A Japanese women has died for lack of a blood transfusion after a Caesarean birth.
The hospital said it had agreed with the woman before the surgery that it would not administer a transfusion.
Although she bled a great deal after delivering the child, doctors only took steps to arrest the hemorrhaging. She died several days later, the hospital said.
“We briefed her about the danger (before the surgery) and we repeatedly urged her family to accept a blood transfusion. But in the end we respected the patient’s wishes,” a hospital official said Tuesday.
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ officials said the hospital acted appropriately in treating the woman in accordance with her wishes.
Also from Japan, a joint committee of the Japan Society of Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy, Japan Surgical Society, Japan Pediatric Society, Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists and Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology has judged that refusing a blood donation for children under 15 who are considered to be immature in terms of their self-determination capabilities constitutes an abuse of parental rights. Their new guidelines stipulate that doctors should give necessary blood transfusions during surgery on patients under 15 years of age – even if their parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The joint committee started discussing the refusal of blood transfusions by Jehovah’s Witnesses in response to requests from doctors who have said they are troubled about prioritizing either religious freedom or respect for life.
… The committee said it would finalize the common guideline agreed by the five societies this year after hearing opinions from followers of the religious group and bioethicists at a symposium to be held at Tokyo Medical and Dental University on Saturday.
What the blood policy means for JWs in the real world – and how fellow JW’s treat people in life-and-death situations: