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  1. LUXEMBOURG (CN) — A Latvian child who needed open-heart surgery prevailed Thursday in a religious discrimination case against the country’s Ministry of Health, which refused to sign on off on letting him undergo the procedure in another country where he wouldn’t require a blood transfusion. Names are withheld from the ruling released this morning by the European Court of Justice. It says only that the child was a Jehovah’s Witness who needed surgery because of a congenital heart defect, and that in Latvia the procedure is not possible without a blood transfusion. The boy’s parent requested a form called an S2 that would authorize treatment in Poland — presumably where the surgery can be performed without a transfusion — but Latvia’s National Health Service refused to comply. The family began fighting in court, losing every step of the way before the case reached Europe’s high court in Luxembourg, but ultimately the boy underwent heart surgery in Poland on April 22, 2017 — over a year after he was first denied an S2 form. https://www.courthousenews.com/europes-top-court-rules-for-jehovahs-witness-child-in-medical-bias-case/
  2. 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/
  3. 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. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2019/mar/06/docs-operate-congolese-woman-respect-religious-sentiments-1947312.html
  4. 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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
  5. Substitute of Biological Blood: These are substances which act like biological blood and are used in cases requiring a blood transfusion. Purpose: 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. History: 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/
  6. 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. https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2012/07/refusal-of-blood-transfusions-by-jehovahs-witnesses-not-always-detrimental-research-finds?fbclid=IwAR2FqyNQ6S_ILvtLzBldwslGcpfBbvJQpk8kbbROMEMmyVsgMQDGMoZvgmU
  7. 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. https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/health/2018/04/04/heres-why-parents-filed-legal-case-prevent-their-child-cancer-getting-blood-transfusion/483577002/
  8. 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. https://en.annahar.com/article/720753-minnesota-couple-delivers-christmas-day-baby-on-side-of-road
  9. 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." http://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/jehovahs-witness-dies-after-refusing-654766
  10. A judge has authorized a Montreal hospital to perform blood transfusions to treat a 14-year-old teen with cancer, despite her refusal because she is a Jehovah's Witness. By allowing transfusions, the court ruled that it is lawful to protect children, sometimes "against themselves," when their decisions can be fatal. Under Quebec law, minors over the age of 14 can refuse certain health services. However, if the child’s parents or a hospital--in this case, the McGill University Health Centre--wants to administer those services, they can seek a judge’s permission. Superior Court Judge Lukasz Granosik said in his decision that the teen is "a brilliant, articulate girl" who is very successful at school and has a "maturity beyond her biological age," but that she was not yet mature enough to decide for herself, and was under pressure from her parents who are also Jehovah's Witnesses. Granosik also noted the girl spoke of death with "resignation," despite having a 97 percent chance of recovery if she underwent treatment. In June 2017, she found out she had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, and had to begin chemotherapy. This treatment, however, often requires blood transfusions. Without it, the patient could die or suffer irreversible neurological damage, her doctor said. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions. Judge Granosik’s decision was rendered on Sept. 1. - With a report from The Canadian Press http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/judge-rules-teen-jehovah-s-witness-will-get-blood-transfusions-1.3599245
  11. When Jim Steenhuizen wound up in the intensive care unit with massive internal bleeding, doctors ordered a blood transfusion to save him. But even though his condition was serious, the father of two refused. As a Jehovah’s Witness, his religion forbids taking blood transfusions from another person. So doctors tried a new blood replacement product, which was acceptable. And after a few weeks, the 48-year-old Anderson man was back at work delivering the mail on his rural route thanks to Sanguinate. “I had never heard of it. And I was very thankful for it,” he told The Greenville News. “I try not to think about what might have happened.” Dr. Sharif Khan, a hematologist with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System where Steenhuizen was treated, said it’s challenging when providers can’t offer supportive care because of religious restrictions. But Sanguinate could solve that problem. “About 85 percent to 90 percent of Jehovah’s Witness patients who are told about this product accept it,” he said. “He got several doses and was stabilized. And he made a complete recovery.” Promising alternative As a result of vehicle crashes, injuries and illness, about 13.2 million transfusions are performed every year in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. And there are 1.04 million Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to nationmaster.com, which compiles data about a variety of issues. There are others who can’t take blood transfusions as well, including those who develop multiple antibodies for whom matching blood can’t be found, such as patients with sickle cell disease, Khan said. An alternative could be helpful in those circumstances, he said. But earlier efforts to develop such a product have proven unsuccessful, he said, and even dangerous. As a physician specializing in disorders of the blood, Khan followed the research and learned about Sanguinate. It looked more promising than the previous attempts. Sanguinate is produced through a process that links molecules from cow’s blood with molecules from carbon monoxide to create a bigger molecule that lasts longer than human blood and doesn’t have to be refrigerated, he said. It’s manufactured by New Jersey-based Prolong Pharmaceuticals. As a stabilizing agent, Sanguinate is not being considered as a replacement for chronic blood transfusions, he said. Rather, it’s used as a bridge to something else — surgery to stop the bleeding or buying enough time until the body can make more of its own blood, he said. Danger zone When Steenhuizen arrived at the hospital, he was bleeding severely in his intestines, Khan said. He’d lost more than 80 percent of his red cells — the cells that carry oxygen to the brain, kidneys and other vital organs. A search located some Sanguinate at a hospital in Charlotte, he said. And a staffer drove there to retrieve it. At the time, Steenhuizen was facing multiple organ failure, Khan said. But after receiving a few units of Sanguinate, his oxygen level improved substantially and he was out of the danger zone. “He was completely coherent, his oxygen level was up,” he said. “And made a complete recovery.” After that, St. Francis became one of 27 sites involved in a Phase 2 clinical trial of Sanguinate already underway across the country when blood is not an option, whether for religious or medical reasons, he said. It’s hoped that it can one day be used by the military in battlefield conditions and by EMTs who arrive on the scene to find a victim bleeding profusely, Khan said. “If somebody has been in a crash, the (EMTs) can’t stick an IV into their arm and start blood,” he said. “And the Department of Defense is interested in research into these products for obvious reasons. They are stored like medications on shelves, not refrigerated, and they can be carried in an ambulance or military vehicle.” They don’t need to typed either like blood does, he said. And while undetected diseases may be spread through human blood transfusions, the manufacturing process destroys all the organisms in the cow’s blood that might cause disease, he said. But Sanguinate is not without risks, though they’re considered manageable, he said. Patients must be monitored closely for potentially dangerous blood pressure spikes and kidney dysfunction. Staying alive Steenhuizen developed internal bleeding on Feb. 13 — as best anyone can figure from taking ibuprofen for his back pain. Ibuprofen is one of a number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, that can cause bleeding in some people. A day later, he was in the ICU. At that point, he said, his hemoglobin was a fraction of what it should have been. But a life-saving transfusion was out of the question because of the religion he and his family observe. Sanguinate (Photo: Bon Secours St. Francis Health System) “Because of my stance as a Jehovah’s Witness, I refused to take blood,” he said. “The Bible states to abstain from blood, that blood is sacred and belongs to God. “If I was to die because I didn’t take blood, I would have died in good standing with Jehovah, my God,” he added. “And my family was OK with that.” Thankfully, it never came to that. As his concerned doctors were considering surgery to try and stop the bleeding, they decided to try Sanguinate along with other medications he was given. And slowly, his blood count began to rise. “The main thing was to boost the oxygen level to the organs to keep me alive,” he said. “Eventually ... my blood cells started going up.” Steenhuizen was released after two weeks in the hospital and was back at work on March 11. He no longer takes NSAIDS, says he’s pretty much back to normal, and is glad that Sanguinate is available for him and other Jehovah’s Witnesses. “I think it was a great product. And I think it could benefit others,” he said. “It saved my life.” http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/health/2017/04/11/blood-replacement-bridge-life-upstate-man/100081856/
  12. Peace Euodia pictured above, died of excess bleeding during child delivery, because her church, Jehovah Witness Church does not permit her to accept blood transfusion. http://www.lindaikejisblog.com/2017/02/photo-nigerian-woman-dies-after.html
  13. A two year-old boy with failing health can receive blood treatment despite the reluctance of his parents, the High Court has ruled. In An NHS Foundation Trust v T, the youngster, referred to as ‘Child T’, had an abnormally low blood platelet (cell) count which doctors believed was related to problems with his bone marrow. As a result he had fallen ill and regularly required hospital treatment. A haematologist (doctor specialising in blood disorders) concluded that T would require medical treatment for the foreseeable future “in order to prevent a very serious deterioration in his health”. But the likely use of “blood products” in this treatment had caused a dilemma for T’s parents because they were practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses, a high profile Christian sect based in the United States which objects to blood transfusions and similar procedures on religious grounds. High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson described the parents as: “…fully committed to their son and to achieving the best outcome for him.” The clash between their religious beliefs and their desire to do their best for their son meant they could neither consent to the treatment nor oppose it, a position they explained in letters to the court. They asked for alternative forms of treatment to be considered. The NHS Trust looking after the boy applied for a legal declaration that treatment with blood products would be lawful despite the parents’ reluctance to consent. Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that: “I am in no doubt at all, having read the medical evidence and having considered the views of T’s parents, that it is overwhelmingly in T’s best interests for him to be able to receive this treatment in order for his health to be supported.” If the hospital were unable to administer the necessary treatment, there could be “very serious and possibly even fatal consequences as time went on”, he explained. In the circumstances it was necessary, the Judge said, for the court to make this decision rather than the parents. The resulting legal order would, however, specify that blood products would only be used “if there is no clinically appropriate alternative.” Read the full judgement here. Image by Howard Lake via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence A two year-old boy with failing health can receive blood treatment despite the reluctance of his parents, the High Court has ruled. In An NHS Foundation Trust v T, the youngster, referred to as ‘Child T’, had an abnormally low blood platelet (cell) count which doctors believed was related to problems with his bone marrow. As a result he had fallen ill and regularly required hospital treatment. A haematologist (doctor specialising in blood disorders) concluded that T would require medical treatment for the foreseeable future “in order to prevent a very serious deterioration in his health”. But the likely use of “blood products” in this treatment had caused a dilemma for T’s parents because they were practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses, a high profile Christian sect based in the United States which objects to blood transfusions and similar procedures on religious grounds. High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson described the parents as: “…fully committed to their son and to achieving the best outcome for him.” The clash between their religious beliefs and their desire to do their best for their son meant they could neither consent to the treatment nor oppose it, a position they explained in letters to the court. They asked for alternative forms of treatment to be considered. The NHS Trust looking after the boy applied for a legal declaration that treatment with blood products would be lawful despite the parents’ reluctance to consent. Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that: “I am in no doubt at all, having read the medical evidence and having considered the views of T’s parents, that it is overwhelmingly in T’s best interests for him to be able to receive this treatment in order for his health to be supported.” If the hospital were unable to administer the necessary treatment, there could be “very serious and possibly even fatal consequences as time went on”, he explained. In the circumstances it was necessary, the Judge said, for the court to make this decision rather than the parents. The resulting legal order would, however, specify that blood products would only be used “if there is no clinically appropriate alternative.” http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2016/12/02/toddler-can-receive-blood-treatment-high-court-rules/
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