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Jehovah’s Witnesses And their refusal of Blood Transfusions in the 21 st Century. EU.

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Presentation on theme: "Jehovah’s Witnesses And their refusal of Blood Transfusions in the 21 st Century. EU."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jehovah’s Witnesses And their refusal of Blood Transfusions in the 21 st Century. EU

2 Who/What are Jehovah’s Witnesses? Christian denomination from US late 19 th Century Forbids humans consuming human/animal blood under any circumstances  includes through intravenous Refuse blood transfusions, major blood transfusions, post/intra- operative blood salvage

3 Who/What are Jehovah’s Witnesses? “Only flesh with its soul-its blood-you must not eat” –Genesis 9:3,4. “[You must] pour its blood out and cover it with dust” – Leviticus 17:13,14. “abstain from…what is strangled and from blood” Acts 15:19-21 Breach these rules damages relationship with Jehovah Do seek medical care  Saline, lactated Ringer’s solution, albumin, dextrans

4 What is a Blood Transfusion? Transfer whole blood/components from donor to recipient Increase ability to carry oxygen Restore blood volume Improve clotting ability Improve immunity to infection

5 Ethics and Struggles “Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body” Hospitals and doctors often petition court override patient’s decision Notions: abandonment of a child, risk of liability for the doctor and hospital

6 Ethics and Struggles Medically ethical treat a patient Physicians find it difficult to understand why Jehovah’s Witness patient would refuse a life saving procedure Ethically and legally important for a doctor to obtain informed consent from patient before treatment Failure to obtain consent lead to grave legal consequences  criminal charges (battery, assault)

7 Alternatives to Blood Transfusions Volume Expanders  Saline  Lactated Ringer’s solution  Albumin  Dextrans Growth Factors  Erythropoietin Body/Circulatory-System/Blood/Transfusions/Transfusions-2.html

8 Alternatives to Blood Transfusions Blood Substitues  Currently no real substitute  Hemoglobin-based Oxygen Carriers (rarely tested)  Perfluorochemical Compounds (rarely tested)

9 Resources _____.(November 28,2006). Alternatives To Blood Transfusion. Retrieved December 18, 2007 from _Transfusion.asp?sitearea=ETO ____.(June 2004). Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusions. Retrieved December 18, 2007 from v.au/media/docs/C07-Jehovahs- Witnesses-and-Blood-Transfusions-fa6b29e7-02c6-4ff1-8d4a-994f45636f2f.rt8 v.au/media/docs/C07-Jehovahs- Witnesses-and-Blood-Transfusions-fa6b29e7-02c6-4ff1-8d4a-994f45636f2f.rt8 ____.(October 31, 2006). Bloot Transfusion. Retrieved December 16, 2007 from Carbonnea, André.(2003).Ethical Issues and the Religious and Historical Basis for the Objection of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Blood Transfusion Therapy. Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press. Van der Linden, Philippe.(2006).The effects of colloid solutions on hemostasis. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, s30-s39. Woolston, Chris. (___). ‘Bloodless’ Surgery: new drugs and technologies may make many transfusions unnecessary. Retrieved December 20,2007 from


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