Jury Awards $100K to Family of Jehovah's Witness Who Died After Refusing Blood Transfusion

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A Fulton County jury awarded just over $100,000 to the family of a woman who died after refusing to receive blood transfusions because of her beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness.

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What's being said

  • Terry

    The Watchtower‘s actual blood policy completely contradicts any common sense. The blood fractions that Watchtower allows for Jehovah‘s Witnesses are derived from.... stored blood!According to Watchtower it is acceptable to use someone else‘s stored blood- but not your own.A JW can use fractions from stored blood for his own benefit, but he is not allowed to donate blood for someone else‘s benefit. Of course, the entire doctrine is without scriptural basis and is a dizzying conundrum of layers of absurdities.

  • Danny

    Sorry for unintended multiple post big server lag

  • Danny

    The Watchtower leadership expects followers to die for their dogma and many have...The medical staff get blamed and are *damned if they do damned if they don‘t comply with JW twisted superstitions over blood transfusions. The blame belongs with the 12 senile old men in New York USA who make up the ruling governing body of the Jehovah‘s Witnesses cult.--- Don‘t shoot the messengers...PLEASE Google-Jehovah‘s Witnesses blood transfusions 50,000 dead

  • Danny

    The Watchtower leadership expects followers to die for their dogma and many have...The medical staff get blamed and are *damned if they do damned if they don‘t comply with JW twisted superstitions over blood transfusions. The blame belongs with the 12 senile old men in New York USA who make up the ruling governing body of the Jehovah‘s Witnesses cult.--- Don‘t shoot the messengers...PLEASE Google-Jehovah‘s Witnesses blood transfusions 50,000 dead

  • Danny

    The Watchtower leadership expects followers to die for their dogma and many have...The medical staff get blamed and are *damned if they do damned if they don‘t comply with JW twisted superstitions over blood transfusions. The blame belongs with the 12 senile old men in New York USA who make up the ruling governing body of the Jehovah‘s Witnesses cult.--- Don‘t shoot the messengers...PLEASE Google-Jehovah‘s Witnesses blood transfusions 50,000 dead

  • Danny

    Won‘t allow links.Please Google- Jehovah‘s witnesses 50,000 dead blood transfusionsEmergency blood transfusions SAVE countless lives.

  • Danny

    PROOF-50,000 dead blogspot.com/2012/02/more-than-50000-dead.html

  • Danny

    PROOF-50,000 dead blogspot.com/2012/02/more-than-50000-dead.html

  • Rdlee

    JehovahGod - I like to know what are these so-called statistics you are spewing? Women who are one of Jehovah‘s Witnesses are NOT 2x more likely to die during childbirth. It would do you some good to get your facts straight.

  • Rdlee

    JehovahGod - I like to know what are these so-called statistics you are spewing? Women who are one of Jehovah‘s Witnesses are NOT 2x more likely to die during childbirth. It would do you some good to get your facts straight.

  • Rdlee

    Soloman - Blood "fractions" as you, "stated", is NOT whole blood. It‘s FRACTIONS. Here something for you to read: Blood consist of cellular material (99% red blood cells, with white blood cells and platelets making up the remainder), water, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, hormones, vitamins, electrolytes, dissolved gases, and cellular wastes. THIS is what makes up the blood in your body. So before you criticize my beliefs do some research about IT and what the blood in your body consists of. More and more hospitals are figuring out way to do surgery without using blood. Blood transfusions are very expensive and many mistakes happens do to human error. Duke University Hospital gave the wrong blood to a 17 yr old organ transplant in early 2003. She died some days later. August of 2013 Coney Island Hospital gave a patient the wrong blood and he died. Alternatives to blood transfusion are less expensive and less evasive on the body. Again, do your research before you start stomping on my beliefs. Oh, and FYI: The longer blood is stored, the more risk it might pose to a patient who receives it. A doctor in Massachusetts, who is NOT ONE OF JEHOVAH‘S WITNESSES, has said that blood transfusions are pretty much useless because the essentials of the blood diminishes after 48 - 72 hours. So if a person needs blood, that person would need straight from a WARM body.

  • Soloman

    Jehovah‘s Witnesses will accept blood "fractions," which essentially nullifies their original claim that their decision to refuse blood is bible based. Perhaps you could ask these patients why they can accept fractions but not so called ‘whole blood‘. It may give some cause to think more seriously about their situation.

  • JehovahGod

    Good comments below on this $100K story- I have a hunch that the hospital might win an appeal on that money judgement. The Watchtower leaders are guilty of misrepresentation- they claim not accepting blood carries almost no risk- it‘s healthier that accepting a blood transfusion= so they say. The statistics are out there- JW women are 2x more likely to die from childbirth complications. As you have continually warned, massive blood loss from an accident has only one solution - a blood transfusion or you die. So sad for the baby, growing up without it‘s mother- and it is sad the hospitals have no emergency counseling from anti cult experts. A Federal law needs to be passed and the Watchtower sued for wrongful deaths, if they don‘t reform their dogma

  • Rdlee

    Mary - you sound bitter. What seems to be the problem?

  • Rdlee

    OldGuy - What is the difference between eating and taking something intravenously? There are people eat crack, snort coke and inject it. But it STILL gets in the body one way or another. And FYI: There are plenty of people who are NOT JWs, as you put it, who refuses blood transfusions as well.

  • OldGuy

    Looking at the Bible verses cited by the JW, I note that in each case the prohibition is against EATING blood, requiring the life‘s blood to be drained from the slaughtered animal before cooking and eating the meat. There is, unsurprisingly, no prohibition against transfusions in scripture. Just the JW‘s odd, and deadly interpretation. Sad.

  • Avon

    I find Jehovah‘s Witnesses annoying, even though I‘m religious myself, and therefore object to some widely accepted customs and laws. But here I don‘t feel conflicted. Every patient of every religion has a right not to be misled by a "bloodless" advertisement, and a right not to undergo a vaginal delivery that leaves behind substantial placental or other material (unless there‘s a reason it‘s undetectable in the circumstances, which I doubt), and a right to have a d&c done in such a way that does not cause excessive bleeding. Without knowing how much material was sent to Pathology by the d&c team, why it could not have been reasonably detected at delivery or soon thereafter, and how much of the blood loss occurred during and after the d&c, I can‘t judge. But I suspect that the medically accepted standards of care were not followed, and I assume the plaintiff‘s experts in ob/gyn, bloodless medicine, and triage all had facts such as those on which to conclude that it was malpractice. And I‘m also concerned that if the jury really did feel the hospital was liable, the modest amount of damages makes no sense logically; it should award only 10%, say, of the full damages suffered only if the hospital bore only 10% of the fault. And if the hospital thought it was legally wrong for the patient to refuse transfusion, they should not have accepted to treat her. In short, I don‘t see how anyone can be sure of who‘s right, just by reading this well-reported but unavoidably incomplete news story. I‘d welcome an appeal by the plaintiffs, at least on the low amount of damages and possibly on the standards of care also; and I‘d think the defense should then cross-appeal to erase the liability (as opposed to having to justify the low award). Meanwhile, I applaud the gentlemanly compliments all around; there were clearly good lawyering, fair judging, and appropriate civility and respect.

  • Will Benson

    @Chuck "Choice of treatment is just that – a choice. Each choice is personal. Each choice should be respected."It is certainly is NOT a choice if there is a punishment for having a blood transfusion.

  • Danny Haszard

    Chuck below said---"Each person capable of making a choice has the right to choose what treatment will be utilized on his/her person and whether to even allow a treatment to be utilized. Choice of treatment is just that – a choice"My response-The JW rank & file do NOT have a "choice" they follow made up mandates of their Watchtower leaders on what blood treatments may be utilized.

  • Chuck Sylvester

    Each person capable of making a choice has the right to choose what treatment will be utilized on his/her person and whether to even allow a treatment to be utilized. Choice of treatment is just that – a choice. Each choice is personal. Each choice should be respected. Freedom to choose is what ‘patriots’ claim that this country is about. It is what active military and we veterans supposedly served to preserve.Some find it easy to blame a religious organization for an individual’s choice. Religious organizations may influence but, have no direct say in the choice of treatment or other matters of choice. If everyone was held to be responsible for his/her choices, rather than shifting blame, we would have fewer problems in this world.Ms. Anderson had the guts to make her choice and to stand firm for what she believed. Should we really do away with individual choice? Hitler and others greedy for power would love it.It is widely known that the first step in addressing loss of blood is to ‘stop the bleeding’. For medical professionals to ignore the obvious first step may be considered negligence – despite the choices of the patient.

  • Mary

    "She refused whole blood, major blood fractions, and all minor blood fractions except for albumin."This is an excellent example of demonstrating that Witnesses haven‘t a clue about what constitutes ‘blood and the inconsistency of the Watchtower’s policy on blood. Albumin is now “allowed” by the Organization and most Witnesses would be under the assumption that it is only a ‘fraction’ and not ‘whole blood’. Albumin is used for severe bleeding and for burn victims. There are about 50 grams of albumin in one liter of blood. To get 600 grams of albumin, you would need 12 liters of blood. Hardly a small amount, yet the Watchtower Society sees no problem with forbidding packed red cells to ‘Sister A’ who’s bleeding internally, while at the same time, allowing ‘Sister B’ to accept albumin if they were suffering from third degree burns on 50% of his body, even though accepting the albumin would involve a much larger volume of blood than what Sister A needed.

  • Danny Haszard

    In Plain Language:The Watchtower society now allows 95% of blood ‘components‘.It‘s the individual JW member that is confused and panics when they get into the ER with massive blood loss and doesn‘t know all the rules and fine print of the complicated Pharisaical JW no blood doctrine that most of the blood can be utilized.They cannot think fast enough in a dire emergency.Because of this it causes great confusion and distress for the ER staff....I have BEEN THERE!Anyone working in accident and emergency wards knows darn well that there is absolutely and incontrovertibly no safe alternative to donated blood - particulary in cases of massive blood loss in which blood volume needs to be immediately replaced.Interestingly, the Watchtower Jehovah‘s Witnesses has very, very little to say on this alarming aspect of refusing blood.Jehovah‘s Witnesses followers are forbidden from pre-storing their OWN blood ahead of elective surgery called autologous donationMoreover-Fractions come from donated blood - if you can accept fractions,then why can‘t you donate blood? The situation is worse in Africa and less developed countries where bloodless surgery and treatment is either unavailable or way to costly

  • Lee Elder

    The downside to "bloodless" medicine. The informed choice is "blood conservation" medicine.

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