mother dies after refusing blood transfusion

  1. A very sad story from England.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...re/7078455.stm

    A young mother has died after giving birth to twins, following claims that she had refused a blood transfusion because of her faith.
    Jehovah's Witness Emma Gough, 22, from Telford, Shropshire, gave birth on 25 October.
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 5, '07 : Reason: edited for copyright purposes
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  2. 214 Comments

  3. by   queenjean
    I'm glad they respected her right to refuse medical treatment. I'm sorry she died, don't get me wrong. But patients do have the right to refuse treatment, and not just when they are at the end of their lifespan. Kudos to the staff who respected her decision despite how helpless it must have made them feel. That must have been extremely difficult for them.
  4. by   Diary/Dairy
    What a tragedy.....some blood might have given her years more with her babies......Making me sad now....
  5. by   CyndieRN2007
    Sad, but it was her right to refuse. My heart breaks for the baby twins, to have to grow up without ever knowing their mother.
  6. by   RN1980
    i'm sorry but there is something about just letting a patient that you very well might have saved die that makes me sick...i know all about "it's her right" stuff. well why did she even come to the hospital, why not just have the baby at home then in some cornfeild. a patient comes to the hospital and wants our help, but then when her life is on the line she refuses....i'm sorry i'm in the buissness of trying to save life,sight or limb. thank god my name is not on her record, cause it just makes me sick.
  7. by   Zookeeper3
    Quote from queenjean
    i'm glad they respected her right to refuse medical treatment. i'm sorry she died, don't get me wrong. but patients do have the right to refuse treatment, and not just when they are at the end of their lifespan. kudos to the staff who respected her decision despite how helpless it must have made them feel. that must have been extremely difficult for them.
    this has always been such a difficult patient decision for me to deal with. while i respect the rights of the patient, with jw, there are special circumstances involved. with any life event, i wish docs can talk them into banking their own blood, which requires approval from (priest), to use later. worst, this is seldom allowed due to beliefs. it's so frustrating, knowing that they die, when we can easily treat.... but we're "taught" to accept religious views. it's so easy in theory... so hard to watch a "needless" death... especially with the birth of a family.

    i wish i had the answers, my own faith gets in the way.
  8. by   YellowFinchFan
    Quote from jlsRN

    a senseless death - if I had been their nurse I would've tried desperately to get them to change their mind. so sad
  9. by   cmo421
    Very sad. We took care of a 20yr old male that had an MVA with a traumatic amp and multiple pelvic fx. He was bleeding into his pelvis and had a large volume loss from his femoral artery due to the amp. He and his family were devote JW. They refused blood, we took him to interventional to try and stop the pelvic loss,but he then coded on the table. The doc's pleaded with the family and the pt prior to LOC,to no avail. Neither fluid nor volume expanders worked and he died. It was an awful night and the family was heart broken. They stood firm in their beliefs that blood was wrong and accepted the death as God's will.
    What can ya do but do as the family asks and believes. Debriefing of staff helps after a situation like this. The body did go to the ME office,blood would have saved him.
  10. by   YellowFinchFan
    Quote from cmo421
    Very sad. We took care of a 20yr old male that had an MVA with a traumatic amp and multiple pelvic fx. He was bleeding into his pelvis and had a large volume loss from his femoral artery due to the amp. He and his family were devote JW. They refused blood, we took him to interventional to try and stop the pelvic loss,but he then coded on the table. The doc's pleaded with the family and the pt prior to LOC,to no avail. Neither fluid nor volume expanders worked and he died. It was an awful night and the family was heart broken. They stood firm in their beliefs that blood was wrong and accepted the death as God's will.
    What can ya do but do as the family asks and believes. Debriefing of staff helps after a situation like this. The body did go to the ME office,blood would have saved him.
    It's like watching someone die - knowing you can save them. It must've been a horrible thing for medical staff to deal with.
  11. by   november17
    I had a patient with a hemoglobin of 4.5, symptomatic, pale, couldn't hardly stand up. She refused blood because, (in her words) "I don't know where that blood came from!!! It could have HIV in it or somethin!" Educated her on the screening process but she didn't believe me (or any of the other people that tried to explain the same thing).

    I tried to talk her into it, my charge nurse tried, another nurse on the floor tried, 2 physicians tried. The lady wasn't even a JW or anything, she just didn't want it. We all just shrugged, gave her some procrit, an iron pill, and sent her to the unit.
  12. by   missgigius
    I am sorry did I miss something? Did this mother die because she refused blood or did she die from injury or accident that happened during childbirth?
  13. by   cmo421
    Quote from YellowFinchFan
    It's like watching someone die - knowing you can save them. It must've been a horrible thing for medical staff to deal with.

    It was a really bad day in the neighborhood, but we moved on. When people stand fast in their beliefs,right or wrong in our eyes,ya have to respect them. Not easy to see the one of the few major traumas that could have been saved die. Life is weird sometimes.
  14. by   zlatamoya
    I am a senior nursing student, a mother of a 6 month old, and a JW. My heart aches for the family, and to anyone who has ever lost a loved one. I know this may be difficult to understand to those who do not hold this belief, and I thank you for trying to understand and your patience. However, it is not uncommon at all for people in our society to feel so strongly about what they believe is right that they are willing to uphold those beliefs at great cost. For example, thousands each year go to the military to support a cause that they feel is worthy enough that they may have to risk their life. Please continue to respect a patient's autonomy and speak with any JW's that you know to get a better view of why we hold this view. Thank you, and please know this family is in my prayers and my heart hurts for her little ones.

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