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(CBC)   Girl gets leukemia. Girl is Jehovah's Witness. Jehovah's Witness' do not allow blood transfusions. Girl dies. Distraught father sues Jehovah's Witness' and hospital   ( divider line
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21870 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Aug 2004 at 1:16 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

397 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-08-28 11:21:48 AM  
She looked like 65 when she died. She was a friend of mine.
2004-08-28 11:38:10 AM  
He claims they exerted undue influence by telling the teen she would be eternally damned if she agreed to the transfusions.

What the hell?
2004-08-28 11:49:00 AM  
Must suck when your religion forbids medical technology from interfering with God's plan.

Kind of like forbidding stem cell research, boy I'd hate to live in a country where medical science were forbidden from saving lives because of what a few leaders decided was moral.

missmez: Jim Carrol Band, great song.
2004-08-28 12:23:35 PM  
OK I only read the two first paragraphs, but...

This reason 4,542 why ALL organized religion SUCK!!!
2004-08-28 12:55:31 PM  
Very nice Jim Carroll reference missmez.
2004-08-28 12:59:10 PM  
This really isn't any different than the nutjobs who oppose stem-cell research.

When your magic fairy god-stories get in the way of common sense and medical procedures, you are a danger to society.

I wonder how many Christians who oppose stem-cell research think that the Jehovah's Witnesses are crazier than they are. Probably a lot.
2004-08-28 01:17:30 PM  
It seems like the Jehovah's Witnesses are a lot nuttier than the Christians who just oppose stem-cell research - simply because the JWs oppose a lot of other things, too.

This ought not, contra mtrans, be taken as a reason that all organized religions suck, because it is not about all organized religions. You can't paint Tibetan Buddhists with the Jehovah's Witness brush.
2004-08-28 01:20:34 PM  
That's true. On the zaniness scale, the Jehovah's Witnesses even outpace the Mormons.
2004-08-28 01:21:40 PM  
oddly enough in the Us the state would have taken protective custody to try and ensure the daughter was treated....not sure what my point is, but made it anyway.
2004-08-28 01:22:54 PM  
Just Ignorant,

And they don't even have the magical underpants.
2004-08-28 01:23:04 PM  
Thats just not right

why would they be agaisnt lood transfusions
2004-08-28 01:24:09 PM  
Don't Jehova's Witnesses believe that only 144,000 will find a place in the "Kingdom of Heaven", and haven't more than 144,000 Jehova's Witnesses already lived and died?

Someone correct me if I'm misinformed, but it looks as if you have to be bad at math to be a JW.
2004-08-28 01:24:33 PM  
The church should be liable for the death. I would like to see religious organizations be liable for the crap they preach, especially when their teachings convince some borderline delusional nut that Satan is among them and he kills some innocent kids.
2004-08-28 01:25:48 PM  
How do JW's rate on the craziness scale versus scientologists?
2004-08-28 01:25:50 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

Lovingly stolen from Machall.
2004-08-28 01:26:05 PM  
Is it wrong to be a grammar Nazi with a headline when somebody has died?
2004-08-28 01:26:35 PM  
There's a big difference between blood transfusions and stem cell research. For JWs to tell you that you can't have a blood transfusion is for them to tell you that you can't have eggs in the morning. For a Christian to tell you that you can't perform stem cell research is to tell you that you shouldn't find a partially formed chicken in the pan when you crack your egg.

/Pandora, be careful what you wish for.
2004-08-28 01:27:06 PM  
Don't Jehova's Witnesses believe that only 144,000 will find a place in the "Kingdom of Heaven", and haven't more than 144,000 Jehova's Witnesses already lived and died?

They also predicted the end of the world or something several times throughout the early 20th century, so you have to be bad at dates as well.
2004-08-28 01:27:19 PM  

I agree completely, churches and other religious organizations should be held responsible for the actions of the people they brainwash.
2004-08-28 01:27:34 PM  
The church shouldn't be liable, the parents and kid always had the option of accepting it.
2004-08-28 01:27:45 PM  
Similar story happened around me, about a couple who refused to treat their daughter, Shannon Nixon.

And they lost another child earlier for the same reason!

I don't get religions, really.
2004-08-28 01:29:43 PM  
Can we all at least agree that not all religions are this nutty, and the craziness of one religious tradition does not in any way condemn any other religious tradition? For me? Just this once?
2004-08-28 01:30:06 PM  
While I think this is stupid I have more respect for the Jehovah's Witnesses refusing blood transfusions than I do for people who want to stop stem-cell research on religious grounds. The Jehovah's witnesses at least have a line in their religious text they can point to that very plainly says they can't have blood transfusions. I don't recall it exactly but it's something along the lines of "don't take the blood of another into you". With stem-cell research there is nothing saying "don't use the building block cells of your body to try and cure diseases" in any religious text I've ever heard of.

/my 2cents
2004-08-28 01:30:39 PM  
Religion is a lot like mind-altering drugs. If you're smart, either can improve the quality of your life substantially. If you're dumb, they can spell death.

For millions.

/stoned atheist
2004-08-28 01:31:02 PM  
I see faith in your eyes
never you hear the discouraging lies
I hear faith in your cries
broken is the promise, betrayal
the healing hand held back by the deepened nail

follow the god that failed

/Back from a time Metallica didn't suck
2004-08-28 01:31:19 PM  
For those wondering that the hell is going on here, the policy of Jehovah's Witnesses is that blood transfusions are a violation of Leviticus 17:14:

"You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh."

It's actually from the dietary laws that Orthodox Jews & Muslims follow; it's pretty vague as to how the Witnesses made the illogical leap from dietary laws to blood transfusions. And as for the dietary laws from Leviticus, there is always the provision that they may be relaxed in a life-threatening situation (like being able to drive on the Sabbath if you need to get someone to the hospital).

Apparently, the Witnesses have been relaxing their "position" on blood transfusions; too late to save the poor girl, though.
2004-08-28 01:31:23 PM  
looks like FARK sold out to a kiddie porn personal.
thats very disturbing
way to go
2004-08-28 01:31:44 PM  
I'm torn on this one.
1) Another JW dies for refusing medical treatment. Darwin smiles, we all win.
2) I hope the father wins a buttload of cash from the JW church, enough to bankrupt that worthless cult.

Here's a true story.
Several years ago I worked in a major university hospital (hint-in Michigan) and a very premature baby was brought into neonatal ICU. She was born to JWs who, strangely, had the birth at St. Mary's (a Catholic hospital) where the doctors insisted on immediate medical treatment. The parents' minister councilled them to transfer the baby to our hospital as it's a state hospital and therefore more compliant with the wishes of people who don't vote.
Our docs insisted on serious medical treatment which really surprised the parents and the congregation. Eventually the hospital allowed the parents, their minister, and a couple others in to see the baby. Once in the ICU they began randomly unplugging machines left and right and not just the machinery and equipment on their baby. Yes, the hospital pressed charges, though I don't know what happened as I had quit by then.
Too bad I wasn't there that day. I'd have busted some heads.
2004-08-28 01:31:58 PM  
Needs Dumbass tag. The idiot chose his religion over his daughter and then wants to sue?! WTF happened to personal responsibility?
2004-08-28 01:32:31 PM  
This is tragic

And no, this is not the reason "organized religion" is what's wrong with society.

On the other hand, why didn't the man just leave Jehovah's Witnesses?
2004-08-28 01:32:51 PM  
This ought not, contra mtrans, be taken as a reason that all organized religions suck, because it is not about all organized religions. You can't paint Tibetan Buddhists with the Jehovah's Witness brush.

Truest words I've read all morning.

I hope I'm reading this article correctly, because I'm shocked at the notion that this hospital prohibited the girl from receiving a transfusion. I wonder if that clinic has had similar problems before.
2004-08-28 01:32:58 PM  
These people always make me think of a parable -

One day a dam broke, evacuations started down steam as the river broke its bank and houses started to flood. A man took his family to the roof of their house and told them 'God will save us' and they waited. The water had risen to their window sills when a man in a boat came past and cried out 'Get in and I'll take you to saftey' but the man called back 'God will save us!' and continued to wait with his family.

The water had reached the second story when a rescue boat came by and called out that should get aboard to go to the evacuation center. The man called back that god would save them, and refused to get into the boat.

The water was at the family's feet when a helicopter flew over and begged them to climb the ladder to saftey, the man sure of gods love replied that god would save them.

After drowning in the floods the man arrived at the gates of heaven and asked St Peter 'Why! Why did god abandon me!' and St Peter replied 'He sent two boats and a plane?'

If you believe in god, I don't get how you can say no when help presents itself. Surely it was part of gods plan that man would learn to heal man, god is by deffinition and dogma all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. Anything that exists MUST be gods design or exist with gods permission. When saviour presents itself, only those with truly shallow faith could possibly say no. If they were true to their beliefs they'd surely have realised that god had sent them this help and it would be courting disaster to scorn his gifts.

Alternately they'd realise that its all a crock and take the damn transfusion because life is what truly matters.
2004-08-28 01:33:09 PM  
Dear God,

Was that part of your great plan?

-Going To Hell in TX
2004-08-28 01:33:33 PM  
Well, from the looks of it:

HTML 1, Me 0
2004-08-28 01:33:51 PM  
God's a biatch...
2004-08-28 01:36:09 PM  

I think a person could look at any religion from some different angle and find it to be completely nutty. Actually just about anything we do can be looked at by another person as completely nutty. It all depends on perspective. However, I do agree with you that one crazy religious tradition in one religion is not an indictment of all religions. But if you look at every religion out there I'm sure you'll find some crazy religious tradition in each one (not to say that this is always a bad thing).
2004-08-28 01:37:03 PM  
I worked with a Jehovah Witness awhile back. Nice guy actually, though it was annoying when we would celebrate someones birthday and he would either call in sick or sit by himself and pout. When we started simply calling them "get togethers" he was fine, as long as someone didn't accidently pass him the card to sign or the cake got too close.
2004-08-28 01:38:10 PM  
Further proof that all religion is unmitigated savagery and the only barrier which stands in the way of humanity's ultimate advancement. The only way to cure ourselves of this blight is to outlaw religion and persecute its followers with the same intolerance they fostered on lesser groups in the past - atheist tolerance is no longer sufficient, there must be an anti-theist pogrom which suppresses this barbarism once and for all.
2004-08-28 01:38:42 PM  
If god had not wanted us to use science he wouldn't have given us a brain.

[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-28 01:40:11 PM  

That's probably true of just about every cultural practice.

Jubal Cain (nice handle, btw),

You know what the best part is? If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and good, then it necessarily follows that the world in which this little girl, specifically, by name, gets screwed down like a roof rack is better than any world in which she does not.
2004-08-28 01:40:29 PM  
This ought not, contra mtrans, be taken as a reason that all organized religions suck, because it is not about all organized religions. You can't paint Tibetan Buddhists with the Jehovah's Witness brush.

isnt buddhism more properly decribed as a philosophy

transmigration - To pass into another body after death.
nirvana - The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion

while I guess we could call it a religion, buddhism does not have a god ... or a heaven

/organized religion sucks
2004-08-28 01:41:23 PM  
How do JW's rate on the craziness scale versus scientologists?

The Scientologists are nuttier for sure.
2004-08-28 01:41:41 PM  
I think you missed the most important factor here - it's the patient who refused treatments. Her reasons and the motives are not important. In a free society, the patients have the ultimate say of what treatments to receive.

You can argue about her belief. But it's her belief, and you can't argue.
2004-08-28 01:42:02 PM  
Religion .... ahhh, were do we start?

/If the really wanted to find Osama Bin Laden , they'd send in the Jehovah's Witness !Those people find everyone....
2004-08-28 01:42:38 PM  
to all those who think all organized religions are completely bad, I suggest taking a look at buddhism. not perfect certainly, but light years ahead of this nonsense.
2004-08-28 01:42:42 PM  
why wasnt this a DARWIN tag?

/dead people don't reproduce!
2004-08-28 01:42:58 PM  
The idiot chose his religion over his daughter and then wants to sue?! WTF happened to personal responsibility?

If you RTA, you'll see that he actually chose his daughter over his religion. His daughter chose her religion over her life.
2004-08-28 01:43:27 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-28 01:43:39 PM  
Another reason to outlaw all organized religion
2004-08-28 01:43:54 PM  
Summary of the posts so far: People that believe differant things than
me are stupid and should be hated.
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