A Verdict Against Doctors in a Jehovah's Witness Case
Hastings Center Report. 1984 Jun; 14(3): 2-3.
A New York State Supreme Court recently awarded $1.52 million to the husband of a Jehovah's Witness who died following a cesarean delivery. At her own request, no blood had been ordered for Bessie Randolph, a patient in 1975 at the now-defunct Sydenham Hospital operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. When she began to hemorrhage, physicians, after legal consultation, unsuccessfully attempted to save her life by administering the small amount of blood available. The city's attorney has moved to set aside the jury's verdict that the doctors were negligent in delaying blood transfusions. If the verdict stands, however, hospital lawyers will understandably be reluctant to advise physicians to honor Witnesses' refusals of transfusions. (KIE abstract)
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