The Development of Physician Norms in the United States: The Treatment of Jehovah's Witness Patients
Tierney, William M.
Greene, James Y.
Studdard, P. Albert
Social Science and Medicine. 1982; 16(19): 1719-1723.
A survey of medical students and physicians at Indiana University Medical Center regarding blood transfusions for Jehovah's Witnesses indicates that informal norms in the medical community parallel ambiguous legal norms. Transfusions are likely to be given, despite lack of consent, to children and incompetent adults. The wishes of competent adults are more generally respected. Physicians' decisions regarding transfusions are not affected by experience or level of training; however, experienced physicians are more likely to obtain a court order. Since ethical problems related to Jehovah's Witnesses are rarely considered during medical education, the authors emphasize the need to make physicians aware of nonmedical considerations in treatment decisions. (KIE abstract)
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