Jehovah's witnesses’ faith allows them to seek medical help; however, they do not accept blood transfusions. This belief arises from a biblical passage that states "Only flesh with its soul- its blood-you must not eat (Genesis 9:3-4), "You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh, because the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood. I will set my face against that person who eats blood...Anyone eating it will be cut off” (Leviticus 17:10, 13-14). These passages are interpreted by Jehovah's witnesses as forbidding the transfusion of any blood products. The following presentation will address legal and ethical issues that can arise from this scenario.
Keywords: Jehovah’s Witness, blood transfusion, blood, faith.
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Jehovah’s Witnesses respect their religion and their beliefs and many strongly adhere to them because of the many consequences that they may face. Jehovah’s Witness believe that if they accept blood products, they will suffer severe consequences. Some of the consequences Jehovah’s Witness believe they will encounter include lack of spiritual purpose, relationship with God will be damaged and they will be expelled from their congregation (Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2000). Many parents face the worse decision when a child is involved.
The following scenario explores the legal and ethical decisions involved with a pediatric patient. A six year old boy suffering from Sickle cell anemia is brought to the hospital with a crisis. During a sickle cell anemia crisis, red blood cells are damaged and they are unable to deliver oxygen to the body. The standard treatment is oxygen, hydration, blood replacements and exchange transfusion (Anita, 2006). The pediatric patient was admitted in critical condition and a blood transfusion is necessary. Parents stated they want to save their child and will accept any type of treatment except for blood products.
Adults have the right to refuse any type of treatment including blood products. Nurses are there to support and advocate for the patient and to assist and support the patient when other methods of treatment are chosen. Parents with full custody
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A lot of people are unfamiliar with Jehovah’s Witnesses (J.W.) population and their religious believes. As stated in the Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, J.W., Christian sect, founded in 1872 in Pittsburgh, Pa., by the American clergyman Charles Taze Russell, with congregations throughout the world. The legal governing body of J. W. is the Watch Tower Bible (Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, 2014). After researching the values and beliefs of J.W. and comparing them to Christianity, Professor Watson found quite a few differences (Walston, R., 2004). One of the major differentiating characteristics of J. W. is their refusal to accept blood transfusions because it is considered to be a sin. Members of this sect refuse blood mainly based on the Book of Acts that says to abstain from blood. They see blood as
The case of Baby Boy Doe is an ethical dilemma because it’s an occurrence where “decision makers are drawn in two directions by competing course of acting that are based of differing moral frameworks, varying or inconsistent elements of the organizations philosophy, conflicting duties or moral principles, or an ill-defined sense of right and wrong.” (Darr, K. 2011) There were many differing viewpoints as well as moral and ethical choices on this case, the parents, nurses, physicians and hospital as an organization. In regards to the respect for person’s principle, the hospital and physicians allowed the parents to be completely autonomous. The parents were given the
Today nurses in all roles participate in ethical decision making arising from mortality, relationships, and conduct issues surrounding patient care and families. This is particularly the situation with ethical issues involving pediatrics and those unable to take their own decisions. While the patients’ interests should come first, there are many other factors that come into play when providing pediatric patient care: parents’ knowledge, cultural and religious practices, and the pediatric patient’s knowledge of their disease. Therefore, it is essential for nurses to follow the American Nurses Association (ANA) code of ethics to carry out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession. In this paper I will discuss the ethical issues that deal with a fourteen year old boy with Cystic Fibrosis (C.F.). He has been faced with the proposition from his pulmonologist that he will not survive another acute respiratory distress attack and will have to intubated if his status deteriorated. However, he and his parents are not agreeing on whether or not he should be intubated if his status deteriorated with his next attack. This poses a huge ethical dilemma because as a nurse we are the patient’s advocate and need to do everything we can to make our patient comfortable as well as having the parents understand and accept the patient wants and desires.
Allowing someone to die: Some religious affiliations (Jehovah’s witness) will not receive a blood transfusion. They have decided not to take advantage of medical technology to preserve life. If such person is in a life & death situation and required a blood transfusion in order to survive the choose to die vs. receiving a blood transfusion.
Notably, Jehovah Witness patients’ religious teachings prohibit their believers from Blood transfusion, euthanasia, autopsy and Artificial insemination. These medical practices are against the Biblical teachings of the Jehovah Witness since they consider them to be unholy. Further, they believe the medical interventions to interfere with God’s intentions for human life hence they disallow their followers from practicing
For many people Christianity is the religion of choice and a way of life. Jehovah?s Witnesses are one subgroup of the Christian faith. The JW religion was founded in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell. They comprise 1.2 million of the U.S. population (Campbell, Y., Machan M., & Fisher, M., 2016). They present a unique challenge to the medical community because of their stance on blood transfusions. Part I will provide a
One reason why teenagers should have the right to confidential medical treatments is so they can deal with their issues as effectively and timely as possible. When minors present their medical problems to their physicians, some of them can be emergencies. These situations can appear in a circumstance such as the patient waiting so long to get a doctor’s opinion of their illness or injury that they are at risk of serious consequences if it is not treated immediately. In some cases, there is no time to receive parental consent or approval, and medical procedure must happen as soon as possible. The patient is most desperate for attention in emergency situations and they should be able to consent to procedures so that they can be performed quickly. “Emergency physicians shall
I have had patients with cultural belief of refusing blood products. When getting report I was told the nurse tried to convince them to receive the blood transfusion. They refused even when told they could die without it.
Since the patient was a Jehovah Witness she refused any treatments involving a blood transfusion because she felt that if she accepted the blood transfusion she would be going against her family and religious beliefs. Her husband who was also at her bedside agreed with his wife 's decision. Eventually her husband left to pick up their children from daycare. Her condition worsened and she decided to change her mind because she realized that she was really going to die if she did not have the transfusion and wanted to be around for her children. She then asked the nurse if she could still receive the blood without informing her husband of her decision. The nurse was so relieved with the patient’s decision and informed the healthcare provider. Because of this decision the patient and unborn child were able to make a full recovery.
Health care staff governed to perform their professional duties based on the practice acts from the professional licensing boards under the statutes of the states. The professional duties include the balance between competency in skills, and application of ethics that will help promote the provision of the quality of care to the public (Harris, 2008). However, there are ethical health care issues that health care professionals encounter with their patients. One ethical health care issue is the refusal of a patient for treatment, such as receiving blood transfusion because of his or her religious beliefs.
Blood transfusion is a practice that breaks rules of their religion. As an adult they are allowed to refuse transfusions, even though it is said that approximately 1,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses die every year from their denial of blood transfusions (Wilson, 2005). When it comes to children in the United Kingdom, however, the doctor is allowed to do a blood transfusion, if needed, against the parent’s wishes. The protection that is behind this is the Children Act of 1989. This act states that although the parent’s rights are considered, it is ultimately the well being of the child that is the priority (Wilson, 2005). Acts like this are reassuring to see, and are a big improvement that will continue to help save the lives of
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a people known widely throughout the world. They are well-dressed people who come knocking at your door on different occasions offering religious literature for sale or trying to introduce their beliefs through carefully prepared conversation. People young, old, rich, poor, well educated and non-educated have embraced them. Their enthusiasm as proclaimers of God’s Kingdom has impressed even their harshest critics. Their love toward one another makes some non-witnesses hope and pray that more people would act in that manner. Yet, some may still wonder, who really are the Jehovah’s Witnesses? What is their history, their practices and their beliefs? Why are they the most attacked new religious
There are many legal and ethical situations that healthcare providers will be faced with when providing medical treatment to either a child or an elderly adult. While there is often much discussion regarding the elderly and do not resuscitate orders, there are often times when the decisions for health care of a child may be overlooked. Some of the legal issues that may be faced by healthcare professionals are informed consent, confidentiality, reproductive services and child abuse. Patients have the right to decide what is done to their own bodies, but for children under eighteen, their parents decide for them. A major issue faced by healthcare professionals is parental refusal for treatment. Healthcare providers will be faced with many conflicting ethical and legal situations regarding refusal of a minor’s healthcare and treatment. These issues
"You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood" (Lev. 17:14). This is just one of the several scriptures found in the bible from which the Jehovah Witnesses base their beliefs. To summarize the above excerpt, Jehovah Witnesses strongly believe that contributing to the health of their bodies by way of any type of blood material is not intended by God’s will. However in dire cases, ethical questions need to be raised regarding the patient’s mental capacity and legal competence. In particular cases concerning minor patients, where mental capacity is accounted for, parents should not have the dominant opinion about how their child wants to receive surgery based on their own personal beliefs.
The topic of blood donation well-researched, with strategies having been devised to try and increase donation rates all over the world. Australia faces a challenging set of circumstances, in which remuneration for donation is illegal (ARCBS, 2013). It is thought this may be a contributing factor to the poor repeat donation rates in youth demographics, for whom altruism is no longer a primary driving factor when considering donation (Russell-Bennett, Hartel, Previte & Russel, 2012).