Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I was discussing this scenario with a friend a few days ago and I had a fair idea of what to do but I was wondering if you guys had a different take on it.

    A patient is admitted to a busy A&E ward on a Friday night who has just been involved in a road traffic accident. He is unconscious and bleeding heavily. Whilst searching through the patients wallet you find evidence that he is a Jehovahs witness. You are told by paramedics that the neighbours do not know anything about the man apart from the fact that he's a Jehovah's witness (as he's very quiet and keeps himself to himself). You are the doctor in charge and you discover that the patient has no next of kin/family and you find no evidence of a living will in the patients records. All your colleagues are busy dealing with other emergencies. You have tried to contact a senior colleague/consultant but he is also busy and it will be at least 20 minutes before he can assist you.

    Due to the patient's rapidly deteriorating condition you must decide immediately whether you should give the patient a blood transfusion. If you do not give the patient a blood transfusion, the patient will die.

    What would you do?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Give the patient a blood transfusion.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Phone the MDU.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    give him the blood transfusion

    EDIT:

    Jehovahs witness's don't like blood transfusions...you'd have to use an alternative because he'd be upset when he got better.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    give the blood transfusion
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    How about you tell us your thoughts and we'll go from there...

    I wouldn't give him the blood transfusion - I would use one of the alternatives. you're asking to get struck off if if transpires you knew...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I wouldn't give him the blood transfusion either because I'd have reasonable evidence to suggest that if the patient were competent then he would not consent to a blood transfusion. I would document the evidence I had found in the patients wallet and discussions I had with paramedics regarding the patients religious stance. What are the alternatives you speak of?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I wouldn't give it either - although it might be easier on you to give the transfusion, you have to repsect the patient's wishes. The info in the wallet was there for a reason, i.e. to let the patients beliefs be known if they were in this sort of situation. For example, if I were in an accident and was carrying a donor card, but none of my organs that could have been donated were done so, I'd be pretty annoyed (although that's pretty unlikely to happen considering how desperate we are for organ donors!).
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Bloodfree transfusions, hemopure, etc.

    The 'Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood' website is a good place to start.

    http://www.ajwrb.org/

    If you treat a Witness with blood, knowing their religion, then you might also face criminal charges, as it counts as battery.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    It depends how obvious it is that they are a jehovahs witness it is. If it isn't completely clear that they are then I think the only ethical thing to do is to treat them to the best of your abilities. so really it depends on the evidence you find. If it is clear that they are a jehovahs witness I would probably try other methods to treat them but if that wasn't working I don't really know it is a hard one.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    why don't they like blood transfusuions???
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Saf!)
    why don't they like blood transfusuions???
    If I remember correctly it is to do with a quote it leviticus which says something about not eating the blood or meat of a human which jehovahs witnesses have taken to mean you can't have blood transfusions but I could be wrong.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    I wouldn't give it. You have to respect other people's views. Does anyone know what officially you are supposed to do?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by randdom)
    If I remember correctly it is to do with a quote it leviticus which says something about not eating the blood or meat of a human which jehovahs witnesses have taken to mean you can't have blood transfusions but I could be wrong.
    oh...i see
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ice_cube)
    I wouldn't give it. You have to respect other people's views. Does anyone know what officially you are supposed to do?
    aren't you supposed to treat them unless they have a witnessed signed thing on them or a family memember there? that could be completely wronge though
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    If the person is a fully facultative adult and has chosen to be a Jehovah's Witness, then that is their choice. Administer a non-blood alternative.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Depends on the evidence in their wallet. There is a proper official card which Jehovah's witnesses carry which absolutely states they do not want blood transfusions. If they had one of them, you should follow that; if it's just like a card from his church or something then the situation is much less clear.

    Use blood-free alternatives if it is humanly possible, BUT if a whole blood transfusion is the ONLY thing that would save them (unlikely unless they're massively critical) then you would probably be legally safe to give it to them as they are incompetent and it is in their best interests - a blood card is not completely legally binding, and there is no next of kin to give or refuse consent.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I would've probably given the blood transfusion as I wasn't aware they didn't accept them. Unless of course the card stated not to do so. I agree the card should be clear. If I knew, then a non-blood alternative is obviously the best route.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hmmm interesting, thanks guys for all your views. I think that it would definately depend on the information found in the patients wallet. If it was an official JW card stating no blood transfusions then I would not give the patient a blood transfusion.

    However, if the evidence I found was just a church card then I would exhaust all alternatives and if that didn't help then I would administer a blood transfusion. Also it would depend on the condition of the patient. If the evidence was not an official blood card and the situation was critical then I would adminster a blood transfusion in the first instance.

    I know that giving a blood transfusion would be in the patients best interests but I would have to comply with the patients wishes if the evidence I found was a card clearly stating no blood transfusions.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helenia)
    there is no next of kin to give or refuse consent.
    Next of kin have no legal power to give consent for their relative. They can offer advice as to what might be their loved one's wishes - but the ultimate decision falls to the senior medical professional.

    The guidance for this sort of situation is very clear. If the patient is a Jehovah's witness and there is sufficient evidence for this - then a blood transfusion should not be given even if that means the patient dies.
 
 
 
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: December 25, 2005

University open days

  • University of Lincoln
    Mini Open Day at the Brayford Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 19 Dec '18
  • University of East Anglia
    UEA Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 4 Jan '19
  • Bournemouth University
    Undergraduate Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 9 Jan '19
Poll
Were you ever put in isolation at school?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.