MATURE MINORS UNBORN CHILDREN PARENTAL OBLIGATIONS ADULT CHILDREN
1990s Cases 1980s Cases 1970s Cases 1960s Cases 1950s Cases
"A patient in the hospital maybe fed through the mouth, through the nose, or through the veins. When sugar solutions are given intravenously it is called intravenous feeding. So the hospital's own terminology recognizes as feeding the process of putting nutrition into one's system via the veins. Hence the attendant administering the transfusion is feeding the patient through the veins, and the patient receiving it is eating through his veins." -- The WATCHTOWER magazine, July 1, 1951.
Jehovah's Witnesses were BAMBOOZLED into believing that receiving an infusion of human blood into their body's circulatory system was scientifically the exact same thing as eating or ingesting blood into their body's digestive system. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that when blood is eaten as "food" that the ingested blood enters the human body's separate and distinct digestive system, where it is treated by the digestive system exactly the same as a hotdog, a potato chip, or any other item of "food". It will be completely digested and broken down into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and waste -- which are then either assimilated or excreted by the body.
Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge the distinction that when human blood is TRANSFUSED into another human's circulatory system that the transfused human blood remains to be human blood and continues to function as human blood. That is the very point of a blood transfusion. The very purpose of a blood transfusion is to SAVE HUMAN LIFE. Blood transfusions are based on RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE.
The WatchTower Cult uses Old Testament guidelines regarding the disposal of blood from slaughtered animals to teach Jehovah's Witnesses that blood is "sacred" because blood is the "symbol" of life. Then, in the same breath, the WatchTower Cult turns around and requires Jehovah's Witnesses to SACRIFICE ACTUAL HUMAN LIFE to maintain the SANCTITY OF THE SYMBOL. WatchTower Cult doctrine MORONICALLY places a higher value on the SYMBOL OF HUMAN LIFE than it does ACTUAL HUMAN LIFE.
In fact, the Old Testament permitted the eating of "unbled" animal meat, which the Old Testament equated to eating animal blood itself. In emergency situations, when humans needed to eat unbled meat in order to sustain their life, the Mosaic Law permitted such desperate humans to eat "unbled" meat. Once their life had been saved, those humans were then required for a few days to fulfill the Mosaic Law's requirements for being "unclean". Thus, THE BIBLE RECOGNIZES AND TEACHES that the SUSTAINING OF HUMAN LIFE is MORE IMPORTANT than maintaining the "sanctity" of the mere "symbol" of life. To do otherwise would be doing exactly what the MORONIC WatchTower Cult does. It would make the SYMBOL more SACRED than the THING SYMBOLIZED.
In fact, the WatchTower Cult is MISLEADING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES TO DISOBEY GOD and violate the Holy Scriptures in one of the most serious ways possible. GOD created humans in HIS image. GOD considers human life to be SACRED. A Jehovah's Witness who extinguishes SACRED HUMAN LIFE in order to MORONICALLY maintain the sanctity of the SYMBOL of that SACRED LIFE varies little from those who profane SACRED HUMAN LIFE by committing suicide. Those Jehovah's Witness Elders who teach and police this MORONIC WATCHTOWER CULT DOCTRINE vary little from MURDERERS. The Bible is clear as to how GOD views MURDER and how GOD views and eventually deals with MURDERERS.
The WatchTower Cult's SATANIC twisting of GOD'S WORD and BAMBOOZLING of its' Jehovah's Witness members in order to establish its own version of the GENERIC CULTIC REQUIREMENT of "POTENTIAL MARTYRDOM FOR ALL - ACTUAL MARTYRDOM FOR A FEW" would be laughable if not for the fact that it has lead to the MEANINGLESS DEATHS OF THOUSANDS OF HUMANS ACROSS PLANET EARTH since 1945, and it will continue to cause the pointless deaths of THOUSANDS MORE IN THE FUTURE until LIBERAL GOVERNMENTS finally wake up and declare "NO MORE OF THIS BACK-DOOR SUICIDE STUPIDITY UNDER THE GUISE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM". Legal precedent is already there. Stupid religious belief is unfettered. Stupid religious practice is not.
YET ANOTHER TAXPAYERS BE DAMNED -- CULT GETS FREE RIDE CASE
MERCY HOSPITALS VICTORIA v. PROMISCUOUS PREGNANT JW TEEN & JW MOTHER is yet another blood transfusion refusal case in which a Teen and her JW Mother have sufficient faith for her to DIE for the Cult, but not enough faith to stop the Teen from openly committing fornication. We include this 2018 Australia case for its inside look at the REAL WORLD WatchTower Cult. Edited excerpts:
The first defendant (D1) is a 17 year old woman who is 38 weeks pregnant. She consented to induction of labour to take place very shortly at a hospital operated by the plaintiff, Mercy Hospitals Victoria ... She has also consented that, if necessary, a caesarean section be performed to deliver her baby. She is of very small stature, it is her first baby, and the baby is quite large, so the risk of requiring a caesarean section delivery and of associated postpartum haemorrhage is a significant one.
D1 is an adherent of the Jehovah's Witness faith. The hospital sought her consent to the administration of blood or blood products during or after delivery, if necessary to prevent serious injury or save her life. Because such administration is contrary to her faith as a Jehovah's Witness, D1 has refused such consent. Being less than 18 years of age, D1 is a minor under law. D1's mother, the second defendant (D2), is also an adherent of the Jehovah's Witness faith. She has informed the hospital that, if asked, she would not provide consent to the administration of blood or blood products to D1.The hospital has brought an urgent application to this Court for a declaration ...
D1 was born overseas on 26 August 2001. She turned 17 less than a week ago. She arrived in Australia in 2009 as an eight-year-old with her family as refugees. Her parents have since separated and she lives with her mother, D2, and her six siblings. D1 informed the hospital that her pregnancy was a planned pregnancy with her former partner with whom she has had no contact for the past two months. At 12 weeks of pregnancy, in early March 2018, she booked the birthing of her baby with the hospital. At that time, she weighed only 97 lbs, with a height of 4'11". ...
The social work records of the hospital indicate that D1 had, throughout her pregnancy, been receiving some support from a refugee support agency and from the student well-being staff at her school. ... On 9 July 2018, the social work records reveal that a person from D1's maternity support group was informed by D1 that she and her family were Jehovah's Witnesses, and that she did not believe in blood transfusions. There is no reference in the medical notes of the hospital about thaot issue at that time. On 31 July 2018, the social work records reveal that D1 was advised "as a priority" to organise an appointment with either the midwife or obstetrician to discuss an advanced care plan because the family were Jehovah's Witnesses. Again, on 1 August 2018, the social work records refer to D1 being told of the importance of ensuring that the medical team were aware that the patient and her family were Jehovah's Witnesses. On 7 August 2018, another social work record refers to the fact of D1's Jehovah's Witness faith and that she would decline blood products, again referring to the need for obstetric appointment.
The first date the medical record for D1 at the hospital makes any reference to D1's Jehovah's Witness faith is 7 August 2018, at which time D1 was 34.6 weeks pregnant. The medical record on that date contains this entry: "SW notes advise [D1] is Jehovah's Witness. [D1] and [JW] mother confirmed this and will decline any blood products. Require OBS appointment to complete advance care directive/refusal of treatment form and arrange anaesthetic referral."
On 10 August 2018, the medical notes record that D1 had attended that day with her [JW] mother to discuss her treatment in light of her Jehovah's Witness beliefs. The notes indicate that D1 included her [JW] brother in the discussion by telephone from interstate. The medical staff member asked D1 to have an open discussion with her family and clergy/elders and to put clearly in writing a plan for the blood products she would or would not accept in the event of requiring fluid or blood resuscitation. ...
On 15 August 2018, when D1 was 36 weeks pregnant, notes of [female] Dr van Dam's consultation indicated that D1 attended with her [JW] mother and a person from D1's Jehovah's Witness community who I will call Jill. Apparently, the discussion was postponed because D1 was "not ready to discuss" (I assume about her faith and her consent to accept blood products). She was informed she would need to give specific answers to what specific product or procedures she would accept. She was given written information about an advanced care directive (ACD, a written instruction under the MTPDA) and a form on which that directive could be given. Arrangements were made to have a further discussion with D1, D2, [JW Jill], and an [JW E]lder (presumably of D1's church), together with an interpreter for D2. Dr van Dam noted the need to review the option of having a child psychologist or psychiatrist present. Although there is a note for 22 August 2018 (when D1 was 37 weeks pregnant) there is no reference to any further discussions. The record notes that the baby was measured as being on the 88th percentile for growth.
... In Dr van Dam's written report she says that D1 disclosed to her maternity support group at 34 weeks gestation that she was of the Jehovah's Witness faith and would refuse or blood products. That may be a reference to the entry on 9 July 2018 in the social work records I have referred to above. That entry was actually made about seven weeks ago, at closer to 30 weeks gestation.
Dr van Dam states that D1 had to be prompted several times before she informed her midwife of her faith and her refusal to receive blood or blood products, and had not completed the part on her registration form which requires details about her religion. She stated that D1 only revealed her refusal to her "care providers" at 37 weeks gestation when she "added this in after discussion with me about the importance of stating her preferences and the impact on her medical care". Dr van Dam's report goes on to make these observations about D1:
[D1] is very quiet and polite and appears to rely on [JW Jill] and her [JW] mother to answer questions, and when asked directly, refers to them before answering. I offered her [an] interpreter and she was (almost unusually so) upset with me for implying that she needed an interpreter. I did state that I think that her English is good, but that I consider that her [JW] mother needs an interpreter for complex discussions. I note, however that [D1] wrote on the hospital's paperwork that her preferred language is [a language other than English].
I discussed with [D1] the risks of bleeding in labour as well as the implications of a large amount of blood loss, including death. She gave only one answer repeatedly: "I do not want blood". I was not satisfied that [D1] has thought the issues through or has a grasp of the consequences. At our first visit on 15 August 2018, I felt that she was not sufficiently prepared to have this discussion, as she had not yet read or considered any of the paperwork given to her by the midwife the week before -- all pertaining to blood and blood products. I was not satisfied that she was aware of the different products (including which were blood and which fractions of blood etc) in circumstances in which blood or blood products might be offered. I postponed further blood product discussion to 22 August 2018, and ensured that we had an ... interpreter present as well. I also outlined which questions I needed her to consider and gave her a printed list of these. She was reminded several times by social work in the week between these two visits (on 15 and 22 August 2018) to attempt to complete or think about the questions -- her answer was that she was busy and would get to it. The Advance Care Directive (ACD) was then part-completed by her on 21 August, and she brought this along to the 22 August visit. Furthermore, in my opinion, the ACD completed at home does not reflect her way of speaking or writing style, and seems to me to have been completed with assistance by others.
[D1] seems to be of average intellect, but is immature. She passed Year 10 at [school] this year and is planning to return to school in 2019. The school is supportive of this plan. [A staff member from her school] has spoken with our social worker and advise that [D1] has never been formally assessed, and that the school considers that [D1] was "capable of processing information and making informed decisions". My impression of [D1's] understanding of the nature and consequence of her refusal of blood transfusion in a life-threatening situation, including the consequences for herself, her family, and her child is limited. She still believes (naively) that all will be well and that if anything happens she will be protected by her faith. There appears to be a clear component in her discussions of wanting to please both her [JW] mother and [JW Jill] when refusing blood.
Dr van Dam stated that at their first consultation on 15 August, she had asked D1 why she did not carry the usual card carried by Jehovah's Witnesses regarding blood product refusal. [JW Jill] replied on behalf of D1, saying that D1 had not yet been baptised, and therefore was not recognised by the church to be able to carry the card. When asked why she did not complete the religion question on her registration form, again [JW Jill] answered on D1's behalf saying that D1 had only just started her studies, and did not yet feel comfortable stating that on the form. Dr van Dam said 'these statements make me concerned that [D1] does not have the understanding or conviction to refuse the blood in case of dire emergency". ... It was then that she arranged for D1 to be assessed by Professor Paul.
Associate Professor Paul is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. He has had 37 years of experience there. He saw D1 for two hours on Tuesday 28 August. He was asked to witness her completing an ACD made under the MTPDA. Ultimately he declined to do so.
Section 17 of the MTPDA requires that any witness to an ACD must certify that the person giving it appeared to have "decision-making capacity" in relation to each statement and, in particular, appeared to understand the nature and effect of each statement in the directive. "Decision-making capacity" is defined in s4 to require that the person be able to understand the information relevant to the decision and the effect of the decision, retain that information to the extent necessary to make the decision, use or weigh that information as part of the process of making a decision, and communicate the decision on the person's views and needs as to the decision in some way.
Associate Professor Paul said that although D1 attended with her [JW] mother and [JW] Jill, he spoke with her alone extensively.
D1 told him she had attended Kingdom Hall (the name given to the church of a Jehovah's Witness) since she had been in a refugee camp with her family overseas. She had continued attending the Kingdom Hall as a child going to Sunday school when the family lived in rural Victoria, and in more recent years has attended generally once or twice a week including taking formal Bible studies. D1 told Associate Professor Paul that she was not yet baptised, but liked reading books from the Kingdom Hall, especially Bible stories.
D1 told him she had been in a relationship with the father of her child for some months before becoming pregnant. She also said she was happy to become pregnant. She knew that having sex before marriage was against the values of the Jehovah's Witness community. Although she had broken the community rules she said she may be forgiven if she is remorseful.
She reiterated to Associate Professor Paul a number of times, and in writing, that she did not want to receive any blood or blood products during the course of her pregnancy or delivery, even if there were very serious complications, and even if she might die without them.
Associate Professor Paul considered D1 was lucid, and fully coherent. Having conducted a mental health assessment, he did not believe she had any significant ongoing major mental health disorder.
He examined her attitude towards potential treatment with human blood products. He said she willingly completed the ACD in his presence with no pressure from others. She was very clear in a statement, both written and verbal, that should she become acutely ill during pregnancy or delivery and require emergency treatment, she refused any human blood products. She said "the Bible says it's wrong to eat or drink blood; if you lose blood and have to let it go and pour it out on the floor". She said her elders told her it was her choice and that they could not force her. But she said it was Jehovah who helped her make that decision, and she did not want any blood products.
As to her belief about death, she told Associate Professor Paul that she believed that if she was to die she would have a new life in paradise, that she wanted to make Jehovah happy, and that she would rather die than have a blood transfusion. When asked about the potential impact on her baby if there were serious complications during labour, she said that she had not thought about it. Then she said, "If the baby has to die, she has to die".
Associate Professor Paul believed that D1 had "a clear and consistent belief that she must not receive human blood products". D1 told him she held that belief freely and was not forced by anyone else to believe it. Nevertheless, Associate Professor Paul thought it was 'possible" that D1 was "to some degree" dependent on her family and community in making decisions regarding her life so as to accord with Jehovah's Witness beliefs and values. He said D1 was aware she had transgressed a major rule not to have sexual relationships before marriage. He thought it was "possible" that she felt dependent on the grace of her community as a result of her history of trauma and dislocation as a refugee. He also thought that because of some of her past behavioural problems, D1 may feel unduly dependent on her community and feel the need to comply with its strict religious values and rules in her present circumstances. He then expressed three important views:
(a) he was uncertain D1 had been able to fully weigh up all of the information relevant to making a decision to refuse human blood products in an emergency;
(b) he did not believe D1 had given due consideration to the impact of her refusal of blood products and her possible death upon the life of her baby, and the impact of that upon the baby's father and others in her family; and
(c) he did not believe D1 had considered the impact upon her child of being deprived of its mother for the rest of its life, or of the possible disability her baby might experience in the course of her labour if she was compromised by not having access to blood products.
In summary, although he understood D1 had been clear about her wishes, he was not certain she had been able to explore and completely understand the full implications and complexity of the impact upon her, and upon her about-to-be born baby and her family, of such a grave decision to refuse human blood products should they be absolutely medically necessary. For that reason he felt unable to witness D1's ACD.
D1 and D2 declined to [testify.] However through an interpreter, in final submissions, D2 made several statements to the Court which were in the nature of evidence. She was not tested on them. Also, it was a little difficult to understand whether she was speaking of her views, or those of D1, but I record them here:
(a) she believed D1 would suffer psychological harm by being forced to have a blood transfusion;
(b) being forced to have a blood transfusion would be like having violence done to her, or being raped;
(c) she is not convinced there may not be side-effects from a blood transfusion;
(d) she wants to do the right thing by Jehovah;
(e) she, D2, has herself had 9 children -- including one by caesarean section -- without a blood transfusion.
... It is necessary I record my observations of D1, admitting the limitations of my capacity to do so given the urgency in which the matter has arisen and, more particularly, the imperfections inherent in making judgments of the kind I am attempting to make.
First, it appears that D1 is of at least average intellect for her age and capable of processing information and making informed decisions. She has no apparent mental health disorder. On the other hand, it is not suggested she is conspicuously intelligent for her age or advanced in her thinking.
Secondly, some doubt is cast upon her maturity as a just-turned 17-year-old. Dr Van Dam, who has seen her twice, characterised her has "immature". Associate Professor Paul did not express himself in quite the same terms although his comments on D1's possible "dependence" on her family and community, which I shall come to shortly, may amount to a similar assessment although one from a different angle.
Thirdly, both Dr Van Dam and Associate Professor Paul expressed reservations about D1's understanding of the nature and consequence of the refusal of a blood transfusion in a life-threatening situation. Those consequences need to be understood in their full dimension -- first, the effect on D1's life and safety; secondly, any jeopardy to the health of the baby and to the welfare of the baby should D1 die or become compromised in her own health; and, thirdly, the impact on D1's family and friends should she die or become seriously compromised in her health. Dr Van Dam thought her understanding was "limited". Associate Professor Paul did not believe D1 had considered or given due consideration to those matters. In short he was not certain she had completely understood the full implication and complexity of the impact of her decision.
Fourthly, several factors combined to cast doubt on the maturity and solidity of D1's personal adherence to the principles of the Jehovah's Witness faith. This, clearly, is an awkward topic and the Court is highly attuned to the need to be as sensitive as possible in making these observations. But, in the end, a matter for consideration is the extent to which D1's choice reflects a deeply held faith conviction that is part of who she is, and thus deserves to be weighed heavily in the balance. In this regard, I note the following:
(a) Associate Professor Paul thought she had expressed a clear and consistent belief she must not receive human blood;
(b) D1 has been a member of the Jehovah's Witness faith community with her family at least since she was a young child, attending church first overseas, and later in regional Victoria, and now more recently, in a more active way locally including attending Bible studies;
(c) D1 is not yet a baptised member of the Jehovah's Witness community;
(d) D1 did not immediately volunteer her religion to the hospital, or make objection to taking blood during the early stages of her pregnancy management;
(e) D1's attention to discussing and then making a choice about her medical treatment was delayed and deferred by her seemingly because she had other priorities -- possibly her studies;
(f) Associate Professor Paul expressed in various ways the possibility that D1 feels dependent on her faith community due to a sense of gratitude for its past support but, more subtly, because of her awareness of her past transgressions of the community's beliefs and values.
As a result of these various strands it is difficult to be confident that D1's presently expressed choices are the product of an independently formed, carefully considered and long-held adherence to the tenets of the Jehovah's Witness faith.
American law regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and their refusal to accept blood transfusions is somewhat settled and is fairly simple. Competent adults have the constitutional right to refuse a blood transfusion, even if such refusal means they will die. Many Jehovah's Witness parents have exercised their constitutional right to choose death rather than accept a blood transfusion.
Jehovah's Witness Parents will attempt to make the same "death decision" for their minor children, but practically every hospital will attempt to obtain a court order which will permit them to administer a medically necessary blood transfusion over the parent's objections - assuming that the Jehovah's Witness Child is still alive by the time all the legalities are completed. Borderline areas, such as Jehovah's Witness Mothers pregnant with "fetuses" and Jehovah's Witness Minors approaching "majority", are scenarios in which the WatchTower Society has been slowly chipping away in American courtrooms. Court cases dealing with such are posted on subsequent webpages.
Readers should keep in mind that the following cases are merely those which could be located. One should not assume that because no cases are listed in a certain year that no such scenarios went through the courts during that year. One can probably assume that when many cases are listed for a certain year, such as 1992, then that is, at the very least, the minimum number of cases that may very well occur in any given year. Researchers will also start to notice something not noticed by casual browsers. That is, groupings of cases from the same state, or adjacent states, in a certain year, or consecutive years. This phenomenon was most likely the result of one case getting media attention simply by chance. However, the publicity from that case then brought the issue to the attention of other reporters in the same and nearby coverage areas, who then put such cases on their own "radar screen", and thereafter reported cases that they previously had been missing. It is simply no telling how many 1000s of such cases went "unreported" over the decades in the United States alone. Keeping in mind that the vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses live in foreign countries, with most of those being third-world countries with bare-bones legal and medical systems, the potential body count is staggering.
Readers should be aware that the reason that few cases have been posted in the past four years is due to tightened confidentiality rules which in many instances now prevent cases from being reported, and in other cases deter cases from being reported due to fear of violating rules. Increasing numbers of JW Parents will mean more instances of children being denied life-saving blood transfusions, not fewer cases.
"Neither you nor anybody else can stop me. ... This child [Betty] is exercising her God-given right and her constitutional right to preach the gospel, and no creature has a right to interfere with God's commands."
"As the case reaches us, the questions are no longer open whether what the child did was a "sale" or an "offer to sell" within [Mass statute] or was "work" within [Mass statute]. The state court's decision has foreclosed them adversely to appellant as a matter of state law. The only question remaining therefore is whether, as constituted and applied, the statute is valid. ...
"[Prince] does not stand on freedom of the press. Regarding it as secular, she concedes it may be restricted as Massachusetts has done. Hence, she rests squarely on freedom of religion under the First Amendment applied by the Fourteenth to the states. She buttresses this foundation, however, with a claim of parental right as secured by the due process clause of the latter Amendment. Cf. Meyer v. Nebraska, ... These guaranties, she thinks, guard alike herself and the child in what they have done. Thus, two claimed liberties are at stake. One is the parent's, to bring up the child in the way he should go, which, for appellant, means to teach him the tenets and the practices of their faith. The other freedom is the child's, to observe these, and among them is 'to preach the gospel ... by public distribution' of 'Watchtower' and 'Consolation', in conformity with the scripture: 'A little child shall lead them.'
"If, by this position, appellant seeks for freedom of conscience a broader protection than for freedom of the mind, it may be doubted that any of the great liberties insured by the First Article can be given higher place than the others. All have preferred position in our basic scheme. Schneider v. State, ... Cantwell v. Connecticut, ... . All are interwoven there together. Differences there are, in them and in the modes appropriate for their exercise. But they have unity in the charter's prime place because they have unity in their human sources and functionings. Heart and mind are not identical. Intuitive faith and reasoned judgment are not the same. Spirit is not always thought. But, in the everyday business of living, secular or otherwise, these variant aspects of personality find inseparable expression in a thousand ways. They cannot be altogether parted in law more than in life.
"To make accommodation between these freedoms and an exercise of state authority always is delicate. It hardly could be more so than in such a clash as this case presents. On one side is the obviously earnest claim for freedom of conscience and religious practice. With it is allied the parent's claim to authority in her own household and in the rearing of her children. The parent's conflict with the state over control of the child and his training is serious enough when only secular matters are concerned. It becomes the more so when an element of religious conviction enters. Against these sacred private interests, basic in a democracy, stand the interests of society to protect the welfare of children, and the state's assertion of authority to that end, made here in a manner conceded valid if only secular things were involved. The last is no mere corporate concern of official authority. It is the interest of youth itself, and of the whole community, that children be both safeguarded from abuses and given opportunities for growth into free and independent well developed men and citizens. Between contrary pulls of such weight, the safest and most objective recourse is to the lines already marked out, not precisely but for guides, in narrowing the no man's land where this battle has gone on.
"The rights of children to exercise their religion, and of parents to give them religious training and to encourage them in the practice of religious belief, as against preponderant sentiment and assertion of state power voicing it, have had recognition here, most recently in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, ... Previously, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, ... this Court had sustained the parent's authority to provide religious with secular schooling, and the child's right to receive it, as against the state's requirement of attendance at public schools. And in ... this Court had sustained the parent's authority to provide religious with secular schooling, and the child's right to receive it, as against the state's requirement of attendance at public schools. And in Meyer v. Nebraska, ... children's rights to receive teaching in languages other than the nation's common tongue were guarded against the state's encroachment. It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder. Pierce v. Society of Sisters, supra. And it is in recognition of this that these decisions have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.
"But the family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty. Reynolds v. United States, ... Davis v. Beason, ... . And neither rights of religion nor rights of parenthood are beyond limitation. Acting to guard the general interest in youth's wellbeing, the state, as parens patriae, may restrict the parent's control by requiring school attendance, regulating or prohibiting the child's labor and in many other ways. Its authority is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his claim to control the child's course of conduct on religion or conscience. Thus, he cannot claim freedom from compulsory vaccination for the child more than for himself on religious grounds. The right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.People v. Pierson, ... . The catalogue need not be lengthened. It is sufficient to show what indeed appellant hardly disputes, that the state has a wide range of power for limiting parental freedom and authority in things affecting the child's welfare, and that this includes, to some extent, matters of conscience and religious conviction.
"But it is said the state cannot do so here. This, first, because when state action impinges upon a claimed religious freedom, it must fall unless shown to be necessary for or conducive to the child's protection against some clear and present danger, Schenck v. United States, ... and, it is added, there was no such showing here. The child's presence on the street, with her guardian, distributing or offering to distribute the magazines, it is urged, was in no way harmful to her, nor, in any event, more so than the presence of many other children at the same time and place, engaged in shopping and other activities not prohibited. Accordingly, in view of the preferred position the freedoms of the First Article occupy, the statute in its present application must fall. It cannot be sustained by any presumption of validity. Schneider v. State, ... . And, finally, it is said, the statute is, as to children, an absolute prohibition, not merely a reasonable regulation, of the denounced activity.
"Concededly a statute or ordinance identical in terms with [Mass statute] except that it is applicable to adults or all persons generally, would be invalid. ... But the mere fact a state could not wholly prohibit this form of adult activity, whether characterized locally as a 'sale' or otherwise, does not mean it cannot do so for children. Such a conclusion granted would mean that a state could impose no greater limitation upon child labor than upon adult labor. Or, if an adult were free to enter dance halls, saloons, and disreputable places generally, in order to discharge his conceived religious duty to admonish or dissuade persons from frequenting such places, so would be a child with similar convictions and objectives, if not alone, then in the parent's company, against the state's command.
"The state's authority over children's activities is broader than over like actions of adults. This is peculiarly true of public activities and in matters of employment. A democratic society rests, for its continuance, upon the healthy, well rounded growth of young people into full maturity as citizens, with all that implies. It may secure this against impeding restraints and dangers within a broad range of selection. Among evils most appropriate for such action are the crippling effects of child employment, more especially in public places, and the possible harms arising from other activities subject to all the diverse influences of the street. It is too late now to doubt that legislation appropriately designed to reach such evils is within the state's police power, whether against the parent's claim to control of the child or one that religious scruples dictate contrary action.
"It is true children have rights, in common with older people, in the primary use of highways. But even in such use, streets afford dangers for them not affecting adults. And in other uses, whether in work or in other things, this difference may be magnified. This is so not only when children are unaccompanied, but certainly to some extent when they are with their parents. What may be wholly permissible for adults therefore may not be so for children, either with or without their parents' presence.
"Street preaching, whether oral or by handing out literature, is not the primary use of the highway, even for adults. While for them it cannot be wholly prohibited, it can be regulated within reasonable limits in accommodation to the primary and other incidental uses. But, for obvious reasons, notwithstanding appellant's contrary view, the validity of such a prohibition applied to children not accompanied by an older person hardly would seem on to question. The case reduces itself therefore to the question whether the presence of the child's guardian puts a limit to the state's power. That fact may lessen the likelihood that some evils the legislation seeks to avert will occur. But it cannot forestall all of them. The zealous though lawful exercise of the right to engage in propagandizing the community, whether in religious, political or other matters, may, and at times does, create situations difficult enough for adults to cope with and wholly inappropriate for children, especially of tender years, to face. Other harmful possibilities could be stated, of emotional excitement and psychological or physical injury.Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when they can make that choice for themselves. Massachusetts has determined that an absolute prohibition, though one limited to streets and public places and to the incidental uses proscribed, is necessary to accomplish its legitimate objectives. Its power to attain them is broad enough to reach these peripheral instances in which the parent's supervision may reduce, but cannot eliminate entirely, the ill effects of the prohibited conduct. We think that, with reference to the public proclaiming of religion, upon the streets and in other similar public places, the power of the state to control the conduct of children reaches beyond the scope of its authority over adults, as is true in the case of other freedoms, and the rightful boundary of its power has not been crossed in this case.
"In so ruling, we dispose also of appellant's argument founded upon denial of equal protection. It falls with that based on denial of religious freedom, since, in this instance, the one is but another phrasing of the other. Shortly, the contention is that the street, for Jehovah's Witnesses and their children, is their church, since their conviction makes it so, and to deny them access to it for religious purposes, as was done here, has the same effect as excluding altar boys, youthful choristers, and other children from the edifices in which they practice their religious beliefs and worship. The argument hardly needs more than statement, after what has been said, to refute it. However Jehovah's Witnesses may conceive them, the public highways have not become their religious property merely by their assertion. And there is no denial of equal protection in excluding their children from doing there what no other children may do.
"Our ruling does not extend beyond the facts the case presents. We neither lay the foundation "for any [that is, every] state intervention in the indoctrination and participation of children in religion" which may be done "in the name of their health and welfare" nor give warrant for "every limitation on their religious training and activities." The religious training and indoctrination of children may be accomplished in many ways, some of which, as we have noted, have received constitutional protection through decisions of this Court. These and all others except the public proclaiming of religion on the streets, if this may be taken as either training or indoctrination of the proclaimer, remain unaffected by the decision. ... ."
The following 2020 New Zealand Court Order negotiated between the WatchTower Cult's local Hospital Liaison Committee and the involved doctors, various government officials, and even High Court judges reveals how the WatchTower Cult manipulates worldwide such situations to force doctors, government officials, and even judges to help the WatchTower Cult's maintain the appearance of NOT acquiescing to the administering of blood transfusions, and essentially turning this published Opinion into a PR or Promo piece for the Cult.
Positively, interested parties worldwide can use this Court Order as a blueprint for how to more quickly get all involved parties to concede to the administering of needed blood transfusions to injured and sick children of ignorant Jehovah's Witness Parents.
AUCKLAND DISTRICT HEALTH BOARD v JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES PARENTS
February 2020 (Edited)
The applicant, the Auckland District Health Board, has applied to the Court for orders: ...
(b) granting it leave to apply for an order that L be placed under the guardianship of the High Court from 26 February 2020 until completion of his chemotherapy treatment and at the latest until 26 August 2022;
(c) appointing Dr Tim Prestidge and Dr Karen Tsui as agents of the Court for the purposes of consenting to the administration of blood and blood products to L:
(i) in connection with treatment (including chemotherapy) of L's B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia where that treatment is consented to by L:s parents S and MD; and
(ii) where the administration of blood and blood products is in accordance with good clinical practice and in L's best interests as assessed by Dr Prestidge and Dr Tsui;
(d) appointing L's parents S and MD as general agents of the Court for all purposes other than consenting to the administration of blood and blood products to L;
(e) directing Dr Prestidge and Dr Tsui to keep L's parents informed at all reasonable times of the nature and progress of L's condition and treatment;
(f) reserving leave to the parties to apply to the Court for review of these orders if warranted by a change in circumstances; ...
 L was diagnosed on 21 February 2020 with B-cell aecute lymphoblastic leukaemia. His treatment of chemotherapy commenced as a matter of urgency on 22 February 2020. L's parents support the chemotherapy treatment but are unable to consent to the associated administration of blood and blood products to L on account of their religious beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. The administration of blood and blood products is very likely to be required during the course of treatment for L's condition. ...
 The evidence supporting the application is contained in the affidavits of Dr Timothy Prestidge, a consultant paediatric oncologist employed by the Auckland District Health Board at the Starship Blood and Cancer Centre at Starship Children's Hospital and Dr Karen Tsui, also a consultant paediatric oncologist for the applicant, Auckland District Health Board, at Starship.
 The doctors' evidence confirms that L is a six year old boy living with his parents S and MD in Auckland. His parents are Jehovah's Witnesses. L presented to Starship Hospital via his family doctor for investigation and management of a large swelling in his neck which was increasing in size over two weeks. He was unresponsive to antibiotics. Following further investigations, on Friday, 21 February 2020, L was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a fast growing cancer of white blood cells in bone marrow. The cells circulate through the body in increasing numbers and accumulate in the lymph nodes causing the type of swelling L had. Without treatment this type of leukaemia is fatal within a few weeks to months. ...
 L will remain an inpatient in Starship Hospital for the first week of treatment and then have at least weekly appointments and infusions for three more weeks prior to a reassessment. Beyond that it is expected the treatment will involve additional rounds of chemotherapy tailored to his initial response.
 After the initial five cycles of intensive chemotherapy L will take oral chemotherapy medication at home each day and be required to come to the clinic approximately every four weeks for outpatient treatment, a total duration of therapy lasting up to about two and a half years. Throughout this time he will also have lumbar punctures at set intervals to administer treatment into his spinal fluid. This prevents the leukaemia developing in the brain and spine which would otherwise occur.
 The need for blood transfusions arises because both leukaemia and the chemotherapy cause the bone marrow to produce fewer red and white blood cells and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. Having a low level of red blood cells impairs the body's ability to carry oxygen, which can cause the organs to shut down and lead to death. Low levels of platelets predispose a person to bleeding, which can be life threatening. Having low platelets could allow an internal bleed into the brain which could be fatal. In addition, a minimum platelet level is required to safely perform the lumbar punctures, the next of which is due on Monday, 2 March 2020.
 The leukaemia L suffers from is a malignancy that, if untreated will certainly lead to death. The only recognised treatment for it is the multi-agent chemotherapy. The positive news is that with treatment in accordance with the protocol L has an excellent prognosis of long-term overall survival in excess of 90 per cent. The proposed therapy is regarded as best practice in New Zealand as well as in Australia and North America.
 L's case has been reviewed at a multi-disciplinary team meeting and agreement was reached that the proposed treatment (multi-agent chemotherapy) was in his best interests. His treatment will continually be reviewed at departmental and interdepartmental multi-disciplinary meetings.
 Chemotherapy commenced on an urgent basis on Saturday, 22 February 2020 after Dr Prestidge informed L's parents, S and MD, of the confirmed diagnosis, and following extensive discussion where the implications of chemotherapy in terms of potential adverse effects were explained. Written information about the chemotherapy treatment was also provided to the parents. Both parents gave consent to the administration of chemotherapy, signed consent forms for the treatment and were keen that this be commenced as soon as practicable. Dr Prestidge has seen the parents daily since.
 The issue in the current application arises because, as noted, both the leukaemia and the chemotherapy cause bone marrow suppression. All children in this situation require transfusion with red cells or platelets in order to avoid the life threatening complications of having low red blood cells and platelets. When L's chemotherapy commenced on 22 February 2020 his blood count was low and it is expected to fall further over the next few days. As a consequence of the leukaemia treatment Doctor Prestidge anticipates L will likely require transfusion with some form of blood product before Monday, 2 March 2020.
 Blood and platelet substitutes are not currently available. In a child such as L, bone marrow suppression would, as a matter of accepted medical practice, necessitate blood or blood product transfusion.
 In Dr Prestidge's opinion it is likely L will require transfusions of blood products beyond the first week also as a result of both the chemotherapy and the leukaemia itself. Even in later stages when L is receiving oral chemotherapy medications at home he will be at high risk of acquiring infections. Consequently he may require blood transfusion even in the later stages of his treatment.
 Dr Prestidge confirms he has spoken with L's parents regarding the condition and potential treatment, including the requirement for blood transfusions.
The parents' position
 The parents have affiliations with the Jehovah's Witness church and have confirmed they will not consent to the administration of blood or blood product transfusions to L.
 After service of the current application on them, the parents have, with the assistance of a hospital Jehovah's Witness Liaison Committee member, prepared a statement which they have filed with the Court. In that statement they confirm that Dr Prestidge has explained to them about L's leukaemia and the appropriate treatment and that, as a result of the chemotherapy, L may need a transfusion of blood and blood products. They note they love their son very much and want the best possible medical treatment for him. They also accept that as part of that treatment he required urgent chemotherapy. However, as Jehovah's Witnesses, they sincerely believe that blood is sacred and agreeing to accept a blood transfusion would be to break God's law in Acts 15:28-29 to "abstain from blood".
 S and MD assure the Court that, apart from not consenting to L being given a blood transfusion, they are fully co-operating with his doctors in every way possible. They appreciate the medical care and assistance being given to L and accept and know the medical team are genuinely concerned about him and his wellbeing.
 S and MD confirm they consent to the chemotherapy treatment except for the transfusion of blood and blood products. They formally ask the Court not to grant the order sought but, if the Court makes an order against their wishes, they understand they must obey the law and will continue to bring L to the hospital for medical treatment.
 They also sincerely ask the Court that if an order is made it be made in a way that assures every effort is exerted in the use of appropriate blood conservation strategies before a blood transfusion is administered and that it assure every effort is made to minimise the administration of blood or blood products.
 In relation to that latter request I note that Dr Prestidge has confirmed in his affidavit that he and the treating team have undertaken additional steps where they are able to, to reduce the need for transfusion including reducing the number of routine blood tests and avoiding surgery for an indwelling central venous catheter.
 Further, while there are established institutional guidelines in accordance with the international practice which stipulate when blood products are required, Dr Prestidge and Dr Tsui also aim to limit the unnecessary use of blood products. Dr Prestidge has spoken to both parents about taking the approach in L's case not to simply transfuse red blood cells based on a blood result in isolation, but to look closely at other clinical parameters, in an attempt to reduce further L's need for blood products.
 Dr Prestidge has also confirmed he will consult with L's parents regarding the need for transfusion as much as possible. ...
Interested parties need to know that the WatchTower Cult is on a crusade to STOP hospitals from seeking and local courts from issuing emergency court orders permitting emergency life-saving blood transfusions via long established systems of local telephone "hotlines". As has been the WatchTower Cult's successful method for over 80 years, they are patiently "cherry-picking" cases in liberal jurisdictions, and then choreographing the pre-selected actors from start to finish. Obviously, to maintain that much control, the WatchTower Cult requires the partnership of the liberal community's most powerful legal muscle. We invite interested parties to view via YouTube the oral arguments in this case, in which it is difficult to distinguish the three Arizona appellate judges from the WatchTower Cult's legal team, which appeared officially as an "amicus", but did not even testify -- because doing so was completely unnecessary. The Arizona Justices castigated the well-working decades-old established system -- while hyperventilating over the fact that emergency telephone calls typically are made by doctors, hospital administration, etc., rather than the Hospital's attorney. The WatchTower Cult and its liberal co-conspirators wish to eliminate this established system, but as an alternative, they wish to have added to the process as much legal garbage as possible. That way, many more JW Children will DIE before an emergency court order can be obtained and/or implemented. SATANIC!!!
As a sub-element of this international campaign, for the past two or three decades the WatchTower Cult has slowly but surely TRAINED judges granting court orders for emergency life-saving blood transfusions to include commentary which expressly states that the involved Jehovah's Witness Parents are NOT NEGLECTFUL, and that the involved child is NOT NEGLECTED. Recent court decisions from Great Britain, Australia, and Canada are sickening the way the judges have their heads rammed up the arses of Jehovah's Witness Parents seeking to "sacrifice their child to Molech". As pointed out by the Arizona judges, how are judges thereafter granting court orders authorizing blood transfusions? Laws granting judges such power typically are based on the child being "neglected".
GLENN HAWKINS AND SONJA HAWKINS v. BANNER CARDON CHILDREN'S MEDICAL CENTER ET AL was a 2017-18 Arizona STATE appellate court decision. See related 2010 California STATE appellate court decision, SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY v. MARCUS W. Both court cases were produced and directed by the WatchTower Cult's Legal Department as part of the WatchTower Cult's SOP to harass anyone and everyone who has the audacity of failing to kowtow to every demand of the WatchTower Cult.
During oral arguments, the Hospital's attorney repeatedly asked this liberal Arizona 3-judge court (2 males and one female), effectively, "WHY ARE WE HERE? THIS CASE IS MOOT!" After Cody Hawkins' necessary surgery and aftercare was completed, the Hospital requested in writing that Jehovah's Witness Parents, Glenn Hawkins and Sonja Hawkins, of greater Phoenix, Arizona, seek care ELSEWHERE for Cody. By January 1, 2018, Cody Hawkins amd his JW Parents already were "temporarily" living in Portland, Oregon.
In August 2017, fourteen year-old Cody Hawkins was diagnosed with bone cancer. Thereafter, Cody sought treatment, including chemotherapy and surgery at Banner Cardon Children's Medical Center. Cody's medical team developed a treatment plan using alternative therapies designed to avoid the need for blood transfusions. On October 12, 13, and 16, and December 4, 2017, Hospital employees called the Maricopa County superior court via an "emergency hotline" seeking a court order authorizing life-saving blood transfusions, which the Hawkins Family had refused. The superior court ultimately granted three of five requests for authorization to administer blood transfusions. The Hawkins filed this lawsuit in November 2017, but did not request a stay of the court's orders. Thereafter, the Hospital administered blood transfusions to Cody on December 1 and 5. Status unknown.
Interestingly, the Hawkins legal complaint alleged that the Hawkins were never given formal notice of the court proceedings, and learned of the FIRST REQUEST only when advised -- INTERESTINGLY -- that it had been DENIED, and the second by overhearing conversations in the Hospital's corridors. The Hospital denied these allegations, and during oral arguments, the Hospital's attorney insinuated that the Hawkins and their attorneys were LYING.
The Hawkins were present and represented by counsel at all but the first proceeding. INTERESTINGLY, at each stage, the Hawkins argued first that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the requests, and second that the Hospital had failed to prove Cody's medical condition constituted an emergency warranting a blood transfusion. Although various medical personnel presented evidence and argument to support the requests, the Hospital itself did not appear through counsel.
READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THE LACK OF COURT CASES POSTED FOR THE MOST RECENT YEARS IS BECAUSE OF ENHANCED CONFIDENTIALLY RULES (HIPAA) THAT HAVE ALL BUT STOPPED ACCESS TO MOST OF THE HOSPITAL INCIDENTS ONCE REPORTED BY NEWS MEDIA.
However, as PROOF that the issues which we address in the following webpages are just as relevant in 2017 as they were in the 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, and 1950s, here is a JULY 2017 plea for help published in the social advice column of the major Philippine newspaper. Note that the author of this letter makes it clearer in her second paragraph that she also was a devout Jehovah's Witness until she was shunned by the WatchTower Cult and divorced by her JW Husband. Readers should also take from this letter how the WatchTower Cult is less careful in third-world countries about doing things which would instantly receive bad publicity in Europe or North America.
My husband of 11 years left me because I allowed my daughter to have a blood transfusion after she contracted dengue. My husband is a devout Jehovah's Witness and his religion believes that having a blood transfusion is a sin against God. I can't believe how selfish he is. Our daughter's life was at stake and she needed blood! He said this procedure would make Jehovah angry. He said he was willing to sacrifice our daughter's life to please God. Without his permission, I donated my own blood for my daughter.
Since I have broken this rule, my husband dumped me. It's heartbreaking that my husband put his religion first. He even warned that our daughter and I would be punished for what I've done. It's been seven months since my husband left us. I am now a solo parent. My husband even refuses to give financial support because he said he didn't want to support a disobedient wife and daughter. Even my church has disowned me. My daughter and I are not allowed to attend services at Kingdom Hall anymore. Our fellow Jehovah Witnesses friends won't even help me or talk to me. But I'm still lucky I have my family to back me up. Am I a bad Christian? Does God still love me?
JORGE A. ORTIZ v. ROSA B. VALDEZ ROSAS is an ongoing 2020-24 South Carolina divorce/custody case. Wife appealed divorce decree awarding Husband sixty percent of the marital estate, medical decision-making authority over the couple's minor child, and $10,000 in attorney's fees. SC Court of Appeals affirmed in January 2024, holding in part:
"[W]e hold the family court did not err in awarding Husband primary medical decision-making authority over Child. Wife, who was formerly a practicing Jehovah's Witness but who had formally withdrawn from the religion at the time of the final hearing, argues the family court violated her First Amendment rights by granting Husband this authority based on her religious beliefs. We disagree. The family court relied on several factors in reaching its decision, including Wife's testimony that she was previously hospitalized and had refused a blood transfusion, her admission at the hearing that she would "probably not" allow Child to receive a blood transfusion even if he were critically injured and no other treatment options were available, Husband's greater involvement in Child's healthcare, and the grant of medical decision-making authority to Husband at the 2020 temporary hearing with no subsequent problems. Moreover, Wife testified she formally withdrew from the religion and had not attended the church since 2020, and both parties testified Child was baptized in the Catholic church. Accordingly, we hold the family court did not err in awarding Husband final decision-making authority over Child's medical needs."
In August 2011, the Broward County Florida State Attorney's Office told a reporter that just in the past 3 years that his office had handled a dozen court cases, just in that single county, where Jehovah's Witness Parents had refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their minor children. Stated that office, "[Jehovah's Witness Parents] want the state to get involved to save their kid, so they don't have to answer to their congregation."
In August 2011, the 4 year-old daughter of unidentified Jehovah's Witness Parents, who live in North Miami Beach, Florida, needed blood transfusions during surgery to remove a brain tumor at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood. In this case, although the JW Parents refused to give their consent for the transfusions, they also told the hospital that they would not object if the hospital sought a court order to administer the transfusions. The JW Parents did not even appear at the court hearing. Interestingly, the child's sister later told a reporter that transfusions were not needed during the surgery, while the local DA said that transfusions were administered.
Starting in 1993, Florida law does not permit doctors or hospitals to appeal directly to their local court for judicial intervention in these cases, but rather forces hospitals to go through the additional legal hoop of asking the local State Attorney's Office to do so for them. In this case, the local SA noted that some local JWs are smart enough to play the system from both ends. The JWs object just enough to satisfy their WatchTower Cult minders, while hoping that the state steps in and orders blood transfusions to save their children's lives.
In December 2010, an unidentified Jehovah's Witness Teenager in Palm Beach County, Florida, who was suffering from life-threatening anemia, received a court-ordered blood transfusion after their Jehovah's Witness Parents refused to grant consent to doctors.
IN RE ROCK SANOZIER JR. was a June 2011 Florida court decision. African-American Jehovah's Witness Parents, Rock W. Sanozier, age 40, and Jean R. Sanozier, age 44, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida took their three year-old son, who suffers with sickle-cell anemia, to Broward General Medical Center on June 21, 2011, where the child was diagnosed with pneumonia and a spleen clogged with blood. After treatments with various medications failed to help the child, the JW Parents were informed that only blood transfusions, and possibly removal of the spleen, would save their son's life. However, Rock Sanozier and Jean Sanozier refused to give doctors permission for life-saving blood transfusions. ***The Sanoziers parroted suggestions published in WatchTower publications that a blood transfusion would give their son the "personality" of the blood donor, and refused to grant their consent. Doctors were forced to seek an emergency court order from the local Broward County courts. Permission for the life-saving blood transfusions was granted just as the JW child neared death. It is assumed that the child's life was saved, but due to tightened confidentially rules (HIPAA) , the hospital was not allowed to comment further, and the parents have not responded to media requests for further info.
***Having been reared as a 4th generation Jehovah's Witness, this editor's remembers caucasian Jehovah's Witness Parents, Pete and Dorothy Blackford (both deceased), lamenting the fact that their son Richard Blackford was marrying an African-American (google offspring of this marriage). They blamed his pick of an African-American spouse on the fact that a blood transfusion had been forced on him at birth. They said that they had always wondered why he had always "liked" African-Americans since he was a child, and given his choice of a wife, they now "knew" that he must have been given blood from an African-American donor.
IN RE MAKAYLA HILL and HILL v. DR. DARLING, DR. TURNER, NORTH MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER, AND LEE COUNTY DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES, and HILL v. NORTH MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER are three related Mississippi federal and state court cases.
Cory Hill and Stefanie Hill are Jehovah's Witnesses living in Tupelo, Mississippi. In 2006, this JW Couple's first daughter was successfully delivered by cesarean section at North Mississippi Medical Center. Stefanie Hill again became pregnant in 2008, and Dr. Kristen Turner, an obstetrician and staff physician at NMMC, suspected Hill might have intrauterine growth retardationand preeclampsia. Hill was admitted to NMMC for treatment and monitoring. Her unborn child was observed to lack fetal heart tone variability and decelerations. The Hills told NMMC physicians they would not consent to any blood transfusions. Dr. Turner concluded it would be best to proceed with an emergency cesarean section. In June 2008, Hill gave birth to a fifteen week premature baby girl, Makayla Hill, who weighed less than a pound.
On or about June 11, 2008, the attending neonatologist, Dr. Bryan Darling, believed Makayla needed a blood transfusion. The Hills would not consent. An emergency hearing was held that day. The court found the Hills' refusal to accept a transfusion was"medical neglect". A Temporary Emergency Order was issued by the Youth Court of Lee County, Mississippi. This order appointed the Lee County Department of Human Services as custodian of Makayla. DHS consented for Makayla to receive blood transfusions. Makayla died on June 30, 2008.
Thereafter, the Hills filed a legal motion to continue the custody hearing of Makayla Hill; filed a legal motion for an order setting aside the finding of medical neglect; filed a legal motion seeking release of the court file and DHS intake records; and filed a legal motion for an autopsy. All this gives the appearance of attempting to completely blame the death of their 15 week premature baby on the doctors and hospital staff who did everything in their power to save that child's life.
In March 2009, the Hills petitioned the state court for even more hospital records. At some point, it appears that a federal lawsuit also ensued regarding the release of even more records from NMMC.
In October 2009, the Hills filed their main federal lawsuit against Doctors Turner and Darling, NMMC, and DHS, alleging a long list of legal wrongs. In September 2010, the USDC summarily dismissed ALL CLAIMS against the two doctors. Outcome of case against NMMC and DHS unknown, but each foreseeable.
IN THE MATTER OF AMESHA BINNS was a 2009 Indiana court decision. In May 2009, a daughter weighing less than 2 pounds was born 10 weeks prematurely to Pierre A. Binns Sr. and Stephanie C. Binns at Fort Wayne's Dupont Hospital. Suffering from anemia, the African-American Jehovah's Witness Parents refused to give their consent for any blood transfusions that might be needed to prevent their child from dying. Stephanie Binns was quoted by reporters as professing: "All our beliefs are Bible-based. It's not like we're trying to hurt our child. We're trying to prevent our child from being hurt."
Richard D. Dellinger, a MORONIC member of the WatchTower Society's local Hospital Liaison Committee, told reporters that blood transfusions are forbidden by the Bible and were unproven medically. That FOOL ran around proclaiming that doctors could not guarantee that administering blood transfusions would save the life of Amesha Binns, or any other life. Duuuuhhhhh!!!! Anyone with a three-digit IQ knows that no doctor can "guarantee" the success of any medical treatment. At best, some doctors will guestimate the "odds" of success. Dupont Hospital sought and obtained an emergency court order authorizing any needed transfusions. The Hospital testified that Baby Girl Binns was in the neonatal intensive care unit, and would need at least one blood transfusion and possibly more. Outcome unknown.
ON APPLICATION OF NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER was a 2005 Georgia court decision. In June 2005, an unidentified Gainsville, Georgia area Jehovah's Witness couple refused to permit doctors at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center to administer a medically required blood transfusions to their premature infant. The Medical Center petitioned the local court for temporary guardianship and authority to administer the blood transfusions, which their doctors testified more likely than not were necessary to save the infant's life. Superior Court Judge John Girardeau granted the hospital's petition.
"In the midst of an emergency, the district court was confronted with the task of balancing the competing interests of the child, the parents, the hospital and the State. Throughout the proceedings, the district court took numerous steps to protect the interests of the child and the parents, including requiring notice and a hearing within twenty-four hours after the original order, allowing Jason and Rebecca time to obtain counsel prior to reaching a final determination, protecting Jason and Rebecca's privacy interests, requiring the hospital to provide medical testimony regarding H.S.'s condition and limiting the final order to only those powers necessary to protect H.S.'s interests. We therefore conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded Valley Hospital temporary guardianship of H.S. pursuant to NRS ______. We do not perceive the provisions of NRS _____ as governing exclusively in cases involving minors and medical emergencies. ... ..."Other jurisdictions have uniformly held that when medical treatment is available and necessary to save a minor's life, the state may intervene. ... Jason and Rebecca concede that the parents' right to the care, custody and control of their children is not absolute. However, because the issue of a state's right to compel the administration of a blood transfusion to a minor when the parents oppose the treatment is an issue of first impression in Nevada, we will address it here.
"'Substantive due process guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property for arbitrary reasons.'" The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects those liberty interests that are deemed fundamental and are 'deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition.' Certain family privacy rights, including the parent-child relationship, have therefore been recognized as fundamental rights. We have adopted a 'reasonableness test' to address family privacy cases involving 'competing interests within the family.' This test '"implicitly calibrates the level of scrutiny in each case to match the particular degree of intrusion upon the parents' interests."'
"While a parent has a fundamental liberty interest in the 'care, custody, and management' of his child, that interest is not absolute. 'The state also has an interest in the welfare of children and may limit parental authority,' even permanently depriving parents of their children. Therefore, while Jason and Rebecca have a parental interest in the care of their son, both the State and H.S. have an interest in preserving the child's life. As H.S. is unable to make decisions for himself, the State's interest is heightened Jason and Rebecca's liberty interest in practicing their religion must also give way to the child's welfare. Hence, the district court found that Jason and Rebecca's refusal to consent to treatment put H.S.'s life at substantial risk. Additionally, the State has an interest in protecting 'the ethical integrity of the medical profession,' and in allowing hospitals the full opportunity to care for patients under their control, especially when medical science is available to save that patient's life.
"Here, the child's interest in self-preservation and the State's interests in protecting the welfare of children and the integrity of medical care outweigh the parents' interests in the care, custody and management of their children, and their religious freedom. The combined weight of the interests of the child and the State are great and, therefore, mandate interference with Jason and Rebecca's parental rights."
"We reject the Hartts' suggestion that Justin's Jehovah's Witness identification card somehow put the County on notice that Justin or the Hartts objected to such post-autopsy donations under Health and Safety Code section 7152. The card referred exclusively to medical treatment for someone who was still alive. The card was silent regarding post-death disposition of remains. Moreover, the form Mr. Hartt signed at the coroner's office referred only generally to control of disposition of the remains. The form did not purport to waive or contradict statutes establishing the coroner's control over the body while it was within the coroner's legitimate control."