Nancy DiGeronimo, a Jehovah’s Witness, received a life-saving blood transfusion when complications arose after she gave birth to a healthy boy.
But even so, reports Frank Donnelly in The Staten Island Advance, DiGeronimo then
sued her doctor and Staten Island University Hospital for medical malpractice alleging the transfusions of another person’s blood conflicted with her religious beliefs.
But a Staten Island justice has dismissed the 5-year-old case against Dr. Allen Fuchs and University Hospital, ruling the transfusion didn’t deviate from accepted standards of care and that Ms. DiGeronimo had failed to show the infusion of someone else’s blood had hurt her.
Ms. DiGeronimo, then 34, was released from the hospital on April 9, 2004, five days after giving birth.
“The plaintiff’s argument, taken to its logical conclusion, is that the doctor should have allowed her [the mother of two children] to die rather than give her an ‘allogenic’ blood transfusion,” state Supreme Court Justice Joseph J. Maltese wrote in a decision handed down Thursday. “Since the plaintiff’s transfusion saved her life, this action is analogous to one for ‘wrongful life’ against the doctor. However, there is no cause of action for ‘wrongful life’ in the state of New York.
“In this case, there is no departure from good and acceptable medical care and there is no proximate cause of a legally recognized injury.”
Sociologically the movement has cult-like elements as well. (Note the differences between sociological vs. theological definitions of the term ‘cult.’)
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ teachings regarding blood transfusions are not shared by legitimate Christian churches.
The doctrine has led to countless unnecessary deaths. In many cases hospitals have obtained court orders permitting them to apply blood transfusions — particularly, but not always, in the case of minors.