Nov 29, 2007

old enough to die

Dennis Lindberg resisted a transfusion, even at the end. The 14-year-old Jehovah's Witness succumbed to leukemia last night, refusing the treatment necessary to extended his life. His decision, opposed by his biological parents but encouraged by his legal guardian, also met the approval of Skagit County Superior Court Judge John Meyer.
"I don't believe Dennis' decision is the result of any coercion. He is mature and understands the consequences of his decision," Meyer said during Wednesday's hearing. "I don't think Dennis is trying to commit suicide. This isn't something Dennis just came upon, and he believes with the transfusion he would be unclean and unworthy."
The Times writeup goes over some of the ethical implications:
Ethics experts and Jehovah's Witness officials said such a court case is unusual these days.

Most cases involving transfusions stem from surgical cases, and current policy at Children's is to inform parents that while the hospital will do everything it can to avoid transfusions, it will not let a child die for want of blood, said Dr. Doug Diekema, an ethics consultant there.

Years ago, courts routinely supported transfusions of children against the wishes of parents, Diekema said. While adults have the right to refuse any medical treatment, the courts ruled, that right doesn't extend to their children.

"The principle there is that parents can make martyrs of themselves, but they can't make martyrs of their children," Diekema said.

With an adolescent, the situation is much more complex, he said. "We all know that 14-year-olds change their minds; they become adults, and they have completely different belief systems. And that makes you nervous."
Wondering if the ruling would be part of the public record, I called the court's clerk this afternoon. "I'm sorry, but the records are sealed," she told me. "We can't discuss the case, even over the phone." The legal world is strange: the judge determined that, at 14, Lindberg was adult enough to make the ultimate decision, and yet the law still treats him as a minor, keeping the details of his case from full public scrutiny.


Anonymous said...


With that point made, the DEATH of this CHILD is a SCANDAL.

The District Attorney needs to investigate why Children's Hospital waited until it was too late for blood transfusions to help, instead of requesting an emergency court hearing as soon as it was obvious that transfusions would eventually be necessary. Start with the so-called "Ethicist" at the Hospital.

Summaries of over 225 similiar Jehovah's Witness Court Cases are found at:



Reviewing the similar cases at that website reveals that typically only Hospitals that agree with the Jehovah's Witnesses position would delay seeking court intervention in such an obvious situation.

DannyHaszard said...

Jehovah's Witnesses elders will investigate and disfellowship any Jehovah Witness who takes a blood transfusion,to say the issue is a 'personal conscience matter' is subterfuge to keep the Watchtower out of lawsuits.

Many Jehovah's Witnesses men,women and children die every year worldwide due to blood transfusion ban.Rank & file Jehovah's Witness are indoctrinated to be scared to death of blood.

1) JW's DO USE many parts aka 'fractions' aka components of blood,so if it's 'sacred' to God why the hypocritical contradiction flip-flop?

2) They USE blood collections that are donated by Red cross and others but don't donate back,more hypocrisy.

3) The Watchtower promotes and praises bloodless elective surgeries,this is a great advancement indeed.BUT it's no good to me if I am bleeding to death from a car crash and lose half my blood volume and need EMERGENCY blood transfusion.

Know this,the reason that JW refuse blood is because of their spin on the 3000 year old Biblical old testament,modern medicine will eventually make blood donations and transfusions a thing of the past.When this technology happens it won't vindicate the Jehovah's Witnesses and all the deaths that have occured so far.
The Watchtower's rules against blood transfusions will eventually be abolished (very gradually to reduce wrongful death lawsuit liability) even now most of the blood 'components' are allowed.
In 20 years there will be artificial blood and the Red Cross will go on with other noble deeds.

None of these changes will absolve the Watchtower leaders or vindicate their twisted doctrines
Are there dangers from blood?There are over 500 aspirin deaths in USA yearly.
Danny Haszard born 1957 3rd generation Jehovah's Witness

Anonymous said...

I know it's not up to me to judge someone's religion. One one hand, it seems absolutely ridiculous that in a life and death situation, you would rather let a child die because blood transfusions are "bad" in some way. However, I can understand that religion is an important aspect of being a Jehovah's Witness. If they accepted a blood transfusion, they would probably feel like they were going against everything they ever believed in. But if what dannyhaszard said was true, then the death of this child is just a hypocrisy and a terrible crime, to say the least.