Transfusion-Free Treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses: Respecting the Autonomous Patient's Rights
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1998 Oct; 24(5): 302-307.
Do six million Jehovah's Witnesses mean what they say? Muramoto's not-so-subtle proposition is that they don't, because of a system of control akin to the Orwellian "thought police". My response is that the fast developing cooperative relationship between our worldwide community and the medical profession as a whole, and the proven record of that community's steadfast integrity in relation to their Christian principles is the evidence that we do! I seek to highlight the inaccuracy of information, which Muramoto admits came largely from dis-enchanted ex-members, by quoting "established" medical ethical opinion that refusal of blood transfusions must be respected as evidence of patient autonomy. Personal experience of my work on hospital liaison committees for Jehovah's Witnesses is reviewed and I endeavour to prove that our view of blood, and its association with life, goes to the very core of the human psyche. Lastly I suggest that faith transcends rationality. Human beings are more than just minds! Our deep moral sense and consciousness that our dignity is diminished by living our lives solely on the "self interest" principle, lies at the heart of true personal autonomy. Maybe it's a case of "two men looking through the same bars: one seeing mud, the other stars."
Advance Directives; Alternatives; Autonomy; Blood; Blood Transfusions; Children; Coercion; Competence; Confidentiality; Consciousness; Decision Making; Dissent; Jehovah's Witnesses; Life; Parents; Patient Care; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Personal Autonomy; Religion; Rights; Surgery; Treatment Outcome; Treatment Refusal;
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Malyon, David (1998-12)What makes Jehovah's Witnesses tick? What motivates practitioners of medicine? How is benevolent human behaviour to be interpreted? The explanation that fear of censure, mind-control techniques or enlightened self-interest ...