mother dies after refusing blood transfusion - page 8

A very sad story from England.... Read More

  1. by   WindyhillBSN
    Quote from jlsRN
    Maybe she would have gotten over it eventually...

    Maybe not........
  2. by   kstec
    To die and leave your child or children over a religion or belief is just ridiculous. To have faith is one thing, but to believe in something you've never seen, heard, felt, or touched over something that you can (a child) is beyond something I'll ever understand and hope that I never do. Brainwashing is real and we just witnessed it with this thread. I would die to save my children, but would I die for the unknown, heck NO!!!!! Bash On, Believers!!!!
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Nov 20, '07 : Reason: reviewed, comma inserted
  3. by   weezledawg
    Quote from kstec
    To die and leave your child or children over a religion or belief is just ridiculous. To have faith is one thing, but to believe in something you've never seen, heard, felt, or touched over something that you can (a child) is beyond something I'll ever understand and hope that I never do. Brainwashing is real and we just witnessed it with this thread. I would die to save my children, but would I die for the unknown, heck NO!!!!! Bash on believers!!!
    Wow, you are clearly very emotional about this issue. I know it's difficult but sometimes just "saving" someone is not what's best. We don't get to judge the validity of someone else's belief system. She chose for herself, and good for her that she is able to. In some cultures this is not allowed. Good for our medical system that we honored it. We don't always have to understand what is "right" for others, but as advocates of patients and their rights then ethically we must honor wishes. Even if they die.
  4. by   NavyVet
    Heya txpixiedust,

    First off allow me to state that my posting wasn't in response to any one persons post, I wasn't looking to pick out anyone out of the group.
    However, you do seem to be typical of the religious or faith based crowd I guess, so allow me to respond to your posting as if you represented the group. Again, just an intellectual exchange of ideas.

    I said earlier I was trying to tiptoe around without hurting people's feelings because I really do like this website and would rather not get banned. Hopefully this post won't do it because I realize this is some touchy material for some folks. That being said, here goes. You are right about how I feel about religious people. I do not respect their beliefs. I think anyone who relies on faith to sustain them or to explain the world around them is an idiot and weak-willed. We've discovered Fire, we control electricity, we can travel to other planets, we aren't grubbing around in the dark living in caves anymore. So why do some people hold on to these beliefs that were used to explain the natural world a few thousand years ago? FEAR, fear is the reason. You can cover it up with whatever pretty words you like from a book written 2,000 years ago by a couple different guys, but fear of the unknown is a major motivator for most folks. We're still not sure about what happens when we die, so people like to cling to this happy idea of Heaven where everything will be great when we toss off this mortal coil. The flip side of that coin is Hell, which is just another abstract concept used to control the masses.

    You are bothered by non believers otherwise you wouldn't have posted in response to me. I'll freely admit that I am bothered by religious people and their sanctimonious I'm better than you prattling. It seems that religious people want to tell everyone else that they have the only right idea about the Afterlife. Their audacity astounds me. I could go on and on about the evils perpetuated in the name of Religion. I can give factual instances of atrocities inflicted by religious people onto people of other religions. The religious person will then throw out some meaningless quotes from the bible and say how you have to have faith. Faith is the answer to everything. Where is God? Why did Mommy have to die? Faith is really just a cop out excuse to avoid having to face the possibility that life is random, sometimes bad things happen for no reason.

    Truth be told you've probably had this conversation before, I know I have numerous times. I realize that I'm not going to change your opinion no matter what facts I bring to the conversation just as you won't be able to convert me to your way of thinking solely based on faith. However, I'm not an unreasonable man, I'm more than willing to change my beliefs based on the tangible facts of a given situation. You produce God for me, and please have him state which God he is, I'd be willing to change my tune. I do find it interesting that out of the dozens of times I've had this conversation in my life, I always get the person of TRUE FAITH, the one who acknowledges that religion is full of fakers who won't get into heaven and who don't believe the right things.....but not the guy I'm talking to. He/she is one of the TRUE BELIEVERS who will get into heaven. Well, I have already stated that I don't really respect religions, I can tell you what I do respect. I respect your individual right to think I'm an idiot. Matter of fact I devoted 9 years of my adult life to ensuring you have that right
  5. by   NavyVet
    Quote from weezledawg
    Wow, you are clearly very emotional about this issue. I know it's difficult but sometimes just "saving" someone is not what's best. We don't get to judge the validity of someone else's belief system. She chose for herself, and good for her that she is able to. In some cultures this is not allowed. Good for our medical system that we honored it. We don't always have to understand what is "right" for others, but as advocates of patients and their rights then ethically we must honor wishes. Even if they die.
    LOL, of course we judge the validity of others belief system. Don't feel bad about it and don't hide behind ethics or whatever your using as justification for making that statement. We are all human, we all have opinions on a given topic. We may not be able to voice our thoughts about someone's decision because we don't want to lose our jobs, but we still have opinions on it that go unsaid. Perhaps its my belief that all life is sacred and because I didn't do everything in my power to save that individual, that I am now an accomplice to their suicide. That perhaps I bear some responsibility for babies who now have no mother.

    I'm bound by law to let someone die if that is what they want to do as it is their individual right to refuse treatment. That doesn't mean that I believe what they are doing is right, and it won't stop me from thinking that they are idiots. You hold tight to your belief that its okay for people to make those bad decisions when a 5 year old boy comes in and needs a transfusion to live and his parents tell you no, its against their religion and its God's will that the child should die Tell me how comforting your ethics will be then? Personally I would feel like I had killed the child myself by withholding treatment.

    I know I'm going to judge those parents harshly if I ever come across that situation.
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from WindyHill
    Maybe not........
    Ah, but maybe she would have...
  7. by   weezledawg
    Quote from NavyVet
    LOL, of course we judge the validity of others belief system. Don't feel bad about it and don't hide behind ethics or whatever your using as justification for making that statement. We are all human, we all have opinions on a given topic. We may not be able to voice our thoughts about someone's decision because we don't want to lose our jobs, but we still have opinions on it that go unsaid. Perhaps its my belief that all life is sacred and because I didn't do everything in my power to save that individual, that I am now an accomplice to their suicide. That perhaps I bear some responsibility for babies who now have no mother.

    I'm bound by law to let someone die if that is what they want to do as it is their individual right to refuse treatment. That doesn't mean that I believe what they are doing is right, and it won't stop me from thinking that they are idiots. You hold tight to your belief that its okay for people to make those bad decisions when a 5 year old boy comes in and needs a transfusion to live and his parents tell you no, its against their religion and its God's will that the child should die Tell me how comforting your ethics will be then? Personally I would feel like I had killed the child myself by withholding treatment.

    I know I'm going to judge those parents harshly if I ever come across that situation.
    So, you have raised another interesting ethical issue... the lines certainly blur more when the rights to choose cross from one person choosing for themself and the difference between this action and choosing for another. So, if religious beliefs get in the way of appropriate treatment for a child, then it can be a different matter. Legally (and I am not an expert in any way on this) in certain states and under different interpretations of the law when it comes to a child, then the courts can enforce a standard of life-preserving care for a child even if it conflicts with the parent's religious choices.

    But originally I was talking about that one parent's right to choose. Does that mean that if I get cancer that I have to take the most agressive route if I am certain to die if left untreated? I don't want any medical team forcing their belief system on me.

    As a medical professional, I have to be very clear about my opinions and not letting them get in the way of respecting my patient's choices. I don't get to say, "Oh yeah, you're gonna die anyway so just be a DNR." And I don't get to say that devoutly religious people accept medical treatments that go against their spiritual beliefs. All I can do is say, "The chances of you dying are 95% if you don't get this blood. Are you prepared to leave your newborn twins behind?" If they are informed and prepared then that's up to them.

    My feelings, no matter how oppositional, have no place in determining the course of care for my patients. Be mindful, however, that such passionate feelings can cloud boundaries when push comes to shove with ethical decisions.
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    Anyways, reading the last few posts, I think this whole conversation is sort of deteriorating. It just seems to be getting more disrespectful and not productive. Is anyone else feeling that way? I don't know what it is about Jehovah Witness beliefs that sets people off so much. They seem like peaceful, sincere, and harmless people to me and I have a lot of respect for them. They've got a lot of guts to go witnessing door to door, I like the way they dress up to do so, they are respectful and clean cut.
  9. by   FireStarterRN
    I mean, look at all the non-compliant, self-destructive people we nurses take care of! What about the people who destroy their health with food, drugs, alcohol, slothfulness? They so outnumber the rare JW who dies because of refusal of blood products. This is so rare that this story made the news all the way from England!

    JW people are also pacifists and so they don't contribute to warfare or crime. They are model citizens and if more people acted like them the world would be a nicer place.
  10. by   NavyVet
    Quote from jlsRN
    Anyways, reading the last few posts, I think this whole conversation is sort of deteriorating.
    Eh, I guess I have to agree with you and apologize if my commentary sent us this direction too quickly. Unfortunately that is what happens whenever people that have strong beliefs about something are set in opposition to one another. Religious conversations seem to go south pretty quick since its tough to put forth one point of view without slighting the other party. I'm not religious....so there is no doctrine telling me to think this way....however my personal beliefs of what it takes to be a decent human beings tells me that I should forgive anyone who hurt my feelings; hopefully others will feel the same
  11. by   suanna
    I'm sure this was a terrible time for the family and patient. PLEASE if you have a patient in this condition it is fair to explain the prob. outcome-death-if they refuse blood but don't hammer them with every interaction. I have known very few J.W. patients who have reversd thier decision to refuse blood but I have known several that have spent thier final weeks having to defend thier choice to every nurse doctor, care manager, chaplin ... that walks into the room. They don't need more guilt. They need the support and acceptance of thier care givers. We can do many things in hospital that can't be done at home - hyperbarics, EPO, coloid fluid support- I'm sure thier are other traetments I'm missing. My point is sometimes the only conversation these patients get in thier final days or weeks is " you are going to die and it's your own fault" I f you were in a foreign hospital and that culture felt it was OK to kill a child to procure an organ for a transplant to save your life- would you agree to having a child killed? This culture doesn't exist (as far as I know) but the situation is the same. Would you like to be treated to the best of thier ability and supported in your decision or badgered an belittled by the staff that are caring for you? Don't get me wrong- I think they are nuts, but I can respect thier right to be nuts and admire thier commitment to thier faith. I just wish I could be sure mine would be as strong if I were faced with a simular test.
    Last edit by suanna on Nov 25, '07
  12. by   queenjean
    I'd like to weigh in here, as an athiest and a nurse.

    I 100% support a pt's right to make decisions regarding their health care, whether it is to refuse a certain immunization, medication, or a treatment--benign like physical therapy, or life-saving, like chemo or blood transfusions. I support this for whatever reason they have, be they religious or otherwise. I support it when it involves their children, too. I don't have to agree; but that's not my point. I can make sure they understand the consequences of their actions, and then I support them in whatever they choose.

    I know certain things in my heart. I know there is no god. I know I love my girls more than anything in the world, and I would do anything for them. I know certain actions (and inactions) are right or wrong. I cannot always rationally articulate *why* I know these things; but the right or wrong of certain issues, actions, and feelins is as real and right to me as the big fat dog who is sitting on my feet right now (the heating vent is under the computer table, and she cuddles up, whether your feet are there or not).

    If my awareness of absolute right and wrong tell me to refuse a certain treatment, no amount of discussion from any doc, nurse or social worker is going to persuade me otherwise.

    Whenever I encounter a situation like the OP presented, I think about my own absolute beliefs, and feel that this poor mother probably felt similarly.
  13. by   txpixiedust
    hey navyvet,

    unfortunately i think this discussion would be better in person than on a message board - even if we didn't agree. i never meant to imply i'm the only true believer -just that there are plenty of people who go to church for social reasons, or think they are believers because they've "checked" the box by coming to church. and since you said people on the board weren't acting as people of faith should, i felt compelled to mention that.

    like you said, we are unlikely to change each others mind - especially through this format. ha. i don't feel that i'm better than anyone else, and i don't get the impression that you do either. i feel i'm "right" only because i truly believe that jesus is the one & only way. i think whatever religion someone has, if they truly believe that doctrine they feel it's "the way." fear is absolutely not the reason i love god, for me it's gratitude for forgiveness & love he's shown me. i'm sure there are people who believe out of fear, as fear is a great motivator to do lots of things.

    i respect your individual right to think i'm an idiot. matter of fact i devoted 9 years of my adult life to ensuring you have that right

    i sincerely appreciate you serving our country and allowing me & others like me to be able to worship god freely. my father served in the navy also. i honestly don't think you are an idiot - what i "think" is that if you were to find jesus you'd be an awesome testimony for the faith, since you are very passionate about your beliefs! what i feel is sadness & love for anyone who feels the way you do.

    i appreciate your response, and while some of what you said is harsh i don't know that you meant it that way. i think i'm done with this thread, but if you'd like to talk by email i'd be happy to.

    god bless you!
    txpixiedust

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