A young Jehovah’s Witness’s decision to refuse a blood transfusion – which eventually led to his death – has split his family along religious lines.
Jean-Claude Lavoie, 26, died in late December after refusing a transfusion while being treated for an intestinal tumour, the TQS television network reported Friday.
Lavoie’s brother, who is a former Jehovah’s Witness, has since launched an Internet petition calling on the federal government to make it illegal for a person to refuse treatment on religious grounds.
– Four Dangers of the Jehovah’s Witness Organization
“The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions for religious reasons,” Jonathan Lavoie writes on the petition’s website.
“This creates enormous stress for the family.”
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Jonathan maintains that his brother would still be alive if he had received a transfusion.
But Jean-Claude’s father told TQS he is willing to accept his son’s decision.
“At the beginning it was anticipated that in his case they would be able to operate without a transfusion, but there were complications,” Jocelyn Lavoie said. “It’s unfortunate, but it came to that.
“It’s important to respect Jean-Claude’s choice.”
As many as 1,000 people have signed Jonathan Lavoie’s petition so far.