Mother gives birth to twins, then dies after refusing blood transfusion - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-06-2007, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jehovah's Witness mother gives birth to twins, then haemorrhages, and her and her family refuse a life saving blood transfusion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...#StartComments



A quote from a JW elder out of the article;

Quote:
"It is one of a number of things in the scriptures about things you can and cannot do. It is, of course, up to the individual to decide how strongly to follow these requirements. I accept that the faith will receive criticism over this. Some of our beliefs do attract criticism."
As a former Jehovah's Witness I know the bolded part is completely false. This requirement is drummed into their heads. They rehearse what to say to doctors who offer transfusions. They are led to believe that blood volumizers will work just as well as actual blood, and the religion fails to tell them that blood volumizers do not contain the life saving oxygen that their brain needs in the event of a massive loss of blood. They are told that if they get a transfusion it will jepardize their relationship with god, and their salvation. If they did accept a blood transfusion, disiplinary action would be taken, that could result in disfellowshiping, which means that everyone in the congregation, and every JW including your own family or relatives who are JW's, will shun you. Not exactly a whole lot of personal choice if you ask me.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Shortly after I left the JWs, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy and aggressive chemo and radiation. She was urged to take a blood transfusion and she refused. She'd have left behind a six year old and a three year old. Thankfully, she made it through the surgeries and subsequent treatment and has been cancer free for 11 years.

I have to think that a child whose mother was killed by dogma would certainly grow to question and ultimately challenge that dogma as they matured.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Just curious, would she have been allowed (under JW interpretations) to stock up her own blood in case a transfusion would be needed? Since it was twins and the likelihood would be greater?

Of course, I also wonder whether hospitals are overreliant on things like blood transfusions and don't use other more natural means of preventing excess blood loss. Did they give her any herbs or tinctures, for instance? Doubtful. This is the UCer in me talking...I think there ARE other ways than the hospital model, but if someone is going to rely on that model, then they take the risks of it not serving their needs.

It is ironic that one of her family members in the article pointed to "technology in this day and age" not being able to "save" her when that same family refused the transfusion...
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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, so sad. I am all for religious freedom, but what a sad and unnecessary loss.

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Old 11-06-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Jster, the JWs aren't allowed to bank their blood. The belief is that once blood has left the body, it is no longer okay to "take in". At least, that's how it was when I was a Witness...the doctrine has made some, uh, cultural adjustments since then, and I'm not up on all the changes.

I definitely don't disagree with you on the point about Big Medicine/westernized medicine not having the right answers or preventative measures to avoid that kind of situation. It's sad that birth has gotten so out of hand...
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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So very sad.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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But I do support her choice to deny a blood transfusion.

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Old 11-06-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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Unfortunate that those babies will be without their mama.

But I fully support her body, her choice.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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What a sad story- but certainly it's her right to refuse medical procedures not in line with her beliefs. I'm very thankful that my religion doesn't place similar restrictions.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
What a sad story- but certainly it's her right to refuse medical procedures not in line with her beliefs. I'm very thankful that my religion doesn't place similar restrictions.
I think you're kinda missing the point. It's not that she's trying to obey her religious organization, she's trying to obey God and what he expects of her. If this were a matter of obeying the rules of earthly men, I guarantee you that she would have opted to have the blood transfusion. This extends much further than being accepted in a group. If she had accepted the transfusion, yes, she faced being disfellowshipped. What the article fails to mention is that no matter what sort of sin you commit, you can be reinstated as a witness if you prove that you have a repentant heart and follow the steps required to become a witness once again. This was about more than just staying in an organization to feel accepted.....this woman was obeying God, no matter what challenges were placed in front of her. I give her a lot of respect for having that sort of bravery.

Don't get me wrong, I also feel tremendously sorry for the family, especially the children. It's a shame that they have to grow up without knowing their mother, but hopefully what they'll take away from it is that if they truly love God, they will respect him and follow his commandments through thick and thin, just as their mother did.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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Very tragic.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Wow. She died for her religion. Very sad from my point of view but she had the right to choose that. Poor babies. :
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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Hard to imagine that this is what God had in mind...
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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That's so sad. I remember as a child I had to carry a "do not give blood" card with me, with my parents signatures on it.

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
Hard to imagine that this is what God had in mind...
I also agree with you, but in order to understand why things like this take place, there's a bit more vital information about God and the way he works needed in order to comprehend situations like this. Unfortunately, the article was very one sided would leave any one not privy to these beliefs scratching their heads and "angry" at God, where in reality things like death, pain and suffering are not his will, not even in the least bit.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jessieann View Post
I think you're kinda missing the point. It's not that she's trying to obey her religious organization, she's trying to obey God and what he expects of her. If this were a matter of obeying the rules of earthly men, I guarantee you that she would have opted to have the blood transfusion. This extends much further than being accepted in a group. If she had accepted the transfusion, yes, she faced being disfellowshipped. What the article fails to mention is that no matter what sort of sin you commit, you can be reinstated as a witness if you prove that you have a repentant heart and follow the steps required to become a witness once again. This was about more than just staying in an organization to feel accepted.....this woman was obeying God, no matter what challenges were placed in front of her. I give her a lot of respect for having that sort of bravery.

Don't get me wrong, I also feel tremendously sorry for the family, especially the children. It's a shame that they have to grow up without knowing their mother, but hopefully what they'll take away from it is that if they truly love God, they will respect him and follow his commandments through thick and thin, just as their mother did.
I don't agree that God forbade blood transfusions.

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Old 11-06-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I don't agree that God forbade blood transfusions.
I don't remember saying that you had to agree? Either way, this woman had the right to make the decision she made, and I applaud her for remaining firm in her faith through thick and thin, and up until the very end. It's easy to obey a religion/God during the good times, but your true colors really shine through when you're faced with a difficult challenge, such as the one this woman faced.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jessieann View Post
I think you're kinda missing the point. It's not that she's trying to obey her religious organization, she's trying to obey God and what he expects of her. If this were a matter of obeying the rules of earthly men, I guarantee you that she would have opted to have the blood transfusion. This extends much further than being accepted in a group. If she had accepted the transfusion, yes, she faced being disfellowshipped. What the article fails to mention is that no matter what sort of sin you commit, you can be reinstated as a witness if you prove that you have a repentant heart and follow the steps required to become a witness once again. This was about more than just staying in an organization to feel accepted.....this woman was obeying God, no matter what challenges were placed in front of her. I give her a lot of respect for having that sort of bravery.
I do believe that G-d commanded me to eat kosher food and keep the Sabbath- earthly men (Rabbis) did help explain some of the details, but the comandments themselves are from G-d. My own personal religious observances have very little to do with "community support" and very much to do with my own personal relationship with the Almighty.

I'm thankful that I won't ever have to make this kind of a choice- the Jewish view of G-d teaches that He wants us to take advantage of any and all lifesaving procedures available, even if it means violating other commandments (ie, calling 911 or driving to the hospital on Shabbat, taking medicine derived from non-kosher ingredients, etc.)

IMO, we'd be living in a very scary world if the hospital had the power to give her the blood transfusion in spite of her protests. I'm thankful that religious freedom exists, but still sad for her loss, and for her babies who will grow up without her and probably never get any breastmilk.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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Hard to imagine that this is what God had in mind...
Amen.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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Recently there was a baby in Canada that required a blood transfusion. The parents are JW and refused. Child protection stepped in and got the blood transfusion carried out. I'm glad that the baby didn't have to suffer and die because of the beliefs of her parents. I think these twins are being set up with such an unfortunate spring of sorrow that will last their whole lives long. It strikes me as incredibly selfish on the part of all the adults, including the mother. I think the greater sacrifice would be to risk paradise.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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I don't remember saying that you had to agree? Either way, this woman had the right to make the decision she made, and I applaud her for remaining firm in her faith through thick and thin, and up until the very end. It's easy to obey a religion/God during the good times, but your true colors really shine through when you're faced with a difficult challenge, such as the one this woman faced.
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If you are going to say she was obeying God, I can say that I don't think she was obeying God.

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Old 11-06-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Recently there was a baby in Canada that required a blood transfusion. The parents are JW and refused. Child protection stepped in and got the blood transfusion carried out. I'm glad that the baby didn't have to suffer and die because of the beliefs of her parents. I think these twins are being set up with such an unfortunate spring of sorrow that will last their whole lives long. It strikes me as incredibly selfish on the part of all the adults, including the mother. I think the greater sacrifice would be to risk paradise.
A friend of mine, who has been raised a JW his entire life, had a young sister who was extremely ill and the doctors wanted to give her a transfusion. Both the parents AND the girl refused, but the doctor went to court and got an order, so they were forced to go through with the transfusion. The girl ended up passing away, not from the illness itself, but because the transfusion actually made her WORSE, which was admitted later on by the doctor. So not only did this family end up losing their daughter anyway, but they have to live with the guilt that she was forced to accept a blood transfusion against their beliefs.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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those poor children, :
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Hard to imagine that this is what God had in mind...
Yeah.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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Those poor babies. :

I'm very anti-religion, and this just makes me more so.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamajama View Post
Recently there was a baby in Canada that required a blood transfusion. The parents are JW and refused. Child protection stepped in and got the blood transfusion carried out. I'm glad that the baby didn't have to suffer and die because of the beliefs of her parents. I think these twins are being set up with such an unfortunate spring of sorrow that will last their whole lives long. It strikes me as incredibly selfish on the part of all the adults, including the mother. I think the greater sacrifice would be to risk paradise.
Medical freedom means medical freedom for everyone. If I were in that position, I would choose to have the transfusion. However, there are other forms of medical treatment that I would refuse. I have an advance directive saying that if I am in an irreversible coma, I do not want to be sustained. Some people would consider that selfish. Everyone will draw the line in a different place. That's why no one should ever be able to make that decision for someone else. I don't think making a decision about her own body is selfish, whether motivated by religious faith or whatever else.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
Medical freedom means medical freedom for everyone. If I were in that position, I would choose to have the transfusion. However, there are other forms of medical treatment that I would refuse. I have an advance directive saying that if I am in an irreversible coma, I do not want to be sustained. Some people would consider that selfish. Everyone will draw the line in a different place. That's why no one should ever be able to make that decision for someone else. I don't think making a decision about her own body is selfish, whether motivated by religious faith or whatever else.
:
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennica View Post
Jehovah's Witness mother gives birth to twins, then haemorrhages, and her and her family refuse a life saving blood transfusion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...#StartComments



A quote from a JW elder out of the article;



As a former Jehovah's Witness I know the bolded part is completely false. This requirement is drummed into their heads. They rehearse what to say to doctors who offer transfusions. They are led to believe that blood volumizers will work just as well as actual blood, and the religion fails to tell them that blood volumizers do not contain the life saving oxygen that their brain needs in the event of a massive loss of blood. They are told that if they get a transfusion it will jepardize their relationship with god, and their salvation. If they did accept a blood transfusion, disiplinary action would be taken, that could result in disfellowshiping, which means that everyone in the congregation, and every JW including your own family or relatives who are JW's, will shun you. Not exactly a whole lot of personal choice if you ask me.
Too many people make too many things "their" business when its none of their business.
Yes this is a sad story but who knows what would have really happened if she had the transfusion, maybe she would have lived, maybe not, who knows i'm sure the family are sad enough without people making it worse by "judging" them
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna View Post
Medical freedom means medical freedom for everyone. If I were in that position, I would choose to have the transfusion. However, there are other forms of medical treatment that I would refuse. I have an advance directive saying that if I am in an irreversible coma, I do not want to be sustained. Some people would consider that selfish. Everyone will draw the line in a different place. That's why no one should ever be able to make that decision for someone else. I don't think making a decision about her own body is selfish, whether motivated by religious faith or whatever else.
I was referring to society stepping in a making the decision for the baby who has no choice other than what her parents choose (int the Canada example).
I think it's selfish to purposely harm others in an effort to achieve salvation through religion. In this case, the mother and all other JW adults supporting her) are harming these twins by depriving them of their mother in such an awful way. The goal is for the mother to achieve some kind of redemption or salvation right? (I'm not hugely adept at JW dogma).

Sure some might see it as selfish to make a living will. It's still your preogative. I think it's the mother's prerogative also to choose to not take life-saving measures, and it's mine to think it's selfish and cruel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jessianne
A friend of mine, who has been raised a JW his entire life, had a young sister who was extremely ill and the doctors wanted to give her a transfusion. Both the parents AND the girl refused, but the doctor went to court and got an order, so they were forced to go through with the transfusion. The girl ended up passing away, not from the illness itself, but because the transfusion actually made her WORSE, which was admitted later on by the doctor. So not only did this family end up losing their daughter anyway, but they have to live with the guilt that she was forced to accept a blood transfusion against their beliefs.
Today 09:18 AM
that's a truly horrific scenerio. I'm so truly sorry for that family. The fact is, however, that blood transfusions do save many more lives than they end. Case in point: a hemorrhaging mother of twins. Her prognosis would be very positive if she agreed to undergo the treatment.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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Too many people make too many things "their" business when its none of their business.
Yes this is a sad story but who knows what would have really happened if she had the transfusion, maybe she would have lived, maybe not, who knows i'm sure the family are sad enough without people making it worse by "judging" them
Well we have vast bodies of research which demonstrate some pretty good odds in favor of blood transfusions for hemorrhaging patients.
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