23 May 2008

Kids trump religious belief

The Edmonton Sun - Canada
May 23, 2008

by Mindelle Jacobs

Perhaps one day, hopefully soon, Jehovah's Witnesses will abandon their ridiculous belief that God opposes blood transfusions.
Until then, it's up to the state to continue to protect minors who need medical treatment from the religious beliefs of their parents and religious leaders.
Every so often, you hear of minors who refuse blood transfusions because they've been led to believe that a practising Jehovah's Witness would never undergo such a procedure. Inevitably, the government steps in and ensures the treatment goes ahead.
The rationale behind the state's involvement is simple and necessary. Saving the lives of children is more important than bowing to the senseless and potentially damaging dictates of religion.
This week, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the case of a former Winnipeg teen who was given a blood transfusion against her will in 2006 when she was 14.
In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the teen compared the experience to "being raped and violated." Her reaction is undoubtedly heartfelt, but it underscores the necessity of promoting the best interests of children in such circumstances.
"This is about power. This is about who controls (Jehovah's Witness) children," says Juliet Guichon, a lawyer and University of Calgary bioethicist.
"Is it the state who can protect them or is it the Watchtower Society? That's what they're fighting about."
The Watchtower Society gives very poor information about the risks and benefits of blood and society lawyers -- who are also Jehovah's Witness clergy -- are representing the young woman, says Guichon.
"It raises the question as to whether (she) is in a position to instruct counsel. Ordinarily, the client instructs the lawyer. But does an adherent instruct a priest?"
So who knows how this unnamed teen really feels about her religion's ban on blood transfusions? Perhaps she's secretly overjoyed that the state stepped in and forced her to get treatment. While Crohn's disease isn't fatal, she could very well have died without a transfusion.
This case pits the right of so-called mature minors to choose or refuse medical procedures against the state's interest in protecting kids.
The teen argued she was mature enough to make her own medical decisions and, in fact, some provinces allow capable minors to make such determinations.
But maturity alone isn't enough, maintains Guichon. Officials also have to consider the quality of the medical information a young person is receiving as well as whether there has been coercion, she says.
It would be a very rare case where you could conclude that someone refusing life-saving treatment is mature enough to decide, she points out, adding that refusing such medical help might be evidence of a lack of maturity.
She said she hopes the Supreme Court lays down some guidelines about how to manage cases in which patients have poor information and are being coerced.
The wishes of minors are considered in medical matters, Guichon adds, but promoting the best interests of the child is the overriding factor.
And who would disagree, other than an unbending religious group that apparently believes blood transfusions will result in the loss of salvation, family and community?
It's a despicable scenario to present to a sick, impressionable child -- that you will be shunned forever for fighting for survival.
If Jehovah's Witnesses won't save their children, the state will have to do it for them.

This article was found at:


1 comment:

  1. Matthew 7:15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
    The sleazy watchtower $ociety only cares about it's image,devotion of it's followers,and plundering the time money and assets of followers.

    Just like a cult in every way.....

    More have died from their Watchtower spiritual and medical quackery than Jim Jones and David Koresh cults combined!

    Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs:

    A) They are at your door to recruit you for enslavement to their watchtower corporation,they will say that "we are just here to share a message from the Bible" this is deception right off.

    B) Their 'message' is a false Gospel that Jesus had his second coming in 1914.The problem with this is it's not just a cute fairy tale,Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim "..look he is here in the wilderness,or see here he is at the temple..."

    C) Their anti-blood transfusion ban has killed hundreds if not thousands

    D) once they recruit you they will "love bomb" you in cult fashion to also recruit your family & friends or cut them off. There are many more dangers,Jehovah's Witnesses got a bad rap for good and valid reasons.

    99% of the world has rejected the teachings of the Watchtower Jehovah’s Witnesses, the darker truth is they are a destructive and oppressive organization.
    Mind control is a terrible thing.