Ireland: Jehovah’s Witnesses abandon appeal against forced blood transfusion

Blood appeal abandoned

Legal representatives for a Jehovah’s Witness have abandoned an appeal into what is believed to be the first instance in Ireland where a court ordered a blood transfusion to be given to an adult against her will.

IMN has been informed that the legal team for Ms K, a Jehovah’s Witness, including senior counsel Mr John Rogers of the Law Library of Ireland and barrister Dr Simon Mills, felt there were no sufficient merits for an appeal.

The team, in the end, felt that the judgement did not necessarily set a case precedent as the presiding High Court judge had noted that the facts of the case were such that it was highly unlikely it would recur.

Furthermore, Supreme Court judge Justice Susan Denham had, in a 1996 judgment, ruled that as long as they are mentally competent, an adult patient should be allowed to refuse a blood transfusion even if it will risk the patient’s life.

– Source / Full Story: Blood appeal abandoned, Lloyd Mudiwa, Irish Medical News, Apr. 21, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

A 23-year-old woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo suffered a major haemorrhage after giving birth to a baby boy at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

She reportedly lost 80 percent of her blood, but since she had previously refused blood transfusions on religious grounds the hospital sought and obtained an emergency court order allowing doctors to save the woman’s life. Her husband tried to prevent the procedure, but was refused entry to the hospital.

The woman survived, and later took legal action against the hospital. Leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ireland sought to join her suit, but their request was refused by the court.

In October 2007 the Coombe Hospital, hoping to set a precedent, began a landmark legal action against the woman over her refusal to consent to a life saving blood transfusion.

The woman later told the High Court she believed an alternative remedy of Coca Cola and tomatoes should have been given to her when she refused the transfusion.

In April 2008 the High Court ruled that doctors at the Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin did not act unlawfully in giving the woman a blood transfusion.

Cult of Christianity

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society — the organization which claims to represent God on earth, and which dictates the edicts Jehovah’s Witnesses must adhere to — has flip-flopped several times on is teachings regarding blood.

An excerpt from the video “Witnesses of Jehovah,” a Christian documentary that exposes the error and sin of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This clip tells the remarkable story of Paul and Pat Blizard, a Jehovah’s Witness couple whose baby daughter, Jenny, needed a blood transfusion.

Christians point out that the Watchtower Society is, theologically, a cult of Christianity — by virtue of the fact that it changes and/or denies a number of essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Sociologically the religious movement has some cult-like elements as well.

No Christian church supports the Watchtower’s claims regarding blood.

Courts in various countries have typically ordered blood transfusions for minors who Jehovah’s Witness parents told doctors not to provide them.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday April 23, 2009.
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