Jehovah Witness and Blood Transfusion

Nurses General Nursing


I have a family member who is a Jehovah witness, and she has a daughter and sister who still practice under this religion, she herself has not been practicing as a JW for a very long time in that she has not attended any meeting ect....

She has taken very ill, and her spouse has okd for her to have a blood transfusion, her daughter was going to come up to the hospital to see her, but I am afraid after this news she may not. I asked her nurse that we she was ready to give the transfusion, could she lock off the room to give the patient some privacy while she was having this procedure and she stated she was not able to, she stated, that she understood the pt, was a JW but that since they had the approval of her spouse to perform the blood transfusion, she would not be able to do this she asked that we contacted the daughter and speak with her about this.

My question is this and why.

Is this a liability for the hospital treating her?

If so how much of a liability is it?

I ask this question because the hospital seems to be rushing the family member on her way, and whenever you mention anything about the approval of the blood transfusion, all the staff become extermely nervous this includes the doctor. The family is so divided in this and we almost lost her the other day, now this I am afraid it may create a bigger argument then they already have. The daughter has now begun to avoid seeing her and I cant understand why?

What happens in a case like this, should the hospital be giving the blood transfusion? and if so is it impossible for them to provide some privacy during the transfusion?

Yes...The pt felt that if she were to receive anyones blood, she would receive their sins.

Honestly, I would encourage the family to contact the head of the hospital. The pt is refusing the one treatment that would help her get better quickly. What more can they do? I think that the pt should have the right to refuse but, the pt should not expect miracles to happen when they refuse the most effective (but not acceptable to them) treatment.

Even if the family did contact the head of the hospital it would not make a difference, if the patient refuses treatment it is nothing the family can do about that.


When I worked in cardio OR we had a 10 year old who needed open heart surgery. It was a life saving op but parents were JW and refused togive consent for her to have a blood transfusion. The hospital took it to the courts and they decided that she should be able to have a BT if required.

Unforunately after the OP her parents never visited-they disowned her.

It was hard enough doing such major surgery on such little children, but she is one of the ones that always sticks in my mind. Sad.

Even if the family did contact the head of the hospital it would not make a difference, if the patient refuses treatment it is nothing the family can do about that.

Right, that is my point. The family can complain all the want but there is transparency to show that everything is being done exactly as it should be and the person with the POA or whatever has their wishes honored.

I have wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, news, today we received a call my family member did receive her blood transfusion, and we (well at least some of us) love her and accept her choice to live, we are 200% God will do the same she is alive and doing well.

Her spouse is over joy with the choices he made, He is still hurt that is entire family is not there to support but once she received the medical attention she needed she began to show such an improvement. Please pray for this family that we all learn to put our religion aside and to put God and family first in all we do. We really need to be on one accord and to support her through this, I am sure this is really what she needs

+ Add a Comment