DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

MATURE MINORS UNBORN CHILDREN PARENTAL OBLIGATIONS ADULT CHILDREN


MINOR CHILDREN and BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS

1990s Court Cases

PAGE 2 of 6

2000s Cases 1980s Cases 1970s Cases 1960s Cases 1950s Cases


JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS WILL REFUSE TO CONSENT TO A BLOOD TRANSFUSION

EVEN IF THEIR REFUSAL MEANS THEIR CHILD WILL DIE

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IN RE REBEKAH KNOLL was a 1999 Missouri court decision. In February 1999, Rebekah Knoll was born at Missouri Baptist Hospital to Jehovah's Witness Parents, Larry Knoll and Deborah Knoll, who were now the parents of three children. When it was learned that Rebekah Knoll would need heart surgery to correct a congenital defect, the Knolls refused to consent to blood transfusions should such be necessary. Details are unclear, but the hospital either did obtain a court order which allowed transfusions if such became necessary to save the baby's life, or the hospital operated with the understanding that an order would be obtained if a transfusion became necessary. Reportedly, transfusions were not necessary. Longterm outcome unknown given that the child also needed followup surgery. 

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IN THE MATTER OF MARCELLA BUCKLAND was a 1999 Oklahoma court decision.  In April 1999, Marcella Buckland was born prematurely at Tulsa's Hillcrest Medical Center to a Jehovah's Witness couple named Buckland. Marcella Buckland was born three months premature, and was severely anemic, and required blood transfusions to survive.  However, the Bucklands refused to give their consent for the life-saving transfusions. The hospital sought and obtained court ordered guardianship and authorization to administer all needed medical care, including transfusions.  Marcella also required surgery after birth.  Outcome unknown.

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In February 1999, an unidentified 16-year-old Jehovah's Witness boy died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Tests revealed that he was suffering from bone cancer.  Blood transfusions were recommended, but the child's Jehovah's Witness parents refused to consent.  The hospital sought and was granted guardianship and authorization to administer necessary medical care, including transfusions. Unfortunately, the teenager died before a transfusion could be administered.
 
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ON APPLICATION OF PHOENIX CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL was a 1999 Arizona court decision. In July 1999, unidentified Jehovah's Witnesses parents refused to consent to a blood transfusion for their 15-year-old son. The hospital sought and obtained a court order authorizing the needed medical treatment. Outcome unknown.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF DANIEL FITO JEAN-MICHEL was a 1997 Florida court decision. Born prematurely in September 1997, at Bethesda Memorial Hospital, in Boynton Beach, Florida, 4-day-old, 42 ounce Daniel Jean-Michel needed a blood transfusion to survive. However, his African-Caribbean Jehovah's Witnesses parents, Fito Jean-Michel and Marian Jean-Michel, age 35, refused to give their consent. The hospital sought and obtained court-ordered guardianship and authorization to administer all needed medical care, including transfusions. Successful outcome.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF MATTHEW STREITBERGER was a 1997 Utah court decision. Matthew Streitberger was born in April 1997 to Jehovah's Witness Parents, Carl Streitberger, age 31, and Yolanda Streitberger, age 25, of Montpelier, Idaho, at an unknown location -- possibly a home birth. Matthew Streitberger was eventually diagnosed with three congenital heart defects. Matthew Streitberger first was taken to an unidentified hospital in Bannock, Idaho, before being airflighted to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, the Hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authorization to perform necessary medical treatment, including surgery which required the administering of blood transfusions. The necessary surgery was performed, but the prognosis was not good. Outcome unknown. This JW Couple divorced in the 2000s.
 
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ON APPLICATION OF CROUSE HOSPITAL was a 1997 New York court decision.  In October 1997, the newborn infant of unidentified Jehovah's Witnesses parents needed surgery to save its life. The Jehovah's Witnesses parents refused to give their consent for any blood transfusions that might become necessary during or after the surgery. Crouse Hospital, in Syracuse, New York, then sought and obtained guardianship and authorization to administer all necessary medical care, including blood transfusions during the surgery and the following period of recovery.
 
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IN RE ALEXIS BEASCOCHEA was a 1997 Texas court decision. In July 1997, Jehovah's Witnesses Parents, Rodolfo Jaquez Beascochea, age 20s,  and Claudia Hidalgo Beascochea, age 23, of Baytown, Texas, took their 2 year-old daughter, Alexis Beascochea, to San Jacinto Hospital in Baytown, with what turned out to be a life threatening illness. In shock, and with a high fever, Alexis Beascochea was transferred to Hermann Hospital in Houston. When it was determined that the young girl needed emergency surgery to save her life, her JW Parents refused to consent to blood transfusions should such become necessary. The hospital sought and obtained court intervention. Hermann officials last reported that after her surgery, Alexis was still in critical condition, but recovering in their pediatric intensive care unit.
 
Interestingly, the DA's office indicated to a reporter that such scenarios, where children of JWs were taken into temporary custody in order to administer needed blood transfusions, were generally ho-hum routine. The legal hoops that the hospital, DA, and judges jumped through for the local JW community was characterized merely as "an accommodation"  that the parties made for the local Jehovah's Witnesses, so that the JWs could maintain their WatchTower beliefs. Kinda reminds me of "Amish Telephone Booths".
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IN THE MATTER OF ALEXANDER HAWKINS was a 1996 Florida court decision.  In May 1996, Sabrina Hawkins, age 18, gave birth to "Alexander Karl Bailey" a/k/a "Alexander Bailey Hawkins", at Tallahassee Memorial Regional Medical Center.  Delivered three months premature, the newborn needed blood transfusions simply to survive. However, 18-year-old Sabrina Hawkins refused to give her consent for the needed transfusions, citing her beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness. The hospital then sought and obtained guardianship and authorization to administer all needed medical care, including transfusions. Outcome unknown.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF JOVAN JEANTEL was a 1996 Florida court decision. In June 1996, Jovan Jeantel was born just 25 weeks into his mother's pregnancy. Jovan's tiny body held just five tablespoons of blood, but he needed a series of transfusions of packed red cells and other blood products in order to live. Doctors believed that they had the technology to save the baby boy. However, Jovan Jeantel's parents, Jenniene Jeantel and Marcus Jeantel, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, were practicing Jehovah's Witnesses. They refused to consent to the administering of those blood transfusions to Jovan Jeantel, even though such were absolutely necessary if their baby had any chance whatsoever to survive. It was local south Florida judges who stepped-in in an attempt to save Jovan Jeantel's life by ordering the Hospital and doctors to provide the needed medical treatment, stating in part: "The state's interest in protecting the life of the infant Jovan Jeantel is paramount to the parent's religious convictions ... ."
 
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Valerie Marie Hernandez was born in November 1996 to parents Diego Hernandez and Tanya Hernandez, of Irving, Texas, who first professed to be Jehovah's Witnesses, but later admitted that they were merely "studying" to become Jehovah's Witnesses. Valerie Hernandez was born with a serious heart deformity. Doctors at Dallas' Children's Medical Center said that they could not perform the surgery without administering a blood transfusion.  Evidently supported by Jehovah's Witnesses Elders on the scene, the Hernandez parents would not consent to transfusions.  The Jehovah's Witnesses Elders recommended to Diego Hernandez and Tanya Hernandez that Valerie Hernandez be "REMOVED" from the Dallas hospital and be taken to Portland Oregon's Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital, which supposedly would perform the surgery without using blood transfusions.  However, when contacted, the Oregon hospital said they would not perform the needed surgery without transfusions. In late December, Valerie Hernandez was discharged without having the needed surgery performed.  It is not known what became of her, but she likely died within a matter of months. Notably, officials at Children's Medical Center said that they would have pursued a court order to perform the surgery with transfusions only if Valerie's chances of survival were at least 95 percent.

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IN THE MATTER OF KIRK SEPULVEDA JR. was a 1996 Illinois court decision. In 1996, Kirk Sepulveda, Jr., the 3-year-old son of Jehovah's Witnesses Parents Kirk Sepulveda Sr., age 30, and Kimberly Sepulveda, age 24, of Rockford, Illinois, was diagnosed with leukemia at Rockford Memorial Hospital. When doctors informed the Jehovah's Witnesses parents that blood transfusions would be needed in conjunction with other medical care, they refused to give their consent. The hospital sought and obtained a court order authorizing transfusions and other associated treatment. Outcome unknown, but prognosis was not good.

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In April 1995, an unidentified Jehovah's Witness female gave birth at a Harris County, Texas hospital.  The premature newborn weighed less than two pounds, and required a blood transfusion to survive.  The mother refused to give consent.  The hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authorization to administer all needed medical care, including transfusions. Petition was granted.
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In March 1995, an unidentified Jehovah's Witness female gave birth at a Long Island, New York hospital.  The newborn required a blood transfusion to survive.  The mother refused to give consent.  The hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authorization to administer all needed medical care, including transfusions. After rushing to the hospital to hold an emergency hearing, a Nassau county judge granted the hospital's petition.
 
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JOHN CROCKFORD and VICTORIA CROCKFORD v. DENTON COOLEY AND KAMEL GIRGIS was a 1995 Texas court decision.  Internationally renown heart surgeon, Denton Cooley, was the heart surgeon in Houston, Texas, to whom Jehovah's Witnesses were going, and to whom Jehovah's Witnesses were taking their children, because Cooley would selectively perform some heart surgeries, while agreeing to the Jehovah's Witnesses' condition that no blood transfusions be administered.
 
In appreciation for his willingness to do what very few heart surgeons at that time were willing to do for Jehovah's Witnesses, Denton and an anesthesiologist were sued by Jehovah's Witnesses for medical malpractice in the death of their 2-year-old son, after a 1990 surgery done without a blood transfusion.
 
John and Victoria Crockford of El Cajon, California, alleged that Denton Cooley and anesthesiologist Kamel Girgis were negligent during a surgery to repair a congenital heart defect in their son, Kelsey Crockford, performed in Houston, in 1990. In November 1995, after years of expensive legalities, a Texas jury decided in the two doctors favor.
 
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DELLA MARTINEZ and REGINA CABALLERO v. SAN ANDREAS REGIONAL CENTER ET AL was a 1994 California lawsuit. Very limited details. In early 1993, 16 year old Regina Caballero was given a blood transfusion while hospitalized for pneumonia and other unknown medical problems. Regina Caballero was the daughter of Della Martinez, a Jehovah's Witness. Regina Caballero was institutionalized at South Valley Hospital in Gilroy due to being profoundly retarded and unable to talk or walk. Caballero's Jehovah's Witnesses parents had filed paperwork prohibiting any blood transfusions from being administered to her, but that paperwork had not been transferred from the previous facility from which Caballero had just recently been transferred. The particulars of the lawsuit, and even the outcome are unknown (probably settled out of court), but apparently Della Martinez blamed various state agencies for both the transfusion[s] and the illness[es] which gave need for the transfusion[s]. Readers should note that since Caballero could in no way be termed a "mature minor", that doctors had every right to administer transfusions to Caballero. However, don't bet that such fact would have stopped a sympathetic California jury from making a large award, or that such would have stopped a large settlement in order to avoid a jury trial.
 
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UNIDENTIFIED JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS v. SOUTHERN BAPTIST HOSPITAL OF FLORIDA was a 1994 Florida appellate court decision. Eight-month old B.N. was admitted as a patient at Children's Hospital, where she was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia, severe anemia, and a low platelet count. Chemotherapy was recommended as the most appropriate treatment for B.N.'s life-threatening condition, but this would necessitate blood transfusions. B.N.'s Jehovah's Witness Parents (initials M.N. and V.N.) refused to consent to this procedure because of their WatchTower religious beliefs. Children's Hospital filed an emergency petition requesting an order as to whether chemotherapy and blood transfusions might be administered to B.N. without the parents' consent. After a full evidentiary hearing the court entered the order authorizing the medical treatments.

The Jehovah's Witness Parents appealed, and the MORONIC LIBERAL Court of Appeals of Florida remanded for further hearings. It appears that these LIBERAL JUDGES may have been mis-using their judicial power to DELAY medical care until B.N. hopefully died. Review every similar case on our website, and you will never find an appellate court so rule under same/similar circumstances. The Florida Court of Morons so ruled while doing nothing more than re-stating Florida law already known by the lower court:
In the present case it is not entirely clear whether the court fully considered all of the competing interests involved. Given the nature of this dispute, we conclude that the matter should be remanded so as to ensure a balanced weighing of the various interests. This necessitates consideration of the appellants' interest in making fundamental decisions regarding the care of their minor child, the state's interest in preserving human life, and the child's own welfare and best interests, in light of the severity of the child's illness, the likelihood as to whether the proposed treatment will be effective, the child's chances of survival with and without such treatment, and the invasiveness and nature of the treatment with regard to its effect on the child.
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BARBARA BANKS v. MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA was a 1990-95 South Carolina Supreme Court decision. In December 1989, an African-American Jehovah's Witness Mother named Barbara Banks, of Charleston, South Carolina, took her seriously ill 8 year-old daughter, named Phaedra Banks, to the medical office of Dr. Helen Read. Phaedra Banks presented respiratory distress and intense hip pain. Dr. Read immediately had Phaedra Banks transported to the University Medical Center.

There, in seeking to diagnose the source of the child's infection, at least five or more doctors performed exploratory surgery, removed her appendix, administered cardiac resuscitation, and administered blood transfusions. Despite the best efforts of nearly the entire medical staff, Phaedra Banks died. CHA CHING!!!! The cause of death was "pulmonary emboli" - blood clotting in the lungs caused by a protein C blood disorder.

Typically, in appreciation for their last-hours efforts to diagnose and treat Phaedra Banks' who-knows-how-long-ongoing  illness, this African-American Jehovah's Witness filed a lawsuit against the Medical Center and practically every doctor whom had attempted to save the life of her daughter, while listing every possible cause of action that could be found in a legal textbook, including alleging WRONGFUL DEATH and BATTERY, in that a blood transfusion had been NEEDLESSLY administered to her dead daughter. "Someone" even helped Banks' attorney to find a professional witness, named Dr. Paolini, who was willing to testify that "there was no emergency justifying the transfusion of blood to Phaedra Banks. This South Carolina Supreme Court decision merely dealt with the interim legalities of this outrageous lawsuit. Outcome unknown.

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IN THE MATTER OF TYLER JOHN ECCARDOHIO v. DAVID LEE ECCARD, and OHIO v. JOHN H. MCFARLAND were related 1993 Ohio court decisions. In September 1993, Tyler John Eccard was born with a rare blood disorder -- thrombocytopenia -- and his condition was critical. Blood transfusions would be needed to save his life.  However, Tyler Eccard's Jehovah's Witnesses parents, David L. Eccard and Jill Denise Eccard, refused to give their consent for the necessary transfusions. Cincinnati Children's Hospital then sought and obtained guardianship and court authorization to administer the necessary transfusions.  However, Tyler's father, David Lee Eccard, age 33, and Tyler's maternal grandfather, John H. McFarland, age 61, both of Milford, Ohio, were arrested at the hospital on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest when they physically attempted to prevent doctors from administering the necessary life-saving blood transfusion. In a plea deal, the JW Duo agreed to plead guilty to "trespass", and were given suspended 30-day jail sentences, and fined $250 each.
 
Guardianship of Tyler J. Eccard was eventually returned to David Eccard and Jill Eccard by the Hamilton County family court after the Eccards agreed to bring Tyler back to the hospital for scheduled treatment in exchange for court authorization every time that a blood transfusion was needed in the future. Once again, Jehovah's Witnesses unnecessarily burdening the legal system.
 
UNITED STATES v. JOHN H. MCFARLAND was a 1953-54 Ohio federal prosecution for draft-dodging due to McFarland's WatchTower Cult beliefs. Outcome unknown.
 
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APPLICATION OF SOUTH FULTON MEDICAL CENTER was a 1993 Georgia court decision. A 37-day-old baby of unidentified Jehovah's Witnesses parents was taken into state custody because her parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions. The newborn female was born prematurely on July 28, 1993. After the baby girl's Jehovah's Witnesses Parents refused to give their consent, South Fulton Medical Center sought and was granted authorization to administer necessary medical treatment, including blood transfusions. Guardianship was awarded to Georgia's Department of Family and Children Services.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF BABY GIRL DAVIS was a 1993 Arkansas court decision. In June 1993, "Baby Girl Davis" was born prematurely at the University of Arkansas Medical Center, to Jehovah's Witnesses parents. When doctors informed the Davises that blood transfusions would likely be needed as part of the extensive treatments needed to ensure that "Baby Girl Davis" survived, the Davises refused to give their consent, citing their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses.  Thereafter, the hospital sought and obtained a court order authorizing all necessary medical care, including transfusions. 

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IN THE MATTER OF LASHAWNDREA GRIER was a 1993 Florida court decision. In September 1993, 2-year-old African-American Lashawndrea Grier was admitted to St. Peterburg's All Children's Hospital with complications from sickle cell anemia, which destroys the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Lashawndrea Grier was in critical condition; perilously close to a stroke or heart failure. When informed that blood transfusions were needed to save Lashawndrea's life, the mother, Tomeka Patrick, of Temple Terrace, Florida, a 21-year-old Jehovah's Witness, refused to give her consent, citing her WatchTower beliefs while questioning whether medical doctors even knew what they were doing. The hospital sought and obtained court-ordered guardianship and authorization to administer all necessary medical care, including transfusions. Grier improved after receiving the court-ordered blood transfusions, but remained in critical condition. Tomeka Patrick stated that her mind was unchanged, and that she would continue to oppose future transfusions needed to fight her daughter's sickle cell anemia.

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IN THE MATTER OF ROMMEL ALVARADO was a 1992 New Jersey court decision. Named in honor of the mother's German grandparents, Rommel Alvarado, was born prematurely in May 1992 at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, in Paterson, New Jersey. Curiously, the Jehovah's Witness couple, Walter F. Alvarado and Monica Alvarado had first went to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey. Does anyone suspect that the blood transfusion issue first arose there? The infant's full medical problems are not known, but a blood test was needed to determine that the baby was a male. Walter F. Alvarado, a 40 year old landscaper, claimed that he was NOT a Jehovah's Witness, but he was able to outlined the WatchTower doctrine better than many Jehovah's Witnesses. Monica Alvarado, 32, said she had been reared as a Roman Catholic, but had been baptized in 1991 as a Jehovah's Witness. Walter stated that he fully supported his wife's decision to refuse to consent to blood transfusions for Rommel, and Walter said that he believed God would see his child through without a blood transfusion.  The couple also had a son, Johan, and a daughter, Betsy. The infants many medical issues made the need for a blood transfusion highly likely, but not an absolute. The hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authorization to administer blood transfusions should such become necessary. The state court granted authorization and appointed a hospital official as the infant's guardian with respect to medical decisions. It is unknown whether any transfusions were ever needed.

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IN THE MATTER OF RACHEL BACA was a 1992 Texas court decision. In August 1992, Rachel Baca, a 13-year-old Laredo, Texas girl afflicted with acute myeloid leukemia was ABDUCTED and KIDNAPPED from Santa Rosa Children's Hospital by her own Jehovah's Witnesses parents. The unnamed Jehovah's Witnesses Parents took their daughter into Mexico to prevent court-ordered blood transfusions from being administered. Outcome unknown.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF ELIANA HERMOSILLO was a 1992 California trial court decision. In August 1992, Susana Hermosillo was crossing a street, with her 3 year old son, Israel, and her 5 month old daughter, Eliana, in a stroller, when they were struck by an automobile.  The three year old boy was killed instantly, and Eliana was severely injured - suffering arm and skull fractures, and various internal injuries. At the hospital, Eliana's parents were requested to consent to a blood transfusion to save Eliana's life. The parents refused. 
 
The Hermosillos explained that they were studying to become Jehovah's Witnesses, and that it was their newfound belief that blood transfusions were prohibited by the Bible. The parents explained that forcing blood into their daughter violated her body and showed disrespect to the creator of life. The Hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authority to treat 5 month old Eliana with packed red blood cells.  The petition was granted, and Eliana's life was temporarily spared. After 4 surgeries over a ten week period, Eliana was finally released from the hospital in Modesto, in October 1992.
 
On August 31, 1993, Eliana died at Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno. Her death was reported as caused by complications brought on by her injuries from the 1992 accident. Curiously, only 22 days later, on September 22, 1993, a second child of Jehovah's Witnesses parents died at Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno.  That child's named was Lenae Martinez. Although only 12 years old, Valley Children's Hospital  decided that Martinez was a "mature minor", who was legally competent to make her own decision to refuse blood transfusions.  The hospital's "Ethics Committee" decided that the hospital would NOT pursue a court order to administer blood transfusions.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF AUDRIE CAMPOS AND MARLA CAMPOS was a 1992 Texas court decision. Audrie Michelle Campos and Marla Annelle Campos, each weighing less than 2 pounds, were born three months premature to Jehovah's Witness Parents, Roel Campos and Maria Elena Campos. When the parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for the twins, McAllen Medical Center petitioned the local court for help. The court granted Texas Child Protective Services temporary custody of the children, including authorization for all necessary medical care.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF KETIA JEANLOUIS was a 1992 Florida court decision.  In June 1992, a critically ill 10-year-old African-American girl named Ketia Jeanlouis was admitted to Palm Beach county's St. Mary's Hospital suffering from pneumonia and sickle cell disease. When doctors informed Ketia Jeanlouis' unidentified Jehovah's Witness mother that the 10-year-old would need blood transfusions to survive, the Jehovah's Witness of only six years refused to give her consent.  Thereafter, the hospital sought and obtained an emergency petition of guardianship and authorization to administer life-saving blood transfusions.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF LATOYA L. HEATH was a 1992 West Virginia appellate court decision. Latoya Heath, age 15, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, suffered from strokes caused by sickle cell anemia. Latoya Heath's African-American Jehovah's Witnesses Parents, Elbie Heath and Lucy Heath, not only refused to consent to needed blood transfusions, but after transfusions were authorized by a local court, Heath's Jehovah's Witnesses Parents appealed the lower court's decision. West Virginia's Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's decision. When told about the Supreme Court's decision, Lucy Heath fled with her daughter to the home of out-of-state Jehovah's Witness relatives.

Notably, Latoya L. Heath died in April 2003 at Washington County Hospital, which is just across the West Virginia state line, in Hagerstown, Maryland -- possibly while or soon just after delivering her possibly out-of-wedlock newborn daughter. (We can only wonder whether Latoya Heath died due to once again refusing blood transfusions? If so, did administrators at Washington County Hospital attempt court intervention based on the "parental obligations" exception?) Typically, Latoya Heath's marital status did not prevent the Charles Town West Virginia Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses from permitting a Kingdom Hall funeral for this EXEMPLARY extended African-American Jehovah's Witness Family, or JW Elder Walter Warren Scott from officiating over such.

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APPLICATION OF JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL was a 1992 Florida court decision. On November 28, 1992, siamese twins were born at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. The Jehovah's Witnesses parents asked not to be identified. The conjoined twins shared a liver. They needed blood transfusions to survive. Their Jehovah's Witnesses parents refused to consent.  The hospital petitioned the local court for guardianship and authorization to administer the necessary transfusions. Petition granted.  The weaker twin soon died, but the stronger twin survived until February 1993.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF NINA ABASTA was a series of 1992 Texas court decisions. Nina Abasta was born two months premature at Driscoll Children's Hospital in September 1992. Nina Abasta suffered a perforated intestine. Doctors informed parents, Marco and Lenora Abasta aka Leonora Abasta, that blood transfusions would be necessary during the surgery required to repair Nina's intestine. The parents refused to give their consent due to their Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs. When the court first took custody of Nina, the parents hired an attorney who fought tooth and nail to prevent Nina from receiving a blood transfusion. The state court tried to cooperate with the Jehovah's Witnesses efforts to find a hospital that would perform the surgery with transfusions, but such efforts apparently were unsuccessful. Custody was maintained with the court for only the medical matters. Its not entirely clear, but it appears that surgery was finally performed using blood transfusions after 2-3 weeks of repeated court hearings.
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IN THE MATTER OF PATRICK ZWEYER was a 1992 West Virginia court decision. In January 1992, Patrick Zweyer, age 12, was struck by an ambulance as he waited for a school bus in Morgantown, West Virginia. When Pat Zweyer's Jehovah's Witnesses parents refused to consent to needed blood transfusions, WVU's Children's Hospital petitioned the local court for authorization. Petition granted. Transfusions were administered, and Patrick Zweyer recovered.
 
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IN THE INTEREST OF W.M. JR. was a 1992 Missouri federal Court of Appeals decision.  WatchTower attorney Donald T. Ridley submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., the parent corporation of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
 
Seventeen year old W.M. JR. had a sub-form of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, T-cell variety.  W.M. Jr and his mother were Jehovah's Witnesses.  W.M. JR.'s father is not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, but he supported the mother's and W.M. Jr.'s decision to object to medical treatment requiring administration of blood products.
 
As of December 1990, Dr. Alan Schwartz, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology at St. Louis Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, had been caring for W.M. Jr. for approximately eight months. He identified W.M., Jr.'s four major medical problems: (1) leukemia; (2) marked deficiency of white blood cells; (3) severe anemia; and (4) severe reduction in blood platelets. Dr. Schwartz stated the only recognized course of medical treatment to alleviate these conditions was a provision of blood transfusions using red blood cells and blood platelets.

Dr. Schwartz believed that a low blood platelet count placed W.M., Jr. at risk for a potential catastrophic hemorrhage resulting in death or a vegetative state. Since there are no absolute guidelines to forecast hemorrhaging, Dr. Schwartz's believed that it was critical to have available the ability to provide blood transfusions to W.M., Jr. within a ten minute time frame. With blood transfusions, Dr. Schwartz estimated W.M., Jr.'s chance of survival to be approximately fifty percent.  Without blood transfusions, W.M., Jr. chance of survival fell below one percent.  Dr. Schwartz indicated that when he started treating W.M., Jr. that he had made W.M., Jr. and his parents aware that if W.M., Jr.'s condition reached a certain condition that he would treat W.M., Jr. with blood transfusions.
 
December 11, 1990:  The following temporary ex parte order was issued by a Missouri juvenile court judge:  On the Motion of the Juvenile Officer and the submission of Affidavits from St. Louis Children's Hospital, the Court finds as follows: "That the child is suffering from T-Cell acute Lymphoblastic eukemia and is presently hospitalized at St. Louis Children's Hospital for fever and neutropenia. Further, that the child's condition is complicated by low platelet count and low hemoglobin, both of which conditions could result in hemorrhage and death. Further, that the natural parents have been informed of the said condition and of the need for the possible administration of platelets and packed red blood cells but that the said parents have refused the medical treatment due to their religious beliefs. Further, the Court finds that the said child is in need of immediate treatment and that his condition is life threatening.  WHEREFORE, the Court hereby Orders that the said [W.M., Jr.] be and is hereby Ordered taken into Judicial Custody by the Juvenile Officer and that the staff of St. Louis Children's Hospital be and is hereby granted permission to provide such medical treatment, including the administration of blood or blood products, as the child's medical condition may require. Provided, however, that the administration of said blood and/or blood products shall be only for life-saving purposes and not as routine treatment.  Further, the Juvenile Officer is authorized to provide such written consents as the hospital staff may require.

December 12, 1990:  The court appointed a Guardian Ad Litem for W.M., Jr.
 
December 13, 1990:   W.M., Jr. was transfused against his will at Children's Hospital. The same day, the juvenile officer filed a custody petition because the parents, due to their religious beliefs, refused to authorize administration of blood products and thereby placed W.M., Jr. "at risk of harm in that he may bleed to death or suffer other injuries."
 
December 14, 1990:   Partial evidentiary hearing on the juvenile officer's 12/13 petition. Attorneys for the juvenile officer, W.M., Jr., the parents, and a representative of Children's Hospital were present. Dr. Alan Schwartz testified to W.M., Jr's condition and necessity of blood transfusions. Attorney for parents requested the hearing be continued in order to have an opportunity to further investigate the case. Judge continued the hearing and entered an interlocutory order keeping 12/11 order in force until further order by court.
 
December 21, 1990:   Attorney for parents requested a continuance due to the unavailability of W.M., Jr.
 
February 8, 1991:   Juvenile officer filed a Motion for Protective Custody and Medical Treatment. Juvenile officer alleged in the motion that the parents intended to transport W.M., Jr. to Texas for treatment. However, the staff of St. Louis Children's Hospital opined W.M., Jr. was at risk of death if he did not receive the administration of blood products before he traveled to Texas. The juvenile officer withdrew the motion filed previously that day. The juvenile officer stated he had no objection to W.M., Jr. being transported to Texas after the treating physician administered blood products to ensure he would survive the trip.  Parents file motion to set aside or modify the December 14th order.  Court orders W.M., Jr. taken to Children's Hospital and transfused as treatment for life threatening anemia.

March 1991:   W.M., Jr. went to Texas during the first week of March 1991, for less than two weeks. In Texas, W.M., Jr. received treatment for his leukemia without administration of blood products.
 
1991:  Pediatrician at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis is continuing the non-blood treatment program W.M., Jr. began in Texas. Fortunately, W.M., Jr. is currently in remission and is actively participating at school, around the house and at his Jehovah's Witness congregation.

Parents filed appeal in federal court re February 8, 1991 order in an attempt to set precedent in similar cases.  Court of Appeals dismissed for variety of legal technicalities.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF MARIA ELIZABETH SORIA was a 1992 Texas court decision.  In April 1992, Carmen Soria, of Kerrville, Texas, delivered a baby girl, Maria Elizabeth Soria, at San Antonio's Medical Center Hospital.  The newborn girl born after a mere five months gestation weighed only 1.69 pounds at birth, and suffered from severe anemia and other health problems. When officials told parents David and Carmen Soria that their premature newborn would need a series of blood transfusions for about two months, the parents refused to give their consent. Carmen Soria, age 32, a Kerr County Deputy Court Clerk, cited her beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness, while David Soria, who claimed to be unable to speak ENGLISH,  said that he supported his wife's decision even though he was not a Jehovah's Witness.  The hospital sought and obtained authorization to provide the infant with needed medical care, including transfusions. The state Department of  Human Services was given guardianship of the baby. Carmen Soria stated to reporters, "... the baby was given a zero survival rate, but the baby survived for six days without a transfusion. We're not convinced that the baby would have died without the blood transfusions."
 
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IN THE MATTER OF BABY BOY GRIFFIN was a 1992 Tennessee court decision. In January 1992, unmarried Jehovah's Witness Mother, Kimberly Griffin, of Nashville, Tennessee, prematurely delivered her newborn boy when her uterus ruptured during her sixth month of pregnancy. Kim Griffin refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions because Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible prohibits "eating blood", and despite the fact that her non-JW Baby Daddy reportedly had donated blood for his newborn son. Nashville's Centennial Medical Center filed a petition seeking court authorization to give the baby boy necessary transfusions. The petition was granted, and the needed life-saving blood transfusions were administered.

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IN THE MATTER OF BABY GIRL SIMS was a 1992 Pennsylvania court decision. In October 1992, "Baby Girl Sims" was delivered three months premature by Clarissa Sims of Hatboro, Pennsylvania. The 26 ounce newborn was born with severe anemia and was in "immediate peril of death or permanent injury" without a blood transfusion. However, citing her beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness, Clarissa Sims refused to give her consent. Officials at Medical College Hospitals' Elkins Park Campus sought and obtained a court order which authorized the administering of blood transfusions. WatchTower spokesman, Robert Hahn, was onsite supporting Clarissa Sims in her decision, and telling media how Jehovah's Witnesses did not object to the administering of blood substitutes, blah, blah, blah, as if the entire medical staff at the hospital was ignorant as to exactly what the infant needed to remedy its anemia. No media mention of a father/husband.
 
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IN RE TODD HOBBS JR. was a 1992 Florida court decision. In December 1991, African-American Jehovah's Witness Mother, Colenthia Small, age 27, of Boynton Beach, Florida, gave birth to a HIV POSITIVE infant son, whom Colenthia Small named Todd Hobbs Jr. In April 1992, Todd Hobbs Jr was suffering from pneumonia and plummeting hemoglobin levels, and a blood transfusion was needed to save his life. When the Jehovah's Witnesses Mother refused to give consent, Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, Florida, petitioned a local court for authorization. The court awarded guardianship to the state, and authorized needed medical care, including blood transfusions. Outcome unknown. Poor prognosis.

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IN RE COURTNEY NORRIS was a 1991 Florida court decision. In June 1991, Yvette Norris, age 20, delivered Courtney Norris three and one-half months premature at St. Mary's Hospital in Palm Beach County. In addition to the expected complications, the newborn had developed pneumonia while in the womb.

Although 99% of newborns in these circumstances required blood transfusions, an emergency court hearing was not held for 14 hours -- apparently so that.regular south Florida JW Attorney William Hoey could be present to represent Jehovah's Witness Parents, Roland Norris, age 27, and Yvette Norris. During the hearing, William Hoey argued that a court order granting a blood transfusion would be premature. "Wait until the doctors say the transfusion is definitely needed and then hold a hearing to decide." Roland Norris stated, "All my life, I`ve grown up and I`ve seen this issue. ... We have learned and studied the Bible thoroughly and found that under the eyes of God, the use of blood is a sacred issue."

Apparently, both William Hoey and the Norris Family struck a cord with Circuit Judge Mary Lupo. Catholic Mary Lupo publicly sympathized with the Norris Family, and authorized blood transfusions only if such were "not futile acts". Lupo even publicly "hoped and prayed" that the hospital would not have to administer any transfusions. What the hell??? Apparently, everyone understood what was going on. All non-JW butts had been covered. Courtney Norris was NEVER administered life-saving blood transfusions, and Courney Norris died as expected 5 2/3 hours later -- only 21 1/2 hours after her birth.

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IN THE MATTER OF RYAN BROCKWAY was a 1991 New York appellate court decision in which the Jehovah's Witness Parents were represented in court by Carolyn R. Wah, one of the WatchTower Society's own attorneys. In September 1991, Todd Brockway, 25, and Manya Brockway, 21, of Westmoreland, New York, took their 14 month old son, Ryan Brockway, to Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital for what was later diagnosed as a rare form of prostate cancer that requires aggressive medical treatment.  Doctors informed the Brockways that blood transfusions would be necessary as a result of the aggressive chemotherapy. The Brockways refused to give their consent based on their beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses.  The hospital then sought guardianship and authorization to administer all needed medical care, including transfusions. The trial court granted the hospital's petition declaring Ryan to be "neglected".  The Brockways then appealed.
 
The appellate court upheld the lower court's ruling. At the hearing, WatchTower attorney Carolyn Wah repeated what is now her old (but new in 1991), tired,  ridiculous mantra that administering a blood transfusion to an unwilling patient (14 months old in this instance) was the equivalent of forcibly "raping" the patient.  Todd Brockway and Manya Brockway both proudly testified that they would not consent to a transfusion for Ryan "under any circumstances", even if they knew for an absolute certainty that he would die as a result of their decision. In response, Ryan's "born-again" doctor testified that he was willing to break both the law and the Brockway's demands, and suffer the consequences, in order to attempt to save Ryan's life.
 
Amusingly, the JWs even flew in from Florida a doctor to testify that various substitutes and substitute treatments could be used in this child's scenario. However, on cross-exam, this "witness" acknowledged that only a blood transfusion would save the child's life in the easily foreseeable event of loss of most of his blood, PLUS, this doctor even admitted to once having had to obtain court-authorization himself for a transfusion to save the life of a JW child. (Does anyone really not believe that he was recommended by WatchTower Legal?)
 
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IN RE BABY GIRL COOK was a December 1991 Indianapolis case which involved a newborn infant of yet another unidentified "unmarried" Jehovah's Witness Mother with sufficient morals to allow her newborn baby to die due to WatchTower dictates against blood transfusions, but insufficient morals to keep from becoming pregnant out-of-wedlock. Administrators at Wishard Memorial Hospital obtained an emergency order permitting them to transfuse the newborn before transferring it to Riley
Hospital for Children on the same day. Outcome unknown. Notably, Jack Basinger, spokesperson for the WatchTower Society's local Hospital Liaison Committee later told a reporter that transfusing an unwilling Jehovah's Witness or their child was "spiritual rape".
 
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IN THE MATTER OF TIMOTHY WILLIAMS was a 1991 Florida court decision. In the early AM hours of September, 1991, Mary Williams, a Jehovah's Witness, of Clearwater, Florida, took her one month-old son, Timmy Williams, to All Children's Hospital, in St. Petersburg, because he was having problems breathing. When Williams was informed that her son's breathing problem was due to his lungs being filled with blood, and that her baby would need a blood transfusion to survive the next few hours, Mary Williams refused to give her consent based on her beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness. The hospital then woke up a judge, and sought and obtained an emergency court order to administer a transfusion, and save the life of Timmy Williams.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF ELISHA McCAULEY was a 1991 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision.  Michael and Zelia McCauley had an eight year old daughter named Elisha.  The McCauley family were Jehovah's Witnesses. They attended religious services at a local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses for five hours per week on three days of the week. A principal tenet of their WatchTower religion was a belief that the act of receiving blood or blood products prevents an individual from resurrection and everlasting life after death.
 
On July 19, 1989, the McCauleys took their eight year old daughter, Elisha, to Leonard Morse Hospital. After a series of tests, the physicians there made an initial diagnosis of leukemia.  Further laboratory tests performed at the hospital disclosed a hematocrit reading (percentage of red blood cells to whole blood) of 14.5%. A normal hematocrit for a young child is approximately 40%. Further laboratory tests disclosed the presence of probable lymphoblasts, consistent with the initial diagnosis of leukemia. In order to determine with greater certainty whether Elisha had leukemia, and, if so, which type, the physicians needed to perform a bone marrow aspiration. The physicians were unwilling to perform the aspiration, however, without raising Elisha's hematocrit to within a safe clinical range, thus eliminating the risk to Elisha of developing congestive heart failure. The only treatment available to raise Elisha's hematocrit was the administration of red blood cells through a blood transfusion. If the physicians determined that Elisha had leukemia, the treatment would involve chemotherapy in conjunction with multiple blood transfusions.  Consistent with their WatchTower beliefs, Michael and Zelia refused to consent to the administration of blood or blood products to Elisha.

During the evening of July 19, representatives of the hospital sought authority from a judge participating in the emergency judicial response system to permit the administration of blood or blood products to Elisha. A Superior Court judge held a hearing during the early morning hours of July 20, at which two physicians, Michael McCauley, and the City Overseer of the Boston area Jehovah's Witnesses testified. The Superior Court judge issued a temporary order authorizing the administration of blood or blood products to Elisha. On July 26, the judge issued an order authorizing the hospital and its medical staff to "provide all reasonable medical care which in their judgment is necessary to preserve the patient's life and health, including but not limited to the administration of blood and/or blood products, throughout the entire course of her treatment for leukemia and related conditions."
Michael and Zelia McCauley appealed.  The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.  The McCauleys argue that the Superior Court judge's order was unconstitutional because it violated their parental and religious rights.  This court affirmed the lower court ruling, stating in part:
"We are faced with the difficult issue of when a State may order medical treatment for a dangerously ill child over the religious objections of the parents. ...  there are three interests involved: (1) the "natural rights" of parents; (2) the interests of the child; and (3) the interests of the State. ... We conclude that the interests of Elisha and of the State outweigh her parents' rights to refuse the medical treatment.

"Courts have recognized that the relationship between parents and their children is constitutionally protected, and, therefore, that the private realm of family life must be protected from unwarranted State interference. ... Parents, however, do not have unlimited rights to make decisions for their children. Parental rights 'do not clothe parents with life and death authority over their children.' ... The State, acting as parens patriae, may protect the well-being of children. ...

"The right to the free exercise of religion, including the interests of parents in the religious upbringing of their children is, of course, a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. ... However, these fundamental principles do not warrant the view that parents have an absolute right to refuse medical treatment for their children on religious grounds. ...
 
"The State's interest in protecting the well-being of children 'is not nullified merely because the parent grounds his claim to control the child's course of conduct on religion or conscience. ... 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.' ...

"The Superior Court judge found that, '[w]ithout chemotherapy and blood transfusions, Elisha faces certain death.'  In determining a child's interests when his parents refuse to consent to medical treatment, we apply the 'best interests' test. ...
 
"The judge found five factors in support of the administration of blood and blood products: (1) the child's age; (2) the risk to the child's health and life if the requested treatment was not ordered; (3) the real probability that the child's illness would be in remission if she were given the requested treatment, including the treatment of her dangerously low hematocrit and her leukemia; (4) the substantial chance for a cure and a normal life for the child if she underwent the recommended treatment; and (5) the minimal risks to the child's health which would result from the treatment, including from the administration of blood and blood products. The factors weighing against treatment were the 'sincerely held religious beliefs of the patient's mother and father and, to the degree to which an 8-year old is capable, her religious beliefs as well.' The judge did not err in concluding that the administration of blood and blood products was in Elisha's best interests.

"The State has three interests in having a dangerously sick child receive medical treatment over her parents' religious objections. First, the State has an interest in protecting the welfare of children within its borders. ... Second, the State has an interest in the preservation of life, especially when the affliction is curable. ... Finally, the medical profession is trained to preserve life, and to care for those under its control. The State has an interest in maintaining the ethical integrity of the medical profession. ...
 
"In this case, the judge found that, '[w]ithout chemotherapy and blood transfusions, Elisha faces certain death. With chemotherapy and blood transfusions she will have a now unspecified chance to bring her leukemia into remission. Elisha's likelihood of recovery will not be known until her physicians are able to determine through conducting further tests the type of leukemia she has developed.'  Since the judge found that the medical treatment, including the administration of blood and blood products, was Elisha's only real chance of recovery, the State's interests in the protection of the child's welfare and in preservation of her life apply.

"We conclude that Elisha's best interests, and the interests of the State, outweigh the McCauleys' parental and religious rights. ... ... the judge was well warranted in finding that,
if Elisha had not received the blood transfusions, she would have died. In these circumstances her best interests and welfare, coupled with the strong interests of the State, must outweigh her parents' objections to the blood transfusions.
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IN THE MATTER OF JACK AURELION was a 1991 Florida court decision. Five year old Jackson Aurelion was admitted at Bethesda Memorial Hospital, in Boynton Beach, Florida, where it was discovered that he was suffering from a blood infection. When his mother, Marie Hilaire, was informed that her 5 year old son would need a blood transfusion, Hilaire refused to give her consent. Marie Hilaire was a Jehovah's Witness, and Jehovah's Witnesses believe blood is sacred, and that accepting a transfusion could bar her son from receiving eternal life. The Hospital sought and received authorization to administer all needed medical treatment, including blood transfusions. In critical condition prior to the court order, the boy's condition improved after receiving the life-saving transfusions.

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ON APPLICATION OF CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF WISCONSIN was a 1991 Wisconsin court decision. In March 1991, an unidentified 15-year-old boy was admitted to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, in Wauwatosa, where doctors were going to amputate his entire right leg, including part of his pelvis, in an effort to stop a fast moving cancer. The unidentified Jehovah's Witnesses Parents refused to give their consent for blood transfusions to be administered during the surgery. A local court authorized that transfusions could be administered if such were needed to save the boy's life. Outcome unknown.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF HAROLD HENRY was a 1991 Florida court decision.  In October 1991, 15-year-old Harold Henry was admitted to Tampa's St. Joseph's Hospital.  This was the fourth time in his life that Harold Henry had to go through the drama.  Harold's unknown medical condition required treatment using blood transfusions.  Harold's Jehovah's Witnesses parents made another drama out of their refusal to consent, and the hospital was forced to waste their time and resources seeking a petition to do what they needed to do to save Harold's life.  Maybe all the hospitals in the world should file a class action lawsuit against the WatchTower Society for reimbursement for all the time, money, and other resources that this moronic doctrine has cost over the decades.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF CORY LEVY was a 1991 Florida court decision.  Cory Levy, 15, suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen that damaged his liver. Doctors at St. Petersburg's Bayfront Medical Center informed Cory's Jehovah's Witnesses parents, Albert Levy and Rosa Levy, that he would need a blood transfusion to survive.  They refused to give their consent.  The hospital then sought and obtained a court order to administer all needed medical care, including blood transfusions.  Outcome unknown.
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IN THE MATTER OF KEVIN MICHAEL RATTENBURY was a 1991 Michigan court decision. On Tuesday, August 6, 1991, Kevin M. Rattenbury, age 14, was injured when the moped he was riding was struck by a car. Kevin Rattenbury was taken to Mount Clemens General Hospital. Condition and four days of medical treatments unknown until surgery was attempted on Saturday afternoon to insert a pin in a broken leg. Unknown complications arose, and the surgery reportedly took five hours to complete. Around 10:30 P.M., Rattenbury's heart stopped -- allegedly due to blood loss according to his JW Parents' Attorney --but was restarted. Besides JW Parents, George H. Rattenbury and Betty Jane Rattenbury, the doctors and staff at Mount Clemens General Hospital were surveilled by local members of the WatchTower Society's Hospital Liaison Committee. Doctors and staff apparently repeatedly asked for unrequired permission to administer blood transfusions, but simply wasted valuable time. Finally, court intervention was sought. However, court authorization for blood transfusions was not received until around 4:00 A.M. Even then, no transfusions supposedly were ever administered. Kevin Rattenbury died at 7:00 A.M. on Sunday morning.

***

GEORGE H. RATTENBURY and BETTY J. RATTENBURY v. DOCTOR and HOSPITAL was the 1991-92 $25 MILLION MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT that resulted from the above clusterfvck. Outcome unknown, but the plaintiffs retired to Florida.
 
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APPLICATION OF LONG ISLAND JEWISH MEDICAL CENTER was a 1991 New York appellate court decision. In October 1991, an unidentified 13-year-old Jehovah's Witness boy was admitted to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, in New Hyde Park, with what was later diagnosed as leukemia. When informed that the required chemotherapy would also require blood transfusions, the boy's Hungtington, New York, Jehovah's Witnesses parents refused to give their consent.  The hospital then sought and obtained a court order authorizing all needed medical care, including transfusions.  The petition was granted, but the parents appealed -- wasting more time and money for the hospital and the courts. Their appeal described the 13-year-old boy as a devout Jehovah's Witness, who attended five Bible classes a week, and who planned to become a Jehovah's Witness minister. The lower court's decision was upheld -- obviously.
 
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SAUCEDO MOTHER & CHILD. In February 1990, a Jehovah's Witnesses teenager murdered her newborn baby girl, and the JW teenager herself died the same day, because the JW teenager's Jehovah's Witnesses mother refused to consent for a blood transfusion to be administered to the JW teenager.  Apparently, Leticia Saucedo, age 18, daughter of Miguel Saucedo and Anita Munoz Saucedo, of Normal, Illinois, had somehow managed to keep her pregnancy a secret.  Around 3:30 a.m., Anita Munoz Saucedo, age 37, discovered her 18 year old daughter lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the floor of their apartment's bathroom. When Saucedo rolled her daughter over, she discovered a plastic garbage bag containing the full-term baby girl. The teenager and her baby were transported to Brokaw Hospital, where the baby, later name "Genesis" by Anita Saucedo, was pronounced dead on arrival, due to suffocation from being placed in the garbage bag. When doctors informed Anita Saucedo that Leticia Saucedo would need a blood transfusion due to blood loss, she refused to consent, citing her and her daughter's beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. Leticia Saucedo died at 5:07 a.m. in the emergency room. Despite Anita Saucedo's standing firm on the "blood issue", and Leticia Saucedo's martyrdom, their fellow Jehovah's Witnesses wanted no press coverage from this incident. Leticia Saucedo and Genesis Saucedo were cremated without the benefit of a service. A coroner's inquest was held two months later, and Genesis Saucedo's death was ruled a "homicide".  Leticia Saucedo's own death was ruled "avoidable".
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JAMES LUNSFORD and LORI LUNSFORD v. REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA was a 1984-90 California court decision. A TYPICALLY MORONIC CALIFORNIA JURY awarded $500,000.00 to the Jehovah's Witness Parents of a 3 1/2-year-old child, who was given a blood transfusion during kidney transplant surgery. This decision supposedly was appealed, but unknown whether reduced or settled.

James and Lori Lunsford of Antioch, California sued the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. Their lawsuit alleged that doctors had "assured" (really -- "assured"?) them that no blood transfusion would be necessary during the 1984 kidney transplant surgery needed by their young son, Casey Lunsford, or during the surgical removal of a kidney from donor, James Lunsford. Instead, the hospital pre-arranged for possible court intervention should blood transfusions become necessary during the two surgeries. In fact, the child needed a life-saving blood transfusion, and court intervention was sought and obtained. The TYPICALLY MORONIC CALIFORNIA JURY found that the hospital had committed "fraud" and "misrepresentation" $500,000.00 was awarded to the Lunsfords for their "emotional distress".

How **** dumb can a whole room full of "californians" be?  The WatchTower Society says that Jehovah's Witnesses can't accept blood transfusions because transfusions are the same thing as "eating blood", which the Old Testament forbids. The WatchTower also says that the Bible forbids eating unbled meat, because unbled meat contains blood.  However, Jehovah's Witnesses are allowed to have organ transplants. What's the difference in a transplant of an organ and a transplant of blood?  Live organs contain blood just like unbled meat. If a JW takes foreign blood inside their body when the organ is transplanted, what's the big deal about having a blood transplant in the process?  Dumb, dumber, and JWs.

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ROGER ALLEN GRIGGS v. MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA ET AL was a 1990 U.S. District Court decision. A Jehovah's Witness, named Roger Allen Griggs, of Lexington, South Carolina, had taken his 3 year-old son, Timothy Griggs, to the Medical College of Georgia, where he wanted doctors to perform surgery to repair a defective valve in the toddler's heart. However, Roger A. Griggs wanted the surgery performed with the promise that no blood transfusions would be use, even if such were needed to prevent his son's death. The hospital refused to perform the surgery under Roger Grigg's dictated terms. 

Roger Allen Griggs then filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of his son for $2,000,000.00 against the Medical College and several doctors, plus asked that the court force the Medical College to perform the surgery under his conditions. Roger A. Griggs alleged that his and his son's constitutional rights were being violated, and that he and his son were victims of religious discrimination. Outcome is not known, but predictable. The lawsuit was likely summarily dismissed. Roger Griggs thereafter found some other hospital that was willing to allow him to dictate their medical practices and procedures.

See FOWLER v. OKLAHOMA CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ET AL. Both lawsuits were filed in April 1990. This evidently was a new legal strategy initiated by the WatchTower Society's Legal Department.
 
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RONALD WAYNE FOWLER and AMY FOWLER v. OKLAHOMA CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ET AL was a 1990-91 U.S. District Court decision. In July 1988, Ronald Wayne Fowler and Amy Fowler took their infant son, Anthony Shane Fowler, to Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital suffering from respiratory distress syndrome and a mild form of anemia. There, the parents agreed to any form of medical treatment their infant son needed, except blood transfusions, which were prohibited by their religious beliefs.Their son, Anthony Shane Fowler, had to be administered FOUR BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS over a two week period. Court intervention was sought and obtained for all treatments.

In April 1990, the Fowlers filed a federal lawsuit against Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital and two of the hospital's doctors. Interestingly, the Fowlers were legally represented by an Attorney and JW Elder named Larry E. Seward, of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ronald Wayne Fowler alleged that his and his son's constitutional rights had been violated, and that he and his son were victims of religious discrimination. Outcome is not known, but predictable. The lawsuit was likely summarily dismissed. The Fowlers may have been made to pay the hospital's legal expenses.

See GRIGGS v. MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA ET AL. Both lawsuits were filed in April 1990. This was evidently a new legal strategy initiated by the WatchTower Society's Legal Department.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF BABY GIRL NEWTON was a 1990 Delaware trial court decision.  The Medical Center of Delaware petitioned for the appointment of a guardian for a two-day old unnamed child designated Baby Girl Newton. The infant was born ten weeks prematurely and suffered from anemia, a depleted supply of red blood cells. Baby Girl Newton's attending physician was Dr. Stephen Pearlman, a neo-natologist in charge of the Medical Center's Level 3, or sickest patient, nursery. Pearlman testified that Baby Girl Newton was born with a hemoglobin count of only 14.5 mg./dl. By the time of the hearing, her hemoglobin level had dropped to 13 mg.  The baby's heart rate was normal indicating that, at that time, she could compensate for her abnormally low hemoglobin level, but that could change at any moment.  Dr. Pearlman told Baby Girl Newton's Jehovah's Witness Parents of the probable need for a blood transfusion on April 10, the day the baby was born.  However, Baby Girl Newton's Jehovah's Witness Parents refused to consent to transfusions to save the infant's life. Petition granted.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF AMANDA ELMORE was a 1990 Nebraska court decision. Amanda Elmore was the sixth child of Jehovah's Witness Parents, Dean Elmore and Susan Elmore, of Wichita, Kansas. Amanda Elmore was delivered three to four weeks premature by cesarean section at a hospital in Holdrege, Nebraska. The baby developed serious respiratory complications, and was flown by helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. There, the Hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authorization to administer blood transfusions and other necessary medical treatment. Petition granted. Unfortunately, Amanda Elmore did not survive. Given that the Omaha hospital knew to petition the court despite the Jehovah's Witnesses Parents not yet even being there, and given the fact that Amanda Elmore was only four days old when she died, there must have been quite a drama in the unknown details.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF BOBBY ARNOLD was a 1990 Florida court decision.  In February 1990, Bobbie Arnold, age 11, of Port St. Lucie, was riding her bicycle near her home when she was struck by a Ford Bronco. In critical condition, Bobbie was transported to HCA Medical Center.  There, doctors informed her parents that Bobbie needed a blood transfusion. Robert Arnold and Barbara Arnold were Jehovah's Witnesses, a religion that believes the Bible forbids blood transfusions. They refused to give their consent. the hospital then petitioned a local court for guardianship and authority to administer necessary medical care, including blood transfusions. Petition was granted. Transfusions administered. Bobbie Arnold's condition upgraded, but eventual outcome unknown.

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IN RE NEWBORN RAMIREZ was a 1990 Georgia court decision. In June 1990, Gerardo Ramirez and Susan Ramirez refused to consent to blood transfusions needed for the survival of their prematurely born child. Officials at Gwinnett Medical Center sought and obtained court intervention. Details are unclear, but the emergency hearing was held on a Sunday, but the transfusion was not administered until Wednesday, and the baby died only a few minutes after the transfusion. The reason for the delay between the hearing and the administering of the transfusion is not known, but the result is obvious. Gerardo Ramirez was an Elder at the Suwanee, Georgia Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
 
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ILLINOIS v. CAROLINE WINFIELD was a 1990 Illinois criminal court case. In May 1990, a Jehovah's Witness drama was reported in a series of Associated Press news articles published in newspapers throughout the United States. Twelve year old Kimberly Winfield, of Chicago, was ABDUCTED and KIDNAPPED from Children's Memorial Hospital by her Jehovah's Witness mother, Caroline Winfield.  At the time, Kimberly Winfield was a ward of the state of Illinois, as were her two siblings, due to the family being homeless. Kimberly Winfield had been admitted to Children's Memorial Hospital to have open heart surgery to correct damage she suffered from rheumatic fever when she was seven years old. As Jehovah's Witnesses, Caroline Winfield was opposed to her daughter receiving a blood transfusion during open heart surgery. After a six day hunt by authorities, Winfield turned herself and daughter in to police. Winfield stated that she did not want her daughter to be administered blood transfusions, which were prohibited by her WatchTower beliefs.  Winfield thereafter pled guilty to charges of child abduction. A week after returning to Children's Memorial Hospital, Kimberly Winfield underwent more than six hours hours of heart surgery. Doctors successfully repaired a valve in Kimberly's heart and replaced another with an artificial valve.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF MONIQUE MUNOZ was a 1990 Florida court decision. In June 1990, Fifteen year old Monique Munoz, of Brandon, Florida, was severely injured in an automobile accident.  Monique Munoz's parents, Richard Munoz and Peggy Munoz, were Jehovah's Witnesses, and refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions.  Humana Hospital petitioned the local Hillsborough County Circuit Court for authorization to administer the necessary transfusions. Petition granted.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF CHELSEA SOHN and JOHANNA SOHN was a 1990 New York court decision. In February 1990, Patricia Sohn, of Ronkonkoma, New York, delivered twin daughters three months prematurely at University Hospital at Stony Brook. Patricia Sohn, supported by her husband Ernest Sohn, refused to give consent to blood transfusions for herself, or her newborn twin daughters, citing the couple's beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses. The hospital sought and obtained an emergency court order of guardianship and authorization to administer transfusions and other needed medical care. Despite the hospital's best efforts under the circumstances, Chelsea Sohn died on her third day of life, and Johanna Sohn died the next day.  Patricia Sohn also needed a transfusion due to blood loss during the surgery. Her outcome is unknown. 

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