Jehovah's Witness can get transfusion


The High Court has ordered that a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in need of urgent surgical treatment can receive certain blood transfusion products despite objections from her husband on religious grounds.

The 27-year-old woman was admitted to a Dublin hospital on Monday suffering from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. She had lost a significant amount of blood, which was replaced with recycled blood from her body using a system known as “cell salvage”.

The court was told she was currently sedated and unable to express her wishes. A procedure needed to prevent serious infection could involve further bleeding and the need for a transfusion.

A dispute had arisen over her wishes, the court heard. Eileen Barrington SC, for the hospital, said on admission the woman had told doctors she was refusing a transfusion of whole blood or red blood cells but would accept platelets or plasma. Her husband told the court she would never accept platelets or plasma even if her life was in danger.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy said he would grant the hospital the order sought.