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Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

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The Question of Blood

category national | rights and freedoms | news report author Thursday September 21, 2006 18:25author by Chris Murray - . Report this post to the editors

Woman transfused as result of Court order.

There are few details but a woman from the Congo had refused a blood transfusion
after haemorraging this morning at the Coombe, women's Hospital. She had given birth
to a baby boy.

Complications ensued which led to the loss of 80% of her blood.
She refused Transfusion.
The Coombe Applied to the Courts.
The Court ordered the transfusion.
Mainstream is calling it a landmark decision.

Questions:- Is birth , the birthing process a mental illness/a physical illness?
Does the patient have the right to a voice in their treatment.
Was she made a ward of court in order for the Hospital authority to over-rule
her wishes which coukd have been ethical/religious.

Birth, as conceived by the medico-legal establishment is a dangerous area
it is a set of symptoms and not a process.
Witness the amount of medical interventions in the area of pregnancy.
Midwives are under-resourced and not given the right to prescribe or to
allow a patient to leave without consultant intervention.

Some consultants do not do their job and are very hard to get rid of.

This woman had a say in her care as all potential mothers do.

This includes the right to refuse a consultant.
The right to elect the type of maternity care she chooses.
The right not to have medical students in the room.
The right to opt for home -birth and non-medical intervention.

The point is moot now.
The wish of the patient has been ruled out of order by the medical establishment,
surely with an eye on potential litigation.
The woman will be transfused asap.

The baby is doing fine.

author by eruditepublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 18:48Report this post to the editors

Someone needed to step in an save her.
Well done to everyone!

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 19:24Report this post to the editors

Miss'K' is twenty three years old. She is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
She is a Jehovah witness. The transfusion has not been performed yet.

No details as to why the media are calling the intervention a landmark decision.

The judge stated that he must 'err on the side of life'

author by Mikepublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 19:36Report this post to the editors

I thought that Suicide had been decriminalised in this country ?

If someone wants to suicide by denying themselves medical treatment surely that is their right ?

Apparently the fact that she was a mother was the main "justification" for the judges decision but Is she really a fit person to have custody of a child given that she would presumably also have denied a blood transfusion to her child had it been the child rather than her who needed it ?

Besides we are always being told that blood is in short supply so surely the blood should go to someone who actually wants it ?

author by Cpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 19:47Report this post to the editors

'The only true philosophical question is about suicide'. The Myth of Sisyphus)

It is about the medico-legal establishment judiciously reducing the potential
atmosphere of litigation. Thus it is about seeing a pregnancy/birth which became
complicated as a set of problems.

A lot of women are not aware of their rights in relation to birth options and accept
the judgement of the consultantant as professional courtesy, thereby putting their own
specific needs aside.

Serious questions in relation to how the birth became complicated, leading to such
a loss of blood are what are at the heart of the matter. one fills in a form detailing kin, religion
etc on entering the maternity hospitals. You should opt for a birth plan which details
any intervention you would accept. 80% blood loss is sever- did she relay her wishes
age 23 after that trauma or did they pick it up off the chart. There has been no statement
regarding the why of the necessity to apply to the courts in this case.

We are told that a maternity hospital applied to the courts to intervene medically
in the case of a woman who refused transfusion on religious grounds. age of 23.
80% blood loss, traumatic delivery and able to say no-

author by bulletin boardpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 02:09Report this post to the editors

In what way is this a news story? It seems to be the musings of a not very well-informed person who's repeating what he or she is hearing on the radio... I would have thought thhis would bbe better suited to a bulletin board discussion site like boards.ie or politics.ie, noot a news site.

Hould would it be if we all posted "news reports" on whatever catches our attention?

author by Righteous Pragmatistpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:10Report this post to the editors

Jehovah's Witnesses are opposed to blood transfusions that are used routinely to save people's lives.
These people are raving mad.
This woman would have died completely needlessly and her child left motherless.
Any responsible person, especially a doctor would reject such an absurd situation and save the woman's life.

If I saw a suicidal man or a deranged man who believed he was a fish leaping into the Liffey I would try to safe him.
If I was a good swimmer and trained in life saving I would leap in after him.
Otherwise I would grab and life bouy and toss it too him and call the emergency services or get the assistance of a Garda.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:10Report this post to the editors

1. The first time in the state that the right of a compos mentis patient with full legal rights
to choose her care and have her religious rights respected has been over-ruled
by the medico-legal establishment.
2.The Judge 'erred' on the side of life.
3.The religious right of a congolese woman was subsumed beneath the governing ethos
of the irish medical establishment which is catholic.

Litigation avoidance is the name of the game.

1. Severe haemorraging after birth is caused by a variety of things, including a medically
managed birth.

2. Quotes in this mornings papers say that the woman was alone , except for an interpreter.
The child has no other legal guardian and the rights of the child are foremost. which is funny given
the Lenihan grilling about Ireland's failure to implement the rights of the child by the UN in Geneva.

3. Hence the rights of the child were placed before the rights of the mother by a
medico-legal establishment that 'rushed' to the court to get permission to 'restrain' and forcibly transfuse a 23 year old woman.

Yes- it was heard on the radio. As to the right to hold religious belief of a compos mentis
adult female versus the ethical skew of the medical legal establishment in Ireland, governed by
a male-dominated consultancy which reduces the mid-wivery availabliity and promotes drug
company solutions to pregnancy.

I would say that that is a feminist issue.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:49Report this post to the editors

heres some news of developments which are relevant to this case. Full story at link 1; JAMA Archives at link 2.

pat c

Transfusion-free Surgical Program Reduced Use Of Blood Products For All Liver Transplant Patients
Main Category: Transplants / Organ Donations News
Article Date: 20 Sep 2006 - 13:00pm (PDT)

Development of a transfusion-free surgical program for Jehovah's Witness patients undergoing liver transplantation also has helped reduce the overall use of blood products for non-Jehovah's Witnesses undergoing the procedure, according to a study in the September issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals


1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=...52207

2. http://pubs.ama-assn.org/media/

author by chris murray - .publication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 13:31Report this post to the editors

The political issues surrounding birth choices are varied. In some hospitals in the north-west
for example, labouring mother's have given birth in ambulances, leading to the sad Loss of at least one infant- the hospital in question had an incubator , but it was not switched on.

Streamlining of mid-wivery services have led to little choice for women, who either
seek to go private, where caesarians and interventions are abnormally high, or to pay for
a home-visit mid-wife, the cost can be alleviated through tax reliefs.

Most maternity hospitals have a mid-wife service, including the Rotunda, but women are ill-informed about the clinic and tend to hear about it's success rate through word of mouth.
Midwives tend to promote things such as the tens machine, labour as a process and breast-feeding- post partnum.

Reductions in the Domino scheme and reduced information pertaining to birth
lead to medically managed scenarios, which can go wrong leading to episitomy,
forceps and vaccuum deliveries. The results of medically managed labours effect
the bonding process between mother and child. whilst intervention is sometimes necessary
it is not always acceptable to a mother who is informed of her rights.

The woman in this case was forced into transfusion as the result of a complicated
delivery, it went against her religious beliefs.

author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 14:38Report this post to the editors

If the docs followed her wishes she would not have any religious beliefs any more.
She would be DEAD.
The docs saved her life.
Well done guys.

author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 14:44Report this post to the editors

Imagine if a pregnant woman is rushed to an emergency ward and the woman's pregnancy endangered her life and but she refuses to have a termination then the doctors should be a allowed to perform the termination to save her life if she is unwillinging to save it by making her decision.

author by Chris Murraypublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 15:00Report this post to the editors

The decision to decide what to do about the rights of mother and child in that scenario
should be decided ethically on the basis of the medical situation,
If the ethos governing consultant/Master decision is Catholic- which it is in Ireland. Both lives should be given precedence.

In Catholicism the life of the child is put before that of the mother.
This is dogmatic Catholicism which governs the ethos of the medical establishment. In this
case the child was ok, he survived the birth. The mother chose through religious
reasons not to accept medical intervention which the master considered a threat to her life.

The situations are different.

She was compos mentis, in control of her faculties and understood her situation
her choice was over-ruled. She was not presenting as a patient in a medical
emergency but as an individual adult woman with an ethical difficulty with the
idea of transfusion. She was Viewed as a patient by the master of the Hospital.

Again, I would ask how the Haemmorrage occurred, it is a question not only
of ethical/religious concern but of medical management of a natural process.

Bertie btw: blocked the emergency entrance to the Rotunda with two ministerial
cars on 17/03/01, during the foot and mouth crisis, I met him and Celia in the
lift. Two mercs blocking the ambulance entrance to the Rotunda maternity hospital.

The only religion that accepts the right of the mother to life and puts her welfare
first- before the unborn child is the Jewish religion, abortion/termination are
accepted on medical grounds in some cases. not in the religious ethos
that governs the medico-legal establishment in this country.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 18:04Report this post to the editors

The first case was in Waterford in 2000. Gardaí intervened at the general hospital so that a 2 year old boy got his blood transfusion.

The [ jhvh ] Witness cult excommunicates any member who accepts a blood transfusion but not any member who gets one. Curiously though (& this will interest Chris and her readership - they don't excommunicate paedophiles) c/f http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/panorama/2119903.stm

& then there was another case in 2004 which saw the High court rule in favour of doctors at "Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children", Crumlin, Dublin to carry out life-saving open heart surgery on a five-month-old baby.

[ an excerpt of the report at the subsequent link :- "The fundamental question that arises in such “Jehovah’s Witness minor” cases is whether parents have a right to impute their religious values to their infant child to the detriment of that child. In general there is a discretion given to families, such that parents can take decisions on behalf of their children and it is clear that parents aren’t under an obligation to act objectively, at every hands turn, in their child’s best interests. Instead a parent can make subjective decisions as to how a child should be educated, where and with whom they should live and what medical treatment they will have. For example, in 2001, the Supreme Court upheld the right of two Donegal parents to refuse to allow the local health board to perform the PKU test for inherent metabolic disorders on their young child. In the sphere of religious rights, minorities have often, quite reasonably been given exceptions from the law of the land. In the United Kingdom Sikh’s wearing turbans are exempt from wearing helmets on motorcycles. Similar exceptions, which almost everyone would allow, have been given to parents in relation to the non-medical circumcision of their male children despite the fact that the procedure does involve a risk to the child. "]

http://www.ucd.ie/observer/v11i02/c-jehovah.html

Remember even though the witness are global, only 144,000 of them are going to get into Heaven and see Jhvh for themselves. This puts a lot of pressure on them to obey the rules.

"no thank you I've read it"......"I work there in fact"......"I do the dinky Charlton Heston Jesus illustrations"...."oh well if it's the special muslim edition I'll have a cope"
"no thank you I've read it"......"I work there in fact"......"I do the dinky Charlton Heston Jesus illustrations"...."oh well if it's the special muslim edition I'll have a cope"

author by cpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 18:14Report this post to the editors

The point, was that the master of the hospital forced a grown woman age 23
compos mentis to have a transfusion in a maternity hospital in Dublin.

Though, they did act in a patriarchial fashion toward her personal choice.

It wasn't about Jehovah's witnesses, it was about the role of the medical-legal
establishment and its relation to female choice.

Patriarchy-Church/State/Religious infantilises women. The precedent in this case was
set by denying an adult the right to choose about her treatment.

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 20:18Report this post to the editors

"This puts a lot of pressure on them to obey the rules"

Agreed, the rules being defined by whom- the translators and dogmatists?
The non-medical circumcision of an infant boy putting an infant boy at risk-That is part of
a world-wide philosophical system, FGM is allied to patriarchial structures which women co-operate in ,
being the ones who bring their daughters to the huts, centres for circumcision
and infibulation.
Localising the problem, to Ireland the kind of religious rules that allowed
for a community of women to turn their backs on a sixteen year old girl who died
at the foot of a Marian statue or the complicity of women in the setting up of the Magdalean homes.

Hey, no religion is perfect but a deeply held belief is a deeply held belief.

I am happy the girl did not die. But I question the methodology of the hospital in
going to court to apply to transfuse her against her wish and the judge's allowance for
the use of restraints on a lone 23 year old mother, who in the full knowledge of her
predicament was not allowed the right to choose.

The pressures put on people to obey the rules is not isolated to Jehovah
Yahweh, or any other God- it is a societal pressure. The master of the hospital attained his job
through upholding the Catholic ethos of the hospital- that I would say is a deeply held view.
The judge, in this case upheld Irish Law- he is a member of the
Irish legal establishment.

The problems of religion and the translation of their doctrinal aspects into a personal
morality of choice is problematic for both parties in this case. One side is belief- the other
is upholding ethic. For Miss 'K' the choice foisted on her by the Irish Medico-legal establishment
results in her outcast from her belief system.It also begs the question
of the whereabouts of the dad- the child being in the sole guardianship of the mother
whose religious choice is excoriated has not the choice in her own care
but must live to look after the little boy who was not immaculately conceived.

Thats an awful lot of pressure for one woman to take on.The child would not be
orphaned if there was a father, but its cool enough to searchlight the religious propensities of mum.

author by Seamuspublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 22:03author email twtone at lycos dot comReport this post to the editors

What ever about the other points of the case I find it hard to believe that a person could survive more then 50% blood loss for more then a few minutes. I doubt if they could reach 80% and still live. The low blood pressure and shock would kill you rapidly, well before you could ring the high court let alone apply for an order.

This stupid (aka religious) woman should have thought about this problem before she got pregnant and about her responsiblity to be around to raise the child. What use is a mother in "heaven" to a child here on earth?

As for those who have never been present at a delivery (I have one child and was there for the delivery) there is a lot of blood loss even in women who have no real complications. I was surprised to see my wife lose almost 1 litre after delivery. The placenta is a VERY blood rich organ, if it tears or breaks up after the baby comes out then high blood loss is a result. There is often no way to know if this will happen before a delivery.
If I was the child and my mother had refused tranfusion and died I think I would be pretty pissed off with her as I grew up and found out the truth. I would also sue the religious idiots of the Jehova witnesses....

author by iosafpublication date Fri Sep 22, 2006 23:17Report this post to the editors

A few people in Ireland knew about this case as they knew about the others before. Well, more than few. It went to the High Court - It concerned a migrant. It concerned a religious minority. It concerned a hospital. That's four different directions this case went on the grapevine.

& so it deserves its place on the newswire of Indymedia Ireland. Not only as a mirror of a story "reported by the commercial press" for those of our readers who don't listen to Irish radio coz they live in Budapest or further afield but also because it neatly dovecotes several of what ought be our "concerns".

The "Watch tower" movement or church known as the "Jehovah Witnesses" has since its start suffered ridicule & worse clear persecution. My beloved (the sephard) has just sent me to the internet café to remind readers that witnesses were sent to the nazi death camps. Jehovah Witnesses had their property confiscated, were rounded up without reason, transported through Europe, tatooed, catalogued on IBM machines, put to enforced labour, some experimented on medically, & many killed. Just like Europe's jewry, Just like Europe's gypsies & slavs, Just like the 200,000 spanish republicans caught in French exile, just like the freemasons.

Almost of all us think some medical procedure either currently possible or to be soon available unethical or immoral & would consider accepting such procedures as taboo. I'm not even talking about abortion after the 7th month or suggesting one day after world Alzheimer's day that we might still have a lucid Ronald Reagan with us if scientists had been allowed insert stem cells in his brain.

I'll give you some examples which are central to many bioethical debates.

* xenotransplants (using pig or other mammal organs)
* head transplants ( currently illegal where a donor body is attached to the buyer's head. they might better be called "body transplants")
* using any organ or tissue which derives from a financial transaction rather than a dead body which consented in its life. (meaning buying a kidney on the politics.ie classified ads section)
* "designer babies".

There are of course many others.

Chris was right to bring our attention in our community to this story which ought make us think - How many of us have unusual beliefs which make no scientific sense? We all ought by now be used to Jhvh witnesses & their beliefs as we ought be used to other religious minorities or indeed social minorities. If a patient refuses to eat certain food, we don't read about it in the commercial press, do we? So- if a patient in line with her religious belief refused a blood transfusion & legal precedent has shown she was going to recieve that transfusion anyway (allbeit under court order) & her beliefs are unshaken -

Where's the news content really? That the hippocratic oath has long ago ceased to serve the demands of the modern medical professioner? Are we debating bioethics or slagging off a minority?

Ratzinger in Auschwitz back when he was easier to understand. Jehovah Witnesses went to Auschwitz too. & they didn't come out.
Ratzinger in Auschwitz back when he was easier to understand. Jehovah Witnesses went to Auschwitz too. & they didn't come out.

author by Righteous Pragmatistpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:01Report this post to the editors

But if Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions were are supposed to let them die?

BULLSHIT!

author by C Murray - .publication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 13:55Report this post to the editors

The speech of Pope Benedict which the Moslem community objected to
was couched in the linguistics of intelligent design, referrals to Darwin and eugenics.

The problem here from a feminist perspective is that the battle ground is set
in reproductive rights and the position of woman in the great plan.

The Catholic church which has silenced Boff and Coyne and is working
on new doctrinal aspects of the Gensis narrative is not exactly pro-dialogue
with woman. The centralised control mechanism of the dogma of Genesis
therefore puts woman who is equal to man in a subordinate position as
helpmeet due to biological determinism. The fact that meetings have occured
between the western 'phiosophical' nexus of Benedict with Bush/Blair/Merckel
and parties of the neo-liberal right to advocate for centralising the new
de-hellenised dogma of a privileged church into the EU constitution.
Merckel's Germany will take up the presidency in January 2007 (of the EU).

The ethics of reproductive choice and streamlined' one size fits all'
approach to politicising personal choice occured in Dublin in a microcosmic
fashion in the case of the Congolese woman.

The father of the child is not in evidence, thus a woman was subject to
a clear breach of human rights, an inquisition into her religious choice
and an over-ruling of this choice. This is precedent.

The failure of the patriarchial system in Ireland and Rome to dialogue
and take women's issues on board in this case is obvious.
The picture of Benedict (included above) begs the question, why is there
no dialogue between the representative of Christ on Earth (which is what he is)
and the people of South America, Dharfur, with women and with the poor?
If the genesis narrative is to be the doctrinal thrust of catholicism then surely it
is in everyone's interests to begin dialoguing with women theologians on the issue
of equality- otherwise its easily translated macrocosmically as Patriarchy.

author by Mikepublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 18:41Report this post to the editors

"righteous pragmatist" says "Imagine if a pregnant woman is rushed to an emergency ward and the woman's pregnancy endangered her life and but she refuses to have a termination then the doctors should be a allowed to perform the termination to save her life if she is unwillinging to save it by making her decision."

Uhhh Whatever happened to "a womans right to choose" ???

author by anonpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 19:08Report this post to the editors

I think BB is quite right and part of the difficulties Chris has had with indymedia. I suggest that if she doesn't post on some other discussion board that she should try, and see what that does, give it a go Chris why not. Our maybe start up a blog of her own and she has an original report to make she should make it here.

author by chris murray - .publication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 20:03Report this post to the editors

I completely agree with you.

This should be in Opinion/analysis.

There also appears to be an identical story by Miriam, splitting the comments,
which I can only translate as an ed decision-take it up with the eds.

author by anonpublication date Sat Sep 23, 2006 20:09Report this post to the editors

Does the original post by you Chris qualify as opinion _and_ analysis?

author by Ellepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 19:33Report this post to the editors

I have already posted this information on another thread.

The simple fact is that doctors and nurses are mandated by legislation and their respective regulatory bodies to take all necessary steps to preserve human life. The professionals in this incident had little choice. What you actually should be annoyed about is the fact that no provision has been made in our maternity hospitals for women who object to being transfused - it is possible for the doctors and nurses to preserve life and not transfuse in this situation by the use of specialist plasma products. This was simply not available in this case.

author by Chris Murraypublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 19:47Report this post to the editors

I find it curious that someone posting as a woman who use derogratory
bithcy language when they clearly are not using either their real name or
forwarding a cogent argument.

The issue is the forcible transfusion of a non-national with a religious difficulty
with that mode of care. The master rushed to the courts to over-ride her religious issues
he was granted leave to use restraints on an ailing patient who had extreme blood-loss.
He acted against the wishes of the patient in her elected form of treatment, therefore
the issue is ethical. it involves the religious ethos of a woman versus the religious ethos
of the hospital.

As to the care of a patient. I would suggest that if a patient elects for religious
reasons not to have intervention, then she is entitled to so do. The nurse, then
provides what is known as pallitative care, if the hospital cannot ethically
provide palliative care then a hospice is sought. the meaning of palliative
is the alleiviation of the discomfort of the patient and dignifying the wishes
of her family.

The preservation of life 'at all costs' in this case was at the cost of the
express wishes of the patient. I have experienced this mode of treatment and found the
nurses to be deeply respecting of family choices, if the hospital had run with such
speed to obtain the necessary products to aid this woman and respect her choice the we
would not be having this discussion- they did not.

The haemmorrage, also, is rare in Natural births, and is often the result of
medical interventions, since there appears to be a communication
difficulty between patient and establishment-then surely an enquiry
into the decision to transfuse and apology to the patient for not
providing products to her that would alleviate her discomfort. in all
senses the hospital failed to respect the patient. The reason for the legal
route versus the other modes of transfusion should be examined.

author by Ellepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 19:57Report this post to the editors

find it curious that someone posting as a woman who use derogratory
bithcy language when they clearly are not using either their real name or
forwarding a cogent argument.

Bitchy? In what way? Deragotary? In what way?

Please explain.

You have experienced this before you say - really? Where a nurse in Ireland respected the wishes of a patient who could be treated and allowed them to die? When? Where? Not in Ireland I imagine? If it happened elsewhere this is irrelevant because the Nurses Act only covers nurses providing nursing care in Ireland

I find your comments of a personal nature add nothing to the debate....in fact your comments in general add little to any debate!!

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 20:11Report this post to the editors

Appending a direct question to someone whom writes an article with 'woof, woof'
is derogatory, whatever context its meant in- I find it objectionable.

The experience of Palliative care for the dying in the context of the express wish
of a patient or their family is well known in this country-indeed I have written
about it before.

A family can apply for a no-resussitation order on a terminally ill relative
and it is respected, the mode of care becomes palliative, which is relief
for the terminally ill and alleivation of their physical suffering. It involves
trained nurses and respecting the wishes of the extended family and friends.
It is not an unusual practice. It involves collating the medical evidence
from both the hospital and the relatives and providing rational
and respectful response to the needs of the patient. In fact, I have witnessed
one non-resuss order and two palliative careings of terminally ill patients.

That should and was never the case her-alternative to transfusing were not
provided for whatever reason- therefore the appropriate place to determine
the need for the court order would be through an inquest which miss'k' , when she
recovers can attend.As to the jurisdiction of an inquest- it should be independent rather
than internal?

author by Ellepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 20:21Report this post to the editors

Ms. Murray

I asked you to provide an example from Ireland of a patient who was not terminally ill being allowed to die when a medical procedure would have saved his/her life. You did not provide one as I knew you would not because no such case exists.

I will re-iterate my original point - the nurses and doctors in this case had no option but to save that woman's life by means of a transfusion because the specialist pasma products were not available. The clinicians had no choice....no conspiracy here I'm afraid.

Please apologise for the personal insulting comments you posted previously or I shall have no option but to complain to the editors about your abuse....and we all know how much the eds love to delete the hysterical rantings of a mere woman!!

author by chris murraypublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 20:58Report this post to the editors

I suggested that if the hospital, represented by the master had chosen to
in fact respect the wishes of the patient in this case and not provide the transfusion,
then the nurses would have to provide palliative care to the patient.
The job of the nurse is not alone preserving life but alleiviating suffering.

What happened in this instance was not the fight to preserve the life of Miss 'k'
but medical inteference based on hospital ethos (which is catholic) to preserve
life at all costs against the stated wishes of the patient. to accomplish this the
master rushed to the courts , obtained an order to transfuse (with the allowance
for a restraint) . I suggested that there should be an inquest into why the master
in this case did not have at his disposal,the plasma products and why the
haemmorrage occured in the first place.

The palliative care argument would be in that case a worse case scenario, but
in the Irish hospital system an not unusual practice specifically in relation
to persistent vegative coma or myiocardial infraction. When the heart or brain stop
performing their function and the hospital suggests switching off life-supports.

If the ethos of the hospital is to preserve life at all costs, including against
the express religious wishes of the patient then that should be clearly stated.
Then, also, there should be a contingency within the hospital to provide
suitable alternative products to patients including the witnesses. cos there
is a large community of them in Ireland. Also the issue of contaminated blood
products, anti-d and the hep 'c' scandals are still in living memory.

Instead of the provision, as a matter of course of these products, the master had recourse
alone to the legal system which infringed upon the express wishes of the woman.

author by Ellepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 22:10Report this post to the editors

Obviously the catholic ethos of the hospital influences the way in which that hospital conducts its business. However, the catholic ethos of the hospital was not relevant in this case - the staff fulfiled their obligations under the law (this was confirmed by the court's decision to compel them to transfuse) the religion of the doctors and nurses or indeed the religion that guides the ethos of the hospital had nothing to do with it and to suggest that it has is nonsense.

The code of conduct for nurses states that their first duty is to preserve life and alleviating suffering only comes into the equation when a patient is terminally ill and cannot be treated. I hope that you now understand the nature of palliative care? Perhaps you might consider asking for the help you so obviously need in a less agressive and abusive manner. There is no shame in not understanding

author by quote the judgepublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 22:54Report this post to the editors

Quote the judge: "in this case I will err on the side of life"........

Ethos V belief.

Ms 'K' versus the State in the matter of forced transfusion of a compos mentis adult
without consent and with the entitlement of the hospital to use restraint.

author by voirdirepublication date Tue Sep 26, 2006 20:25Report this post to the editors

Would you now advocate that the state take custody of your children because, as a smoker or drinker, you expose the child to the risk of unacceptable loss since you may die prematurely? What about the women's religious rights? Why don't you cowards violate a Muslim's religious rights and see what happens?

author by Wisdom - The Truthpublication date Mon Oct 16, 2006 19:20author email wisdomtofeaston at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

The Judge Had another choice available to him!

If he knew that the Woman viewed his action of: Using force to insert another persons body fluid into her against her will in the most invasive all encompassing way possible, with potentially irreversible physical, spiritual and emotional damage, and the loss of her everlasting life...including the effect this would have on her marriage, friendships and her ability to raise a child in a "normal" nurturing environment....as an assault worse than RAPE.

And Yet if He believed that His everlasting life could be at risk if he made the wrong Decision.

Then He Had Another Option available...He could have refused to Judge this case!! In that case He would be free from Violating her Rights and everlasting life and also Free from making the wrong decision thus preserving His own everlasting life.

After all It would be Gods creation without Mans interference that would take it's natural course whether she Lived or Died.

And For those Who do not know JW's beliefs or lifestyle you can be assured that if that child was left with no natural family to care for it...the child would be more loved by thousands of adoptive parents and siblings and raised in a more supportive and nurturing environment than most none witness children experience with their natural families.

Hundreds of millions of innocent lives as well as millions of soldiers have been Killed in the name of Religion and their Gods very often by members of their own church because of racial, social and national divides. If you supported or have been a part of either Religions or Governments of this world at any time in your life then the Blood of all those millions of lives is on your Hands too!!!

Thousands of people Die every year, specifically because they received Blood transfusions. Even more people kill themselves and others with smoking and over drinking and recreational Drugs and violence and reckless lifestyles that show no respect for life. More Die because of the lack of respect that people have for our environment! Millions are Dying from Starvation as your Governments Pour Tonnes of Good food into the oceans because they produce too much and are too greedy to give it out cheap or free!

How many more will YOU LET DIE or KILL Because of your choices!

Jehovah's Witnesses Are free from the blood of all those innocent lives...they are politically neutral and never support or Go to war and they abandon lifestyles that are health risks to themselves or others!
And they have Genuine love for God, their Neighbour, each other and the planet!...Jesus said his Followers would be no part of the world and would have and demonstrate this Genuine Love. Jesus Could have cured everyone of everything, he could have removed all injustice and evil when he was here...But He only cured a few as an example of his power! If ever there was a case to be made of malpractice or letting millions within his power die it would be against Jesus...but he knew the real life was waiting and far more important than possibly extending this temporary life by 10 or 50 years!

Furthermore the Guarantee from Gods word is that the resurrection of both righteous and unrighteous will take place very soon on Earth where we will all be reunited with loved ones we lost in Death.

God Is Willing, Able and Loving enough to Undo all the injustices we experience in life...But he is also Wise enough to know when it is necessary to take action...The Bible indicates it will be soon and that it was necessary for this amount of time to Pass by to answer the ultimate question of importance...that is: Who is the Rightful Sovereign Lord of all creation?!!!

The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation is summed up by the theme: "The Vindication of Jehovah's Sovereignty by means of His kingdom and its king, Christ Jesus"

Psalm 83:18
That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.

1Cor 15:24
Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he(Jesus) must rule as king until [Jehovah] has put all enemies under his feet. 26 As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing.

Psalm 37:10,29
The meek ones themselves will possess the earth,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace....And they will reside forever upon it.

Revelation 21:1-4
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away
3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: "Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them.
4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.

For all who do not believe in God?
Ask yourself who Designed and manufactured your house and everything in it? Or your workplace and everything in it? or your college/sportscentre/church/plane/train and automobile/ and everything in them to the minutest and most complex detail?

I guess you agree All these things Had to be conceived, designed, plans drawn up and constructed by someone!

Well it is sad to say that none of these Human creations have a patch on the simplest natural creation like the DNA molecule or the Human eye or the Brain or a blade of grass or the intricate patterns in the formation of ice or the thousands of varieties of fish, birds, plants, and not to forget the entire order of the planetary systems which all sustain you and me, in our meagre attempt at copying them!

If we as human copiers, claim the credit for designing Planes based on Birds then surely we should Give credit to the Designer of the original Bird. Could the more amazing original have come about by chance if the copy requires the existence of a designer?

Hebrews 3:4 says: "Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God."

author by Bock the Robberpublication date Wed Oct 25, 2006 00:47Report this post to the editors

Are there hospitals in the Congo, where Ms K comes from, run by Jehovah's Witnesses? Do these hospitals allow patients to die? Perhaps Ms K should have been allowed to die in one of these hospitals.

As somebody who fought throughout the eighties against the Irish theocracy, I have a huge problem with this new religious orthodoxy, and I think it should be resisted. I think it's a dreadful retrograde step if we return to allowing religious organisations a say in how we frame our law.

We also need to be careful about accepting everything at face value. Will we now give full respectability to Scientology? What about if I start my own religion? Will people have to listen to all I say, though I may well be a crazy man?

author by chrissiepublication date Sun Mar 18, 2007 17:33Report this post to the editors

I don't know that we can ever have absolute rights & wrongs in such a complex matter. The woman is now a mother & the child will need her. She did right in her opinion by refusing a transfusion & the doctors did right by their ethos in saving her life. Their are times when our 'rights' are not the paramount issue, as when potential suicides are saved & live to be thankful for the medical intervention they didn't want at the time.

author by eamo - selfpublication date Sun Mar 18, 2007 19:35Report this post to the editors

She entered the hospital of her own free will.

she could have had the baby at home , as is quite normal and natural.

Then she would have been in charge of her own destiny , so to speak.
By entering the hospital and surrendering herself to their norms/practices etc , she loses some of her freedom, in my opinion.

It is not fair to ask hard working professionals in the medical sphere to alter their simple , concise Op(erational) Code

" If I see somebody sick, I have to help them "......

With these simple words they run around the place.

To start to add on extra bits like
"except if the person is Jehovah witness "
or "Only if the husband and family agree " or
"if the economic unit is no longer productive"

sets a dangerous precedent

author by Jerrypublication date Sat May 05, 2007 17:25Report this post to the editors

HUNDREDS OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESS LAWSUITS & COURT CASES SUMMARIZED

The following website summarizes 300 U.S. court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witness Parents, including dozens of cases where the JWParents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions:

DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/

Related Link: http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/
author by C Murraypublication date Sat May 05, 2007 18:58Report this post to the editors

The hospital did not provide a clotting agent that is used by The witnesses and approved.

It could have been provided as a matter of course, there are many of that religion in
Dublin and have kids too. The question of haemorrage during birth is actually not unusual
for first time mothers and clotting agents and blood replacement products are available.

there was none in supply in the the hospital, instead a court order was achieved
which allowed for a forced transfusion on a woman who was severley weakened.

a lot of the trauma and litigation wd be reduced if a supply of the clotting/blood
replacement agent were readily available to give to those who may need it.
The woman was from the congo and the hospital over-ruled both her wishes
and those of her partner, without providing an adequate choice in the method of care.

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