The Dilemma of Jehovah's Witness Children Who Need Blood to Survive
HEC (HealthCare Ethics Committee) Forum. 1996 Jul; 8(4): 195-207; discussion 208-211.
Medical researchers must continue to develop and test non-blood oxygen-transport products. Resources provided by the Jehovah's Witness Hospital Assistance Line must be consulted. Sickle cell researchers must continue to test non-blood treatment. Information about non-blood treatments must be disbursed. Ways to enhance parental comfort as the laws further and further support children's best interest must be provided. Information regarding cultural diversity must be disseminated. Hospitals and healthcare agencies that have not done so must institute the use of ethics consulting or ethics committees. Nurse ethicists must continue development of the role of educating staff; mediation, arbitration and negotiation; problem solving; obtaining legal opinion; providing patient, family, or staff advocacy; and helping to reduce suffering on the part of the providers. Difficult ethical decisions should continue to be debated. Were the staff X Med Center correct in overriding parental wishes and breaking tenets of their faith? In the doctor's, nurse's, lawyer's, and judge's view they were. The child, now eight years old, is alive and well. The stroke resolved, and imminent death averted. The parents' and child's views are not presently available. Whether the family is suffering from the child's loss of his relationship with God, or are secretly relieved in their hearts that they are not, like Rita Swan, mourning their dead son, is unknown. What is known, is that this was a difficult case for all involved, and that such cases will continue to present themselves in the future.
Allowing to Die; Alternatives; Beneficence; Blood; Blood Transfusions; Case Studies; Children; Coercion; Consultation; Cultural Diversity; Death; Decision Making; Ethicists; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Hearts; Hospitals; Legal Aspects; Laws; Mediation; Minors; Nurses; Parents; Physicians; Privacy; Referral and Consultation; Religion; Researchers; Sickle Cell Anemia; Suffering; Treatment Refusal;
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