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Religious and Medical Dilemma Essay

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"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…show more content…
As a doctor, to prepare myself to take on this case I would have to process a substantial amount of information and use my best judgment to conceive what the best plan of action regarding this case should be. Reviewing the four key principles in medical ethics: nonmaleficience, beneficence, respect for autonomy, and justice, would prove to be very helpful. After reviewing and consulting with my peers I would most likely conclude that the patient is the one receiving the service and is to be put first above all other factors contributing to the situation. According to the first principle, nonmaleficience, it would not be appropriate as a professional to practice medicine based on his or her own beliefs and not consider the patients feelings about the operation. In this particular case, regarding religious constrictions the doctor must decide if the patients’ needs outweigh the ethical belief of nonmaleficience. Asserting empathy in this case could prove to be a problem. How does a person wholly understand the beliefs of another when they have not been exposed to those beliefs and culture that supplied this person with their values of living? Understanding a patient’s background can significantly impact a decision. If a doctor were to treat a Jehovah Witness with blood they need to understand the impact they would be having on their patient’s life. Jehovah Witnesses ex-communicate with a peer who undergoes a blood transfusion. If
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