"
The church argued it was a private religious body, not a public body, and that its decision did not affect Wall’s property or contractual rights. It also argued that its disciplinary procedure was a religious process involving prayer and scripture reading aimed at reconciling the relationship between Wall and the church. The lower courts both held that religious decisions can be reviewed by courts to determine whether a church gave a fair hearing, even if no property or contractual rights were engaged. However, both courts were also of the view that property rights were an issue in the case. The Supreme Court of Canada must now decide whether those courts were right. The Supreme Court reserved judgment after last week’s hearing; we can expect its decision early in the new year.
Courts like to “fix things.” They naturally want to find resolutions to disputes; this is what they exist to do. However, courts have historically avoided getting involved in religious cases, recognizing that they lack the expertise and authority to settle religious disagreements. They handle legal cases, such as contractual disputes, but not religious cases that raise metaphysical truths, such as the definition of God.
Wall argued his case did involve a “property right,” because his dismissal from his church meant the church members were no longer willing to do business with him. As a real estate agent, 50 per cent of his clientele were Jehovah’s Witnesses. His business folded from the loss of their support. He says there is a direct line of causation between his loss of church membership and business loss. It’s likely the case that one caused the other, but that doesn’t mean Wall’s claim is a legally enforceable property right.
"A church member is not required to patronize the business of a former church member"
The reality is, Wall chose to limit his business to Jehovah’s Witnesses and took a personal risk in doing so. The church did not tell him to do so, and certainly there is no known legal principle that says a church is responsible for the economic losses that might flow from a loss of membership. A church member is not required to patronize the business of a former member. In the same way, we would not expect a former husband to maintain business with his ex-wife’s family.
At last week’s hearing, Wall’s legal counsel tried to persuade the court that, if there are no grounds under Canadian law for the court to interfere in purely religious matters, the court should then consider adopting U.K. law, which does allow this type of review. “Good luck!” Justice Rosalie Abella quipped, prompting everyone to burst into laughter.
That exchange suggested the court was not persuaded that it is time to change the law to allow courts to get tangled up in reviewing decisions of religious bodies. That would be a good thing, as courts don’t have the moral or legal authority or doctrinal expertise to decide such matters.
This hearing occurred around the time of the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. If we have learned anything since then, it’s that the law does not need to apply to every nook and cranny of our lives – especially our religious affairs.
Barry W. Bussey is Director Legal Affairs at the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. He blogs at lawandreligion.org
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
The judicial committee of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses asked the Supreme Court of Canada today to rule that Canadian courts do not have the authority to review the expulsion of one of their members — arguing that judicial review by the courts should not extend to decisions by private and voluntary associations that have no effect on the public at large.
The Highwood Congregation, located in northwest Calgary, brought its appeal to Ottawa after Randy Wall took the congregation to court for expelling him from the church. The congregation’s judicial committee “disfellowshipped” Wall in the spring of 2014 after his family reported to the group’s elders that he had been drunk on two occasions and was verbally and emotionally abusing them — and after determining he was not “not sufficiently repentant” for those actions.
After three internal and unsuccessful appeals, Wall applied for judicial review of the congregation’s decision-making process, insisting it was flawed and that the congregation’s judicial committee had “breached the principles of natural justice and the duty to be fair.” Both the Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal in Alberta declared that it is within the jurisdiction of the superior court to review Wall’s case.
The congregation’s appeal of those two rulings, heard by the Supreme Court Thursday morning, has attracted a lot of attention from legal experts and religious communities across the country. Echoing the congregation’s plea today in the packed Ottawa courtroom were 12 religious, political and civil liberties groups — all of them unanimous in arguing the top court should not interfere in the membership decisions of religious bodies.
The consequences of such interference, they said, would be detrimental to the self-determination of religious groups.
“It (would) fundamentally alter our nation and not for the better,” counsel for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said in court.
“The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind,” the group wrote in its written submission to the Supreme Court. “For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
This question of jurisdiction is one that has been explored and decided on by the courts — including the Supreme Court of Canada — in the past. Case law shows the top court has recognized the the autonomous ability of religious and private voluntary associations to govern their own affairs and dictate who can and cannot be a member of a congregation.
The courts have determined, however, there is room to intervene in specific cases when a membership decision turns on property or civil rights — or is of “sufficient importance to deserve the intervention of the court.”
Wall — who does not dispute the allegations against him that formed the basis of the congregation’s decision to kick him out — argues his case meets those requirements because his “disfellowship” caused him to lose business clients, suffer “significant economic harm” and experience fraught family relations.
In return, the congregation argues that neither Wall’s property rights, nor his civil rights, were affected by their decision. Justice Russell Brown also remarked during the hearing that “one does not have a justiciable right to earn a living.”
The congregation also argued that it did not ask or force its members to boycott Wall’s business — but people choose to do so in line with their religious convictions. Counsel for the congregation also said that “the door is not closed” to Wall and he can be reinstated in the congregation in the future.
More generally, the congregation argued that it would be inappropriate for the courts to review the internal decision-making processes of religious groups because those processes are ecclesiastical.
In a news release, the Association for Reformed Political Action — one of the 12 intervening groups — said the case before the Supreme Court has “profound implications for the separation of church and state” and it believes the court should maintain a hands-off approach to membership decision-making by religious groups.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” the association’s director of law and policy, André Schutten, wrote in the statement. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
The Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association took a slightly more nuanced position, arguing in its factum that “there will inevitably be cases where judicial intervention in the decisions of religious groups is ‘warranted'” but courts “should intervene … only in the rare case where required by a prevailing public interest.”
Thursday’s hearing was heard by all nine justices on the Supreme Court bench. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said the court will reserve its decision after today’s hearing.
Overflow seating was set up in the front hall of the Supreme Court to accommodate all the people who came to see the hearing live.
By Guest Nicole
Mrs Mortimer was undergoing a hip operation when she refused the blood transfusion
A Jehovah's Witness lost her life after she refused a blood transfusion during a major hip operation due to her religious beliefs.
Barbara Mortimer, 69, went against doctors' advice and sadly died on May 24, 2017, shortly after a hip replacement.
A final hearing was held at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield yesterday (Wednesday, October 18) before Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan.
The court heard that in January of this year, Mrs Mortimer visited her GP Mark Penwell with "severe left hip pain."
Doctor Penwell said: "She was struggling to walk with it, even using a stick.
"The only useful intervention was a hip replacement."
He admitted however, that he had concerns about Mrs Mortimer, of Portland Road, Bishop's Stortford, who would decline any blood products due to her being a Jehovah's Witness.
Mrs Mortimer also suffered what was thought to be a heart attack in 2006 and acute coronary syndrome after having chest pain in 2010.
For her hip, Mrs Mortimer was referred to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajeev Sharma.
He said: "She came to see me in the clinic on Thursday, March 23.
"She came in with a diagnosis of hip arthritis on one of the sides.
"She had an X-ray that showed the joints were worn out."
Risks associated with the procedure including displacing the hip, heart attack and most commonly infection, were discussed with Mrs Mortimer.
Mrs Mortimer chose to ungergo surgery, but was taking aspirin at the time which thins the blood. There was also a risk that she would need a blood transfusion during the operation.
Steps included administering tranexamic acid, swabs soaked in adrenalin and a spinal aesthetic as opposed to general, as these all help to prevent and restrict blood loss.
Mr Sharma said: "We needed to be sure our surgery is in such a manner to prevent bleeding.
"It was safe to proceed providing we take all the necessary precautions."
The procedure went ahead with Mrs Mortimer's haemoglobin levels being within an acceptable range.
But during the operation after the joint was dislocated, the living part of the bone began to bleed.
The bleed then became "exponentially massive," according to Mr Sharma following the removal of hard cartilage.
The adrenalin swabs, an alternative method to stopping the bleed due to Mrs Mortimer's belief's, were inserted to constrict the blood vessels as well as a plastic membrane.
Mr Sharma said: "We continued with the procedure, it was the best way to stop the bleeding.
"I could not think why such a lot of bleeding would take place.
"Was it the aspirin? Would it have had a significant effect on her or was there an anomaly in the pelvic bone?"
Following the surgery, Mr Sharma spoke with Mrs Mortimer's family.
"The recommended blood products were declined," he said.
"We were struggling to keep her alive if we can't give her any blood. Persistent refusal was risking her life."
Mrs Mortimer faced the decision of accepting blood products or hope that the fluids given to her post-operation would stimulate cell production after such a huge blood loss.
She died during the early hours of the morning at Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth.
Mr Sharma was challenged in court by Counsel Kate Smith, who asked whether further enquiries should have been made prior to the hip replacement due to her age, religious beliefs, medical history and the fact she was taking aspirin.
Ms Smith presented a booklet in court regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and surgery.
It said "should avoid any medication that could increase blood loss," referring to aspirin which thins the blood and makes the likelihood of needing a blood transfusion more likely.
Mrs Mortimer signed a refusal form indicating her religious convictions that "no blood transfusions are to be administered in any circumstances".
Mr Sharma said in "hindsight" there are things that would have been done differently but at that stage all the safety precautions had been made.
The operation was also not considered to be life-threatening.
He was also challenged whether Mrs Mortimer needed to be on aspirin. The decision to take this course was made working on the basis that she had suffered a heart attack – later found to be untrue.
Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan, said: "I cannot see a short form conclusion.
"The adequate way to my mind is a narrative verdict to encompass blood loss [from the] surgical procedure and declining of blood products.
"She was admitted to Rivers Hospital, she had advanced decision not to accept blood products, and asked to consider accepting blood products, but declined to do so."
By Guest Nicole
TORONTO.- La demanda acusa a la organización religiosa de tener reglas y políticas que protegen a los que abusan sexualmente de menores y ponen a los niños en riesgo.
“La política y el protocolo de la organización para hacer frente a las denuncias de abuso sexual está gravemente dañada y resulta en más daño a las víctimas de abuso sexual y en alegatos legítimos de abuso sexual que no se denuncian”, dice el documento.
“Esta es una cuestión que la comunidad en general debe preocuparse, y no sólo los testigos de Jehová”, dijo Tricia Franginha. Agrega que sus primeros 14 años de vida como Testigo de Jehová fueron llenos con abuso sexual.
“Como resultado de los procedimientos, cuando se presentan acusaciones de abuso, a estos delincuentes sexuales se les dejan en libertad”, dice Franginha. “Como la mayoría de la gente sabe acerca de los testigos de Jehová, es que ellos son los que vienen a su puerta los sábados por la mañana, cuando sus hijos están en casa y por lo que saben, esa persona ha ofendido más de una vez”.
Todavía ninguna de las acusaciones en esta demanda ha sido probada en el Tribunal Superior de Ontario. Un portavoz de los Testigos de Jehová dijo que mientras la demanda ha sido presentada, la organización aún no la ha recibido oficialmente, por lo que no pueden comentar los detalles.
“Los Testigos de Jehová aborrecen el abuso infantil y nunca protegerían a ningún perpetrador”, fue la explicación el portavoz Mattieu Rozon. La organización también dice que los ancianos de la congregación cumplen con las leyes de reportes de abuso infantil.
Franginha dijo que cuando ella fue a buscar ayuda, fue callada.
“Cuando tenía alrededor de los 12 años, me dijeron que debía tner dos testigos y que tenía que respetar a mis padres – callarme y no hablar de ello”, explicó.
La necesidad de que dos testigos corroboren las denuncias de abuso es señalada en la demanda. Las personas que han sido abusadas sexualmente deben presentar dos testigos creíbles de su abuso, explica Franginha, quien añade que los testigos deben ser otros Testigos de Jehová en buen estado en la iglesia.
“Esto, obviamente, nunca sucede”. “La naturaleza misma del crimen es que es secreto”.
La demanda también alega que la policía no es llamada cuando las acusaciones de abuso sexual salen a la superficie y en su lugar son manejadas por los veteranos de la iglesia dentro del Salón del Reino.
“Es nuestra información, basándonos en personas que nos contactaron, que los sistemas que tienen no protegen contra el abuso sucedido, y cuando se hacen denuncias, se toman medidas inadecuadas para asegurar que la queja llegue a las autoridades apropiadas” dice Bryan McPhadden, ayudante de McPhadden Samac Tuovi, que representa a las víctimas.
Las víctimas buscan $20 millones por daños por abuso sexual y mental perpetradas por personas mayores, $20 millones por no proteger a los niños y otros $20 millones por incumplimiento del deber de cuidado.
La demanda se espera que tome años para abrirse paso a través de los tribunales.
Si usted cree que califica para unirse a la demanda colectiva, puede comunicarse con los abogados en www.mcst.ca.
By Guest Nicole
A group of alleged sexual abuse survivors from across the country have filed a $66-million class action lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, CityNews has learned.
The suit accuses the religious organization of having rules and policies that protect child sex abusers and put children at risk.
“The organization’s policy and protocol for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse is seriously flawed, and results in further harm to victims of sexual abuse and results in legitimate allegations of sexual abuse going unreported,” it alleges.
“This is an issue that the wider community should be concerned with, and not just Jehovah’s Witnesses,” says Tricia Franginha. She says her first 14 years of life as a Jehovah’s Witness were filed with sexual abuse.
“As a result of their procedures, when abuse allegations come forward, these sexual offenders are left at large,” Franginha says. “As most people know about Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are the ones who come to your door on Saturday mornings, when your kids are home, and for all you know, that person has offended more than once.”
None of the allegations in this the suit have been tested in Ontario Superior Court. A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witness says that while the suit has been filed, the organization hasn’t officially received it yet, so they can’t comment on the details.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and would never shield any perpetrator,” says spokesperson Mattieu Rozon. The organization also says congregation elders comply with child abuse reporting laws.
Franginha says that when she went for help, she was shut down.
“When I was around 12, I was told that I didn’t have two witnesses and I needed to respect my parents – not to talk about it,” she says.
The need to have two witnesses corroborate allegations of abuse is singled out in the suit. People who have been sexually abused must present two credible witnesses to their abuse, explains Franginha, who adds that the eyewitnesses must be other Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing in the church.
“This, obviously, never happens,” she says. “The very nature of the crime is that it’s secret.”
The suit also alleges that police are not called when allegations surface and instead they’re handled by church elders inside Kingdom Hall.
“It is our information, based on people who contacted us, that the systems in place don’t guard against [abuse] happening, and when allegations are made, inadequate measures are in place to ensure that the complaint reaches the proper authorities,” says Bryan McPhadden, laywer at McPhadden Samac Tuovi, which is representing the victims.
The victims are seeking $20 million for damages from sexual and mental abuse by elders, $20 million for failing to protect children, and another $20 million for breach of duty of care.
The lawsuit is expected to take years to wind its way through the courts. If you believe you qualify to join the class action suit, you can reach out at www.mcst.ca.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is finishing up the third round of NAFTA negotiations alongside counterparts from Mexico and Canada.
They’re talking cars. Right now, a law known as the “rules of origin” states that for a car produced in NAFTA countries, 62.5% of its total value must originate in those countries. BUT there aren’t any country-specific mandates. Expect the U.S., which feels like it’s getting stiffed in vehicle manufacturing, to demand a minimum level of U.S.-made parts.
Shariah and rules that govern religious practices in other faiths are not to be feared, spiritual leaders sayBy Guest Nicole
Recourse to secular courts
Religious laws apply to a believer's spiritual life. They don't trump Canada's Criminal Code, civil law orÂ other statutes.Â
Sometimes, secular courts are even called upon to judge whetherÂ a faith-based decision is fair.
On Nov. 2, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear from anÂ Alberta man appealingÂ aÂ decision made by aÂ Jehovah's Witnesses' judicial committee.
Elders disfellowshipped Â— or expelled Â— Randy Wall when they decided the Calgary manÂ was not sufficiently repentant for two drunken incidents where he allegedly verbally abused his wife.
This decision by elders of the congregation required Wall's wife and children to shun him. Wall, a real estate agent,Â alleges the shunning caused him to lose a large number of Jehovah's Witnesses clients. Courts are sometimes are asked to judge the fairness of a religious rule or decision. The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the case of a Jehovah's Witness who was expelled for alleged verbal abuse of his wife. (Chris Wattie/Canadian Press)
In 2007,Â Canada's top court ruled in favour of a womanÂ who took action against her ex-husband for refusing to grant her a religious Jewish divorce, known as aÂ get.
"The consequences to women deprived of aÂ getÂ and loyal to their faith are severe," Justice Rosalie Abella wrote.
"They may not remarry within their faith, even though civilly divorced. If they do remarry, children from a second civil marriage are considered illegitimate and restricted from practising their religion."
Full article:Â http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/shariah-religion-islamophobia-1.4295453
By Guest Nicole
Un juez ha autorizado a un hospital de Montreal a realizar transfusiones de sangre para tratar a una adolescente de 14 años con cÃ¡ncer, a pesar de su rechazo porque es testigo de JehovÃ¡.
Al permitir las transfusiones, el tribunal dictaminÃ³ que es lÃcito proteger a los niÃ±os, a veces "contra sÃ mismos", cuando sus decisiones pueden ser fatales.
Bajo la ley de Quebec, los menores de 14 aÃ±os pueden rechazar ciertos servicios de salud. Sin embargo, si los padres del niÃ±o o un hospital -en este caso, el Centro Universitario de Salud McGill- quieren administrar esos servicios, pueden solicitar el permiso de un juez.
El juez de la Corte Superior, Lukasz Granosik, dijo en su decisiÃ³n que la adolescente es "una chica brillante y articulada" que tiene mucho Ã©xito en la escuela y tiene una "madurez mÃ¡s allÃ¡ de su edad biolÃ³gica", pero que aÃºn no estaba madura para decidir, y estaba bajo la presiÃ³n de sus padres que tambiÃ©n son testigos de JehovÃ¡.
Granosik tambiÃ©n seÃ±alÃ³ que la niÃ±a hablÃ³ de la muerte con "renuncia", a pesar de tener un 97 por ciento de posibilidades de recuperaciÃ³n si se sometiÃ³ a tratamiento.
En junio de 2017, descubriÃ³ que tenÃa linfoma de Hodgkin, una forma de cÃ¡ncer, y tuvo que comenzar la quimioterapia.
Este tratamiento, sin embargo, a menudo requiere transfusiones de sangre. Sin ella, la paciente podrÃa morir o sufrir un daÃ±o neurolÃ³gico irreversible, dijo su mÃ©dico.
Los Testigos de JehovÃ¡ no aceptan transfusiones de sangre.
La decisiÃ³n del juez Granosik fue rendida el 1 de septiembre.
By Bible Speaks
A judge orders a 14-Year-old witness to be baptized with blood.
A judge from Quebec has decided that a 14-Year-old Jehovah's witness who has cancer must undergo blood transfusions, despite his express desire not to receive them.
The Adolescent, who is not named, learned in June that she has hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare form of cancer affecting white blood cells. He has an excellent survival rate, if it's early.
Treatment involves chemotherapy, which often requires blood transfusions. But as Jehovah's witness, the faith of the girl states that it is against God's desires to consume or be transfused with any blood.
The girl, who had just turned 14 at the time of her diagnosis, refused to accept any transfusion.
Under the québec law, children under the age of 14 may reject certain health services. However, if the parents of the child or a hospital want to administer these services, they may request the permission of a judge.
In his decision issued earlier this month, judge lukasz granosik noted that the girl had embraced his religion at an early age and was baptized at 12 years of his own agreement.
McGill University Health Center, where the girl was being treated, argued that the girl was not mature enough to make those decisions and was under the pressure of her parents to refuse transfusions.
In his judgement, granosik noted that the girl was brilliant and expressive, but also said he was talking about death "almost with resignation".
Noting that the law is designed to protect children even from themselves, he ordered the girl to submit to any blood transfusion necessary to save his life
The girl's Hematologist-oncologist says that the girl's prognosis with full treatment is excellent, with 97 percent of recovery possibilities.
The hospital has promised to use blood transfusions only if the child's life is in danger, and use other methods to avoid transfusions when possible.
No update on the current adolescent health status is known.
The Quebec court requests the adoption of a collective demand for sexual abuse against Jehovah's WitnessesBy Bible Speaks
The Quebec court requests the adoption of a collective demand for sexual abuse against Jehovah's witnesses
A trial proposes to accuse the leadership of the religious organization in Canada and the United States to protect alleged abusers
The lawsuit is looking for $ 250.000 per plaintiff for moral and punitive damages.
Radio-Canada says that, if approved by the court, collective action will be the first of its kind against Jehovah's witnesses, a religious movement that is already the subject of several individual trials in the United States.
It is now up to the québec high court to determine whether the application is sufficiently substantiated to authorize collective action.
By Guest Nicole
Quebec provincial police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by two members of a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, Radio-CanadaÂ’s investigative programÂ EnquÃªteÂ has learned.
Both men have been sanctioned through the churchÂ’s internal disciplinary process for dealing with allegations of child abuse, but congregation elders did not share their findings with civil authorities.
One of the men being investigated, Michel Courtemanche, who has been expelled from the congregation, was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in 1996.
However, the SÃ»retÃ© du QuÃ©bec has renewed its investigation of Courtemanche and has begun investigating another man, former congregation elder Georges Leclerc, based on new evidence from at least seven alleged victims.
Leclerc has been stripped of his status as an elder, but he has not been arrested or charged, and he refused to speak withÂ EnquÃªte.
Courtemanche has not been arrested or charged as a result of the new investigation and denies the allegations against him. In an interview withÂ EnquÃªte, he pointed to his 1996 acquittal.
Â“My answer is there was a judgment on this based on very precise facts, and I was acquitted,Â” he said.
At least 7 potential victims, police say
EnquÃªteÂ spoke with PÃ©nÃ©lope Herbert, the woman whose allegations of repeated sexual assaults starting when she was just 10 led to CourtemancheÂ’s 1996 trial. Â
Carolle Poudrier, now in her mid-40s, also toldÂ EnquÃªteÂ of alleged sexual contact by Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11.
In the case of Herbert, she said the assaults continued until she was 17 Â— even after her family moved from Mont-Laurier.
Â“He would come to our house to say hello and would sleep over,Â” Herbert, now 42, toldÂ EnquÃªte. Â“Those nights, he would come to my room. WeÂ’re talking total rape, those nights.Â”
Carolle Poudrier told EnquÃªte of alleged sexual contact by Michel Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
EnquÃªteÂ has learned the SQ has interviewed more than 40 people, of whom seven have been identified as potential victims of either Courtemanche or Leclerc.
Four of the seven, including Herbert and Poudrier, have now filed formal complaints with police. SQ spokesperson Martine Asselin toldÂ EnquÃªteÂ theyÂ’re now seeking other possible victims and witnesses.
Â“WeÂ’re looking to identify other potential victims who perhaps feel theyÂ’re alone and arenÂ’t ready to talk,Â” Asselin said.
Â“They should know that investigators are ready to meet with them and witnesses.Â”
Both men were friends
According toÂ EnquÃªte, Leclerc and Courtemanche were friends around the time HerbertÂ’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation about the alleged assaults on their daughter.
Leclerc was, as a congregation elder, a senior member of the congregation who is responsible for providing religious guidance and ruling on disciplinary matters.
EnquÃªteÂ said LeclercÂ allegedly did not speak to Herbert to learn the details of her complaint, as required by JehovahÂ’s Witness protocols in such matters.
Courtemanche was later reprimanded and allowed to remain in the congregation.
Georges Leclerc and Michel Courtemanche were friends around the time PÃ©nÃ©lope HerbertÂ’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation, according to EnquÃªte. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
Disillusioned with how the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses had handled her complaint, Herbert took her allegations to police in 1995.
Courtemanche remained a JehovahÂ’s Witness after his acquittal but was expelled in 2014,Â EnquÃªteÂ found, after two other women filed internal complaints alleging he had assaulted them as minors.
Leclerc remains with the Mont-Laurier congregation, butÂ EnquÃªteÂ says he was stripped of his elder duties after at least three women filed complaints internally with the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, alleging he had assaulted them when they were minors.
Police, youth protection notÂ notified of allegations
According toÂ EnquÃªte, the first time police investigated HerbertÂ’s allegations against Courtemanche in the mid-1990s, they were not aware Carolle PoudrierÂ’s parents had also alleged Courtemanche had assaulted their daughter.
PoudrierÂ’s parents were members of a congregation in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal, and had filed their complaint there Â—Â not with CourtemancheÂ’s congregation in Mont-Laurier.
Poudrier alleged that Courtemanche, who was working for her dad, would make her sit on his lap so he could caress and tickle her, which made her uneasy. A few months later, he kissed her twice.
Â“He asked me if IÂ’d ever kissed anyone, and he put his tongue in my mouth. I found that disgusting,Â” Poudrier toldÂ EnquÃªte.
After she told her parents and they complained, Poudrier was made to recount what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father.
Carolle Poudrier told what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
Â“I was really stressed talking about sexual matters with a man I didnÂ’t know, in front of my father. It was embarrassing,Â” Poudrier said.
She said the elder thanked her for telling him what had happened and said that Â“he was there to take care of it.Â”
In a lawyerÂ’s letter to Radio-Canada,Â the elder in question, John MacEwan, said he knew PoudrierÂ’s family but denied meeting with them concerning allegations against Courtemanche.
When asked byÂ EnquÃªteÂ if the Terrebonne congregation had shared the complaint against Courtemanche with his Mont-Laurier congregation, MacEwan refused to answer.
Neither police nor youth protection authorities were ever notified of the alleged assaults on Poudrier.
The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses leadership, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, has given preference to internal judicial procedures and protocols for dealing with matters such as child abuse.
Carolle PoudrierÂ’s father, left, had worked with Michel Courtemanche, right. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
Â“In some jurisdictions, individuals who learn of an allegation of child abuse may be obligated by law to report the allegation to the secular authorities,Â” an internal memo to elders from 2016 reads.
Â“In all cases, the victim and her parents have the absolute right to report an allegation to the authorities.Â”
When it comes to sharing information with outside authorities, however, the leadership has insisted on maintaining confidentiality, citing privacy and the ecclesiastical privilege conferred by confessions.
EnquÃªteÂ found there are as many as 30 steps a JehovahÂ’s Witness must take before that person is allowed to testify in court or furnish civil authorities with church documents, when it comes to matters of child abuse.
Â“When you study the process, you realize itÂ’s really a process for avoiding, a system for protecting the reputation of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses,Â” Â said Marilou LagacÃ©, a former Witness interviewed byÂ EnquÃªte.
New instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse
A recent royal commission in Australia found the JehovahÂ’s Witness church there had recorded allegations of child sexual abuse against 1,006 members over a 60-year period. Not one allegation had been reported to authorities outside the church.
With pressure mounting in the wake of that royal commission and other allegations of sexual abuse of children in its ranks, on Sept. 1, the Watchtower Society issued new instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse.
Those instructions recognize child sexual abuse as a crime and assert that members should be Â“clearly informed that they have the rightÂ” to report an allegation of abuse to police.
Â“The congregationÂ’s handling of an accusation of child sexual abuse is not intended to replace the secular authorityÂ’s handling of the matter,Â” the Sept. 1 letter reads.
Â“Therefore, the victim, her parents, or anyone else who reports such an allegation to the elders should be clearly informed that they have the right to report the matter to the secular authorities.
Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.Â”
By Bible Speaks
Have you attended the 2017 Don't Give Up convention yet? How many people attended? My convention was held in June, and was tied into the Special Convention in Toronto, where we had the privilege of listening to Brother Herd give a talk all 3 days! ?
~ Tap on Link to Video MP4 ___
Video by @hcastrojr -
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