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

1970s Court Cases

PAGE 4 of 6

2000s Cases 1990s Cases 1980s 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

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw                 jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

SHEILA A. CARR v. BOBBY G. CARR was an ongoing 1974-79 Indiana divorce and child custody case in which BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS for a child became an issue (which 21st century Family Court Judges knowingly falsely claim are an extremely rare occurrence -- so rare that Family Court Judges almost unanimously refuse to consider the issue of blood transfusions when making custody decisions. In fact, the American judicial system is engaged in a conspiracy to ignore this side of the blood transfusion issue, because to acknowledge such would tilt custody decisions nationwide in favor of non-JW Parents. The American judicial system is well  aware that the issue of blood transfusions for children arise much more frequently than they will publicly acknowledge. Family Court Judges are well aware of the fact that due to recent privacy legalities these scenarios are no longer documented publicly, nor are they currently available for medical and judicial statistical study.)

Sheila Carr and Bobby Carr, of Indianapolis, Indiana, were divorced in 1975 (the year that the WatchTower Cult was prophesying that Armageddon would occur), with Sheila Carr receiving custody of the couple's two children -- Robert E. Carr, age 17, and Lisa Ann Carr, age 10. In June 1979, Sheila Carr and Bobby Carr agreed that custody of 14 year-old Lisa Carr would return to her Jehovah's Witness Father. Shortly thereafter, under emergency circumstances, Lisa Ann Carr needed an ovarian cyst removed, and the need for a blood transfusion during that surgery was anticipated. Typically, Booby G. Carr refused to grant permission for the blood transfusion, so Indianapolis Community Hospital was forced to seek judicial intervention. A local judge appointed Sheila Carr custodian of Lisa Carr as regards her medical care. Sheila Carr immediately signed the consent form, and the necessary operation was began soon thereafter.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE INFANT GIRL MILLER. Sometime in the 1970s, the two year-old daughter of Miami, Florida area WatchTower Society spokesperson, Howard Miller, needed blood transfusions as part of her medical treatment for her Reyes Syndrome. The Millers refused to give their consent, so the treating hospital was forced to seek and obtain court-ordered permission. The child eventually died.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BABY GIRL DORSEY was a April 1979 Washington D.C. court case in which doctors at Walter Reed Hospital were forced to seek legal intervention when Jehovah's Witness Parents Joseph Dorsey and Doris Dorsey refused to consent to necessary life-saving blood transfusions for their premature newborn girl. Custody was granted and transfusions were administered. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE MAURICE STEPHENS was an August 1979 Florida court case which involved the premature birth of twins Maurice Stephens and Michelle Stephens. Both newborns suffered from heart problems, and Maurice had internal hemorrhaging. Doctors had given Maurice blood transfusions at birth, but his JW Parents, Merle L. Stephens, age 48, and Linda L. Stephens, age 44, of Tampa, Florida, refused to allow further transfusions because of their religious beliefs. Doctors were forced to seek a court order for the additional transfusions. Maurice Stephens died at 3 weeks old. Status of Michelle Stephens unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE LASHAWN LAVETTE RICKS was a 1979 Kansas court decision. In July 1979, LaShawn LaVette Ricks, female, was born to an unmarried 15 year-old African-American Jehovah's Witness named Carlene Ricks. Lashawn Ricks needed multiple exchange blood transfusions due to Rh factor issues. Carlene Ricks and her own African-American Jehovah's Witness Parents, Cordell Ricks (total disability at age 30), age 36, of Coffeyville, Kansas, refused to consent to the transfusions because blood transfusions violated the high moral standards of the Ricks Family, as well as the teachings of the WatchTower Society. Coffeyville Memorial Hospital requested and received court intervention, which included the state taking custody of LaShawn L. Ricks.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE ORLANDO R. COFFEE was a 1979 Pennsylvania court decision. In September 1979, 17 year-old Orlando R. Coffee developed acute peritonitis after removal of his gall bladder and appendix at Pittsburgh's St. John's Hospital. Internal hemorrhaging resulted in life-threatening blood loss. Orlando Coffee's Jehovah's Witness Parents, Mr/Mrs William Coffee, and other JW relatives, refused to grant their consent for needed blood transfusions. The hospital first obtained an emergency oral order permitting the necessary blood transfusions. Thereafter, Coffee's JW Parents and other JWs convinced Coffee to object to additional necessary transfusions, so a formal hearing was conducted at which a judge authorized the hospital to continue to administer blood transfusions to Coffee as long as he needed such.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
ON APPLICATION OF RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL. In July 1979, in Rhode Island, the unidentified Jehovah's Witness Parents of a prematurely born 10 day old baby boy refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions. The unidentified Hospital sought and obtained court intervention. The JW Parents apparently were relieved, and told reporters they had no plans to contest the court order.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN THE MATTER OF NICHOLAS WELCH was a 1979 Michigan court decision. Nicholas Welch was born anemic at William Beaumont Hospital, in June 1979, to Jehovah's Witness Parents, James Welch and Susan Welch, of Livonia.When a respirator was insufficient to prevent brain damage and possible physical deformity, doctors requested the parents' consent to transfusions. First, they consulted their JW Elders; then refused. Doctors sought and received court-ordered guardianship and authorization for all needed care to save Nicholas from a life of possible handicap.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE ANDREA NEELY was a 1979 Michigan court decision. In March 1979, a Jehovah's Witness Couple, named Gary Neely, age 23, and Diana Neely, age 21, of Ferndale, Michigan, refused to consent to blood transfusions for their newborn daughter, Andrea Neely, who was born with a genetic blood disorder which caused her red blood cells to be destroyed faster than such were produced. Bi-County Hospital sought and obtained court intervention. Outcome unknown.

Gary Neely took along his WatchTower Bible and a 1976 Jehovah's Witnesses YEARBOOK to the court hearing so that he could give Macomb Probate Judge Lawrence Zatkoff a lesson in the Bible and Michigan law regarding refusals of blood transfusions. Gary Neely told reporters that he hoped to prove to the judge that God forbids blood transfusions from his WatchTower Bible, and that Jehovah's Witnesses in other states had been allowed to refuse blood transfusions from the YEARBOOK. Gary Neely also eloquently told a reporter, "Even if they gave her blood, she might die."

Instead, Judge Zatkoff gave a lesson in constitutional law to Gary Neely, his father, JW Elder Kenneth Neely,  his brother Steven Neely, Diana Neely's sister and Steve Neely's wife, Debbie Neely, and a courtroom filled with their fellow Jehovah's Witnesses hoping to intimidate Judge Zatkoff. Zatkoff informed the Neely Clan and their supporters that Americans are free to believe anything they want about religion, but their rights to practice religious beliefs extend only to the point where they endanger the welfare and rights of others. Zatkoff cited PRINCE, and told the Neelys that Jehovah's Witness Adults could be "martyrs" if they liked, but that Jehovah's Witnesses could not sacrifice their own children as "martyrs".

Judge Zatkoff was not the only hero in the courtroom that day. Prior to Zatkoff's ruling, Dr. Stuart A. Megdall, Chief of Pediatrics at Bi-County Hospital, testified that if a blood transfusion became necessary to save Andrea Neely's life, he would administer such REGARDLESS of the Judge's decision.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN THE MATTER OF BOBBI JO KRAFT was a 1979 Minnesota court decision.  In February 1979, John Karft, age 22, and Karla (Fisher) Kraft, age 21, of Negaunee, Michigan, had taken their 2-year-old daughter Bobbi Jo Kraft, who was suffering from leukemia, to the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. When the Krafts were informed that Bobbi Jo Kraft desperately needed a blood transfusion, and that the hospital was seeking a court order to authorize such, the JW parents KIDNAPPED Bobbi Jo Kraft from St. Mary's Hospital. The hospital notified Police and social services, who located the Krafts at the home of a Rochester Jehovah's Witness family. Bobbi Jo Kraft was taken into state custody; returned to St. Marys Hospital, and given all needed medical care, including three blood transfusions.
 
When a reporter asked John Kraft what he would do if/when his efforts to regain custody were successful, Kraft responded that they would probably just leave Bobbi Jo Kraft at St Mary's Hospital, since "the damage has been done now". The Kraft parents were fully supported by both sets of grandparents, who were also JWs, including Roy and Margaret Fisher, of Marinette, Wisconsin. The leukemia was in total remission by the second week in  March, and the court returned custody to the parents. As the Krafts and Fishers left for home, they told reporters that if Bobbi Jo's condition ever took a turn for the worse, that instead of returning to the Mayo Clinic, they would take the baby to Dr. Jan Van Eys in Houston, Texas, who treated JW babies without blood transfusions.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN THE MATTER OF QUERAL BUTLER was a 1979 Maryland court decision. Queral Butler was the newborn son of Jehovah's Witnesses, Richard D. Butler and Mary Lou Butler, of Kearneysville, West Virginia. The 5 day old infant was airlifted from a Charles Town, West Virginia hospital to a Frederick, Maryland's City Hospital with unknown medical problems.  Doctors secured an emergency court order allowing them to begin giving blood to Queral Butler as soon as he arrived. Whatever the problem, the infant received multiple transfusions before his condition stabilized and improved. The thankful Mary Lou Butler said: "The doctor's trying to act like God, and he's not." Richard D. Butler, obviously confused as to who was the person endangering this child's life, stated: "If my baby dies, it will be on that person's head."

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN THE MATTER OF LYNETTE FLANDERS was a 1978 West Virginia case. In May 1978, a 15 year-old Jehovah's Witness teenager, named Lynette Flanders, of Mattapoisette, Massachusetts, was riding in an automobile being driven by a 17 year-old male, named Louie Luiz, of Fair Haven, Massachusetts. Luiz went left of center on a highway in rural, southern West Virginia, and struck an oncoming vehicle head on. Flanders was seriously injured. At a Beckley, WV hospital, Flanders required surgery and blood transfusions to save her life. The 15 year-old refused to give consent. Flanders' parents were telephoned in Massachusetts, and they also "vehemently" refused consent based on the family's WatchTower beliefs. Doctors then contacted a local Judge to obtain judicial intervention, but because it was 2:00 A.M., Judge C. Berkley Lilly, who was apparently ignorant of his own powers, simply said that there was not time for him to do anything. Doctors went ahead and operated, but were unable to save Lynette Flanders without blood transfusions to replace her lost blood.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN THE MATTER OF BRADFORD KEARLEY was a 1978 Massachusetts court decision. In August 1978, 20-month-old Bradford Kearley, also called Brad Kearley, was diagnosed with bone cancer at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose, Massachusetts. When hospital officials informed the parents, Thomas Kearley, age 37, and his wife, Leah Kearley, age 29, of Saugus, Massachusetts, that Brad Kearley would need blood transfusions along with his chemotherapy, the Kearleys informed the hospital that they were Jehovah's Witnesses, and that they would not consent to blood transfusions. Thereafter, the hospital petitioned a local court for authorization to provide Bradford Kearley with all needed medical care, including transfusions. The petition was granted, and guardianship was awarded to the Massachusetts Welfare Department.

However, Thomas Kearley and Leah Kearley KIDNAPPED Bradford Kearley from the hospital, and seemingly disappeared. A nationwide manhunt ensued. A week or so later, the Kearleys surfaced in Jacksonville, Florida, where they check Bradford into Children's Hospital. Evidently, "someone" had suggested that this Florida hospital would treat Bradford's cancer without administering blood transfusions.  In October 1978, Thomas Kearley told reporters that tests at the Jacksonville hospital showed no cancer, but only a staph infection. In May 1979, Bradford Kearley died in a Jamaican hospital where his parents were trying various alternative therapies for the cancer that didn't exist.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

In 1977, the needless death of the newborn infant of Richard Modigill and Kathleen Modigill, age 30, at East Town Osteopathic Hospital was reported to the Dallas County District Attorneys' Office for possible criminal investigation by Texas DHS. Expecting their fourth child, the Modigills of Ann Arbor, Michigan, had traveled to Dallas, Texas to be doctored by a fellow Jehovah's Witness Osteopath, named Dr. W. E. Winslow.
 
The issue was Rh factor incompatibility, and in this scenario, the unborn child was anticipated NOT to survive until birth. Thus, the baby was delivered by caesarean one month early. For three long days, the Jehovah's Witness doctor tried a number of alternative treatments, which apparently outraged his peers at the hospital, who angerily stated that the baby would have most likely lived if given an exchange transfusion. (It was Winslow's peers at East Town Hospital who most likely reported the child's death to authorities.) After her newborn died, Kathleen Modigill told a reporter, "We've upheld our integrity to God and done what he's said is best. We've pleased our creator and gone along with our conscience and what it dictates to us."

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN RE CHRISTINA PETERS was a 1977 New Mexico court decision which involved JW Babies having babies. In December 1977, Jon Peters, age 17, and Denine Peters, age 17, of the Santa Fe Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, had a newborn baby daughter, Christina Peters, whom needed its blood completely exchanged when jaundice developed after birth. Jon and Denine Peters refused to give their consent. Their doctor tried non-blood solutions, but when the baby's health was endangered, St. Vincents Hospital petitioned a local Judge in the middle of the night for emergency authorization. The hearing was held at the Judge's home at 2:00 AM, and when the Judge heard the Peters and a JW Elder arguing against administering the needed care to their own baby, the Judge threw them out of his home, but only after giving temporary custody of their child to a legal guardian authorized to consent to all needed medical care. Afterwards, 17 year-old JW Genius Jon Peters ranted to reporters that the Judge and doctors had disobeyed his wishes.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

The following "Letter To The Editor" was published in a 1977 Washington state newspaper. Nathan George, a Jehovah's Witness, was apparently responding to one of many regular news reports about a Jehovah's Witness who had died after refusing a blood transfusion.
Refusal Explained
 
With all due respect to your newspaper, I do not believe that you will publish this letter because I believe you are prejudiced to Jehovah Witnesses. The public should know why so many of Jehovah's Witnesses die in the emergency rooms. They die because doctors are too proud and stubborn to admit that there are many alternatives where blood is not available or where it is refused by persons in need. The alternatives are Dextron, Haemaccel. P.V.R , Ringers lactate or saline solution, to mention a few. Do you know that every one of the above mentioned alternatives have been proven far safer than blood? Do you know that not one time has hepatitis or any infection or disease ever been contacted from the use of these alternatives? Do you know that sugar and water has been used in open heart surgery in place of blood transfusions and the doctors were amazed at the fact that those who used sugar and water in place of blood recovered much faster?
Doctors know these facts as well as the fact that bone marrow has to change to accept every new blood transfusion. So why do doctors insist on using blood? Doctors make more money from blood. They get it free and sell it. Ask someone who has had to pay for a pint of blood. Sugar and water is practically free. Is this really a free country where parents have the say as to what doctors can do to them, or their families?
 
Nathan E. George, Randle, [Washington]

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN RE RICARDA LORLEY BRADFORD was a 1977 Colorado court decision. In May 1977, Ricarda Lorley Bradford, age 5, was struck by an automobile and critically injured -- nearly killed. JW Parents, Mr/Mrs William Bradford, of Denver, Colorado, refused to consent to required blood transfusions. Ricarda Bradford survived three hours of emergency surgery at St. Anthony's Hospital treating injuries to her head, torso, and two broken legs -- only after a Colorado judge initially gave verbal consent for the life-saving blood transfusions, and later formalized such at a regular court hearing. Unfortunately, the young girl reportedly died two days later on her sixth birthday.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

JAMES STAELENS ET AL v. YAKE ET AL was a 1975-77 Illinois federal court case. (Interestingly, the Staelens had attorneys from Illinois, Georgia, and NYC.)  In September 1975, minor son, Ronald Staelens, was injured in an automobile accident, and was admitted to St. Anthony Hospital, in Rockford, Illinois. JW Parents, James Staelens and Dale Staelens, refused to give their consent for life-saving blood transfusions. The Hospital petitioned a local court for guardianship and authorization to administer life-saving transfusions. The petition was granted, but the emergency surgery was unsuccessful. Ronald Staelens died.

Thereafter, James Staelens and Dale Staelens filed this SIX MILLION DOLLAR federal lawsuit against the physicians, the hospital, and the judge claiming that their constitutional rights were violated -- in particular their right to the free exercise of their religion. The suit was dismissed for failure to state a claim given the fact that state courts have the right, if not the duty, to order life-saving blood transfusions for minors.  The district court stated in part:

"Plaintiffs brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming that the defendants deprived them of their constitutional rights by conspiring to obtain a court order removing their son, Ronald Staelens, from their custody and appointing a guardian to consent to medical treatment and to the administration of blood transfusions to the child. Plaintiffs claim the entry of the court order violated their constitutional rights by denying them religious freedom, depriving them of procedural and substantive due process, and denying them an alleged "personal and parental right to select and undergo medical treatment of their choice."

Apparently aware of the jurisdictional prerequisite that defendants must have acted 'under color of state law' to be subject to liability under 1983, plaintiffs allege that defendants Yake and Tisovec acted in concert with Judge Morrison, an officer of the state, and St. Anthony Hospital, a private hospital subject to state licensing and regulation. Neither theory will support a claim against these defendants."

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE DANIELLE DIXON was a 1977 Ohio court decision. In May 1977, Danielle Dixon, age 12, was admitted to Cincinnati's Providence Hospital with gastro-intestinal bleeding. Danielle Dixon's unidentified Jehovah's Witness Parents refused to consent to needed blood transfusions, so the hospital sought and obtained a court order. However, Danielle died before a transfusion could be administered.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE RUTH MENDEZ was an October 1977 Illinois court case. Jehovah's Witness Parents Jose Mendez and Estella Mendez, illegal Mexicans, refused to consent to required blood transfusions for their 7 year-old daughter, Ruth Mendez, who was being treated for leukemia at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital for FREE. Then they further burdened the judicial system and American taxpayers with this nonsense. Custody was granted to hospital official, with authority to provide all necessary care.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN RE BABY BOY GUINN was a December 1976 California court case in which unidentified JW Parents refused to give their consent for life-saving blood transfusions needed by their newborn baby boy. Administrators at San Diego's Mercy hospital were required to seek and obtain court intervention.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE JOSHUA RIVERA was a 1976 New Jersey court decision which involved 4 day-old Joshua Rivera, whose Jehovah's Witness Parents, Saturnino Rivera, age 23, and Andiranne Rivera, age 20, were refusing to give doctors permission to administer blood transfusions needed to save the newborn's life. Joshua was born with lung complications resulting in a very low red blood cell count. Doctors at Jersey City Medical Center (for whatever reason, not where the mother was recuperating) sought and received guardianship and court-ordered authorization for all needed medical treatment to save the child's life. After the Judge's decision, Saturnino Rivera told a reporter, "Transfusions are wrong according to the Bible, and we must obey God's laws. ... I just can't understand why the judge ordered the transfusion when he knew it was against our religion. ... We both decided that the baby should not have a transfusion even if it meant death. That's God's decision. ... Somehow it's alright to kill babies by abortions, but you aren't allowed to let God's will be done."
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE ANTHONY CASTILLO was a 1976 California court decision. In October 1976, John Castillo and Margaret Castillo took their son, Anthony Castillo, age 3, to Riverside General Hospital, because he had a high fever and possibly other symptoms. Doctors were uncertain what was the problem, but because the Jehovah's Witness parents were refusing to consent to any necessary blood transfusions, the hospital sought court intervention. Authorization was granted, but transfusions were never administered. The child unexpectedly died the next day. An autopsy disclosed that the child had "contagious" spiral meningitus, which had to be dealt with amongst the surviving family members.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN THE MATTER OF KEVIN SMITH was a 1976 Michigan court decision. Kevin Smith was born in January 1976, at Grand Rapids' Butterworth Hospital, to Jehovah's Witness Parents, Harold A. Smith, age 29, and Marion Smith. Due to complications from a congenital Rh factor problem, Kevin needed an exchange transfusion, which his JW parents rejected. The Smiths opined that since their three other children, including a 5 year-old and 2 year-old, had simply "outgrew" the same problem, then Kevin Smith would also outgrow such. The local JWs also suggested "alternative treatments", including a "cure" pioneered by an unnamed Jehovah's Witness doctor in Phoenix, Arizona. Kevin Smith's doctors responded with answers that were the equivalent of head-shakes and eye-rolls. The hospital sought and was granted both court-ordered guardianship and authorization to provide all needed medical care. Harold Smith, a local Bakery worker, threatened to sue everybody, because his "civil rights" had been trampled -- all while spewing the regular WatchTower nonsense about how people receiving blood transfusions were "eating blood". Harold Smith also threatened to do whatever it took to stop the transfusions, thus, Police guards were posted at the door of the child's hospital room to prevent the child from being ABDUCTED and KIDNAPPED.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BABY GIRL SCHOBEL was a 1976 Rhode Island court decision. In August 1976, Jehovah's Witness Parents, named Gene Schobel and Christine Schobel, refused to consent to a blood transfusion needed by their 10-week premature newly-born 16 day-old daughter. Providence's Womens and Infants Hospital sought and obtained court intervention. Christine Schobel told a reporter, "I feel, No Blood - Never! That's how strenuously I object to it. God told Noah and them just to pour it on the ground. Don't fool with it at all. It's more dangerous than we know."
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BRIAN BENNETT was a 1976 Florida court decision. In September 1976, a Brevard County judge authorized blood transfusions for the anemic 2 year-old Brian Bennett after his Jehovah's Witness Parents, Richard Bennett, age 27, and Nancy Bennett, of Merritt Island, Florida, refused to give their consent. The near-drowning victim, who had been underwater for at least five minutes during a family outing, remained in critical condition.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN RE MARCUS WYSOCKI was a 1976 Nebraska court decision. In September 1976, Marcus Wysocki, the 6 year-old son of JW Parents (six siblings, plus more to come), Eugene Wysocki, age 36, and Margaret "Peggy" Wysocki, age 37, of Cozad, Nebraska, was diagnosed with acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura -- a blood disease characterized by improper clotting, easy hemorrhaging, and bruising. Admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska, administrators there sought and obtained a court order to authorize blood transfusions if needed. Under unknown circumstances, the JW Parents ABDUCTED and KIDNAPPED Marcus Wysocki out of Good Samaritan Hospital, and took Marcus to Lincoln General Hospital, in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Dr. Jon T. Williams agreed not to use blood transfusions.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE ADRIAN DENISE CARVER was a September 1975 Florida court case in which Clarence Carver, age 26, and Glenda Carver, age 22, of West Palm Beach, Florida, refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their newborn daughter, Adrian Carver, who was born six weeks premature suffering from an unspecified respiratory ailment. The Florida Division of Family Services went to court and was given temporary custody of the newborn so as to ensure that the child received all necessary medical care.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

JAMES STIMACH FAMILY. In March 1975 (remember that Armageddon was going to occur in October), Jehovah's Witness Parents, James Lee Stimach, age 24, and Rita Stimach, of Los Gatos, California, went into hiding from Police, Social Services, and non-JW relatives after a doctor diagnosed their week-old newborn daughter, Nicole Stimach, with jaundice, and informed them that the baby girl needed a blood transfusion. No further details, but sounds possibly as if Nicole Stimach had been ABDUCTED or KIDNAPPED from the care of a hospital.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BOBBY ALLEN OLIVER and HARLEY v. OLIVER were related 1975-76 Arkansas state and federal court cases of significance. Bobby Allen Oliver was the minor son of divorced parents -- Thomas Edward Oliver and Bulah Harley. In January 1975, Bobby Oliver's doctors discovered that Bobby had a cyst that needed to be surgically removed. Bobby's doctors anticipated that a blood transfusion might be needed during the surgery. However, Bulah Harvey, who was the custodial parent, was a Jehovah's Witness, and she refused to give her consent for any blood transfusions which could become necessary to save Bobby's life during the operation.
 
Thomas E. Oliver sought a temporary change in custody, so that he could provide consent for any transfusions that might become necessary during Bobby's surgery. Thomas Oliver appeared before Arkansas Probate Judge Van B. Taylor, who ordered the "temporary" change of custody on January 9, 1975. The surgery was successfully performed, and custody of Bobby was returned to Bulah Harley in late February 1975.
 
Sweet, but not so simple. During January and February 1975, the WatchTower Society rushed in every high-powered JW Attorney there was who was not a fulltime employee of the WatchTower Society -- Kenneth S. Jacobs from Villa Park, Illinois; George H. Hartman from New York City; Thomas B. Taylor, Jr. from Conroe, Texas; and Billy E. Moore from Columbus, Georgia.
 
This pack of JW Attorneys filed every type of  lawsuit that could be thought of in state and federal court seeking an injunction to either stop the surgery or affect the temporary change in custody. The JW Federal Lawsuit also alleged damages in the amount of $6,000,000.00 against Thomas Oliver, his attorney, and even the Arkansas Judge, who ordered the custody change.  The JW Lawsuit alleged that the $6,000,000.00 in damages suffered by Bulah (Oliver) Harley and Bobby Allen Oliver were a result of the "emotional distress" from the change in custody.
 
The JW Pack got nowhere in either the state or federal courts, except for making themselves and Jehovah's Witnesses, in general, to look like a bunch of horses asses. The case made its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals who laughed the JW Attorneys out of the courtroom ruling that Oliver's attorney and the state Judge had done nothing but their duties, and Oliver had done nothing except seek "proper medical treatment" for his child.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN THE MATTER OF TIFFANY LOTT was a 1975 Wisconsin court decision.  In November 1975, Mr. and Mrs. Booker T. Lott, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin took their 13-month old daughter, Tiffany Lott, to the emergency room with what they thought was a cold or the flu. Mrs. Lott, age 22, told the doctors that Tiffany Lott had not been eating, but had been vomiting. Tests revealed that the infant's hemoglobin registered 2.2 milligrams per 100 cubic centimeters of blood. A blood transfusion was urgently needed. The Lotts refused to consent -- citing their WatchTower beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses.  The hospital petitioned the local court for guardianship and authorization to administer the needed life-saving transfusion. The judge held an emergency hearing at the hospital, where the Lotts did everything they could to dissuade the judge.  Steven Kirkland, the Presiding Overseer of the Lotts JW congregation, quoted passages from the Bible which supposedly prohibited blood transfusions. The judge granted the petition. The transfusions were administered, and Tiffany Lott went home five days later.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE CAROL IVEY and IN RE JULIA IVEY were related 1975 Florida appellate court decisions. On August 31, 1975, twin daughters, named Julia Ivey and Carol Ivey, were born three months premature to Ronald and Denita Ivey of Panama City, Florida.  Doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola determined that the two infants had only a 5% chance of survival unless they both were administered a blood transfusion. Ronald and Denita Ivey were Jehovah's Witnesses, and they refused to consent to life-saving transfusions for their two daughters.
 
Initially, the pediatrician filed an emergency petition for guardianship and authority to administer blood transfusions. However, Ronald Ivey threatened him and the hospital with a lawsuit, and they wimped out. The Florida welfare department then jumped into the fray and filed an emergency petition, which was granted -- custody and medical authorization. The transfusions were administered as soon as possible, but such was too late for baby Julia, who died. The transfusion helped Carol Ivey to survive.
 
When national media criticized the parents for their actions, Denita Ivey publicly charged that the doctors who administered the transfusion had "murdered" Julia:"Our baby was taken away from us by the Welfare Department and given this blood, which literally killed her. ... They took the babies away from me after I had given them birth. This is a mockery of my constitutional rights. It's a mockery altogether ... The Bible clearly states that Christians are to abstain from any use of blood." Ivey stated that the babies were "in fantastic condition" Friday night, just before the transfusions. "They were moving around. Their color was real good. There was nothing that we could do about it, but stand by and watch them kill our baby."
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE SHAWN MILLER was a 1975 California court decision. In June 1975, 14 year-old Shawn Miller was skateboarding in Newport Beach when he skated out in front of a passing automobile. Transported to Hoag Memorial Hospital, Shawn Miller was diagnosed with major lung and kidney damage. JW Parents Mr/Mrs Mark Miller, of Corona del Mar, refused consent for life-saving blood transfusions. Hospital administrators sought and obtained court intervention.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE KEITH MILLER was a 1974 Pennsylvania court decision. In June 1974, 5 year-old Keith Miller, who apparently was not being properly supervised, got his head caught in a piece of operating farm equipment, and was critically injured. Mr/Mrs Kenneth G. Miller, of Christiana, Pennsylvania, refused to consent to allow Lancaster General Hospital to administered needed blood transfusions, because of the family's WatchTower beliefs. Court intervention was sought. The Judge placed Keith Miller in the custody of the state welfare department, and authorized all necessary medical care. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
MUHLENBERG HOSPITAL v. DONALD PATTERSON and GERALDINE PATTERSON was a 1974 New Jersey appellate court decision.  In January 1974, Anthony Lenard Patterson was born prematurely to Donald and Geraldine Patterson, who were Jehovah's Witnesses. The child was found by his physician Dr. Rudolph Archer to be suffering from jaundice caused by an uncommon incompatibility between Mrs. Patterson's blood and the child's system. Anthony's parents refused to permit blood transfusion on religious grounds.  Dr. Archer, understanding the parents objection to blood transfusions, permitted the child's bilirubin count to exceed the level at which, ordinarily, he would have ordered such transfusion; but as the level approached one which could produce serious hazards to the child, Dr. Archer contacted the Chief of Pediatrics and the hospital Administrator, who in turn requested assistance from the Court.
 
A hearing was convened at Muhlenberg Hospital at 5:30 P.M. on January 22, 1974, at which were present the parents, two Jehovah's Witnesses Elders, two friends of the parents, as well as the hospital director, other hospital personnel and Dr. Archer.  Dr. Archer testified that a bilirubin count of 20 or 21 would, within a short period of time, produce severe and irreparable brain damage, seriously impairing the infant's mental facilities, and that the count had risen during the day to the area of 18--19. Based upon the parents continued objections to blood transfusions, the court determined that the Guardian Ad Litem should be appointed, and Mr. Dailey, the Director of Muhlenberg Hospital, was so designated. He testified that from the hospital records and from consultations with the Chief of Pediatrics, it was necessary for the hospital to have permission to transfuse the infant and accomplish a complete blood exchange in the event the bilirubin content advanced beyond its present state. Both he and Dr. Archer agreed that the danger was not one of loss of life, unless secondary infection set in following the adverse consequences of the liver problem. The court found that, although there was only incidental danger to life, there was, to a reasonable medical certainty, immediate danger of irreparable brain damage and concomitant severe mental retardation, in the event the transfusion would be withheld when the bilirubin count equaled or exceeded 20. The requested order was signed after the hearing. Further details are not available, but the child may have died despite the Hospital's best efforts.  The Pattersons may have also appealed the lower court's ruling, but results are unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE JASON HARVEY was a September 1974 Illinois court case in which the one year-old son of  Jehovah's Witness Parents Mr/Mrs John Harvey, ages 24, of Chicago area, Illinois, contracted bacterial meningitis, and required life-saving blood transfusions during treatment at Children's Memorial Hospital. Due to the JW Parents refusal to consent to those transfusions, a hearing was held which named a hospital administrator as the Jason Harvey's guardian, along with authority to consent to the necessary transfusions. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BABY GIRL SOWELL was a 1974 Pennsylvania court decision. In July 1974, Donald Sowell and Sheila Sowell delivered a newborn daughter with Rh factor problems at Crozier-Chester Medical Center. The Sowells refused to consent to necessary exchange transfusions, so the hospital sought and obtained emergency court intervention. When asked to comment on the case, the Sowells refused until they could meet with the Philadelphia attorney they had already retained. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE ROBERT DANIEL HARSHBERGER was a 1974 Arkansas court decision. In February 1974, Robert D. Harshberger was born to Jehovah's Witness Parents, Robert Harshberger, age 27, and Rebecca Harshberger, age 19. Due to unexpected Rh factor problems, one or more exchange transfusions were needed for the newborn to survive. The JW Parents refused to consent -- stating that they would rather have him resurrected than lost for all eternity. (Per WatchTower beliefs, a "wrong" decision by the parents would not penalize the child, so for whose lives were the JW Parents concerned?) An unidentified Little Rock hospital sought and obtained court intervention. The baby was temporarily placed in the custody of a second judge who would consent to all medical care needed to save the child's life.

ALABAMA v. ROBERT DANIEL HARSHBERGER. In November 2010, Robert Daniel Harshberger, age 36, and his wife, Kasondra Kay (Strickland) Harshberger, age 22, both of Enterprise, Alabama, were arrested and charged with first-degree manufacturing of methamphetamine and drug trafficking. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE ALVIN WEAVER was a 1974 Pennsylvania court decision. Alvin Weaver, age 22, was an epileptic retardee, who lived with his Jehovah's Witness Mother, Florence Springfield, and her husband, James Springfield, age 55. The stepfather stabbed his stepson in a fight between the two, and Alvin Weaver died. The stepfather claimed self-defense. He claimed that his physically-large mentally-handicapped stepson was prone to unprovoked attacks. A jury still convicted James Springfield of manslaughter. Florence Springfield refused to consent to a necessary blood transfusion for her son. Court intervention was obtained, but the initiator is unknown. Probably the hospital. Stepfather possible. Regardless, Alvin Weaver died before it could be administered.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE SARAH H. PANKAU was a 1974 California court decision. In July 1974, Jehovah's Witness GrandFather Bradley Orr (wife, Vivian Orr), and his married daughter Catherine Louise Pankau (husband, Harlan William Pankau), ABDUCTED Cathy Pankau's 5 day-old daughter, Sarah Pankau, from San Diego's Paradise Valley Hospital to prevent the administration of a court-ordered blood transfusion. The baby girl had been born with bilirubinemia, which reportedly caused crystalline pigments in the bile, urine and blood, which in turn could result in brain damage. Police reported that none of the Jehovah's Witness relatives would cooperate in the manhunt for the KIDNAPPED baby. Three weeks later, Bradley Orr, Vivian Orr, Catherine Pankau, and Harlan Paukau brought Sarah Pankau before a juvenile court judge, along with an affidavit from a WatchTower Cult sanctioned doctor which alleged that the baby was in good health. The outstanding court order was dropped, and typically, none of the JW Criminals were prosecuted, nor made to pay restitution to the police department, courts, state and county welfare agencies, etc.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE AUBREY RUSSELL CONNER JR was a 1974 Texas court decision. In October 1974, 12 year-old Aubrey Conner Jr., his Jehovah's Witness Father, Aubrey Sr, and two probable JW friends who preferred not to identify themselves, were out bird hunting. While standing in the back of a moving pickup truck, Aubrey's 20 gauge shotgun somehow discharged into one of his armpits; nearly severing that arm. Whatever was done at Shannon West Texas Memorial Hospital - save the arm or save the life - blood transfusions were needed. The JW Parents refused consent, so court intervention was sought and obtained. The boy's life was preserved, and the arm stood a chance.
 
However, the JW IDIOTS were all running around as usual, getting in the way of people actually accomplishing something, and spewing both biblical and legal nonsense. One JW FOOL and local Elder, named St. Clair, who would not even give his first name, stated, "Life is in the blood. which is sacred, and should not be used as a means of living - as a food." [huh??]  Elder St. Clair also stated that the Judges had invaded the Conner's personal rights, and "if it were my son, I would do everything possible to bring THEM to JUSTICE." [I wish I had a time machine.]
 
Apparently, the local news media did these local JWs a favor, and did not report everything that happened at the hospital. Maybe the local grapevine had already done the job, but the news article simply mentions that THREE POLICE OFFICERS were stationed at the hospital after the parents "objected" to the transfusions. The Conner family evidently was one of means and local influence. The family was able to get the court-ordered guardianship lifted, and Aubrey Conner Jr. was transferred via private airplane to East Town Osteopathic Hospital, in Dallas, which at that time was cooperating with JWs and their refusal to accept blood transfusions. (Search on "East Town Osteopathic" in other summaries.)
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE JODY BOSSERT and IN RE JOHN BOSSERT were related 1974 Michigan court decisions. Jody, age 14, and John, age 10, had already been the victims of a nasty Jehovah's Witness divorce in 1965 between Edward Bossert and Jean Bossert, who had physical custody of the two boys. In August 1974, the two Bossert brothers and three other neighborhood children were using gasoline to clean up paint brushes in Jean Bossert's Pontiac, Michigan basement, when one of those five children lit a match, which ignited the gasoline vapors, resulting in all five children being seriously burned - killing one almost instantly.
 
John was eventually treated at University Hospital, and Jody was treated at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Jean Bossert refused to consent to needed blood transfusions for either boy, so Edward Bossert sought intervention from the family court, which was obtained. The needed transfusions were administered, but overall outcome is unknown. John Bossert was not expected to survive.

This INCIDENT should ring a bell for the Judges in all those divorce cases who dismissed the non-JW parents' arguments that the blood transfusions issue is a REAL ISSUE. Even in cases where the court intervenes, who knows how much physical damage is done during the delay.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE THERESA THIGPEN was a 1974 California court decision. In June 1974, Jehovah's Witnesses, Danny Thigpen, age 24, and Carol Thigpen, age 23, of Oakland, California, were involved in a serious auto accident in which their 2 year-old daughter, Theresa Thigpen, received severe head injuries. The parents received only minor injuries, and refused to consent to blood transfusions needed for surgery to their daughter at San Leandro Memorial Hospital. Court intervention was sought and obtained, but Theresa Thigpen died only MINUTES before the court order was received.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE FRANK MOORE JR was a 1974 Ohio court decision. In August 1974, Frank Moore Jr., age 6, of Strongsville, Ohio, who lived with his divorced mother, Elsie Moore, was seriously injured when struck by an automobile. Transported to to Parma Community General Hospital, Moore received one blood transfusion in the ER due to head and abdominal injuries. When divorced JW Father, Frank Moore Sr., arrived, Senior raised cane about the blood transfusion. When it became apparent that Junior would need additional transfusions, hospital administrators sought and obtained court intervention.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE STEPHEN OWENS was a 1974 California court decision. In July 1974, Stephen Owens, age 9, of Los Angeles, was critically injured with a skull fracture when he was struck by an automobile. The boy's Jehovah's Witness Mother, Grace Owens, refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions. Officials at MLK Hospital sought and obtained court intervention. No transfusion was needed during the initial surgery. Outcome unknown, but prognosis was not good.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE GUY TALMADGE LACY and IN RE GUY LACY were two separate 1973 Florida and Texas court cases which both concerned the same Jehovah's Witness child. Talmadge Lacy was born to JW Mother, Nell Lacy, in August, 1973, with Rh factor issues which deemed a complete exchange of his blood using blood transfusions. When doctors at a Pensacola area hospital sought a court order to override the JW Parents refusal to give consent, the JW Father, Guy Lacy, ABDUCTED Guy Talmadge (their 4th child) from the hospital, and took him out-of-state to Gulfway General Hospital, in Houston, Texas, where a Jehovah's Witness Osteopath, named Kenneth Riggle, had treated other JW babies whose parents had ABDUCTED and KIDNAPPED their own children in efforts to avoid court-ordered blood transfusions in other states.
 
However, in this instance, the Texas welfare department was eventually  informed of what was going on, and the State sought and received guardianship and a court order, which also authorized the necessary blood transfusions, which ended up saving the baby's life. The Welfare Department moved the newborn to Jefferson Davis Hospital, where necessary transfusions were administered over a several week period -- both inpatient and out-patient, given that the child had been temporarily placed in foster care. Once the child was out of danger, he was returned to the custody of his loving parents.
 
Canadian Attorney Glenn Howe, flown in from the WatchTower Society's Canadian HQ, in addition to making several totally asinine statements, declared that the action of the Texas welfare department in looking out for the baby's welfare represented "a continued direction of animosity against a minority group by public officials."
 
Guy Lacy declared to the Texas court: "Blood cannot save a life, and no doctor's has ever been able to prove it." Lacy further stated that if the baby were to have died that no doctor could ever convince him that such was because the baby had not had the exchange transfusion. Lacy also stated to the Judge that he felt as if "he had no rights", and that the proceedings reminded him of the "Gestapo taking children".  [If I had been the Judge in those proceedings, I would have told Canadian Glen Howe that if the G-word came out of his client's mouth one more time, that he -- Howe -- would be cleaning Texas ditchlines for the next 30 days. Readers should not for an instant believe that rank-n-file JWs come up with such inflammatory catch-phrases as "Gestapo", and equating blood transfusions with "rape", on their own. Glen Howe was using the "rape" inflammatory as early as 1964, and he probably borrowed it from Hayden Covington. Some Judge with some backbone should put a stop to such courtroom shenanigans.]
 
Mrs. Guy Lacy told reporters that the Judge's decision was "evidence of the Jehovah's Witnesses PROPHECIES" that "we are living in the conclusion of a wicked system."
 
After this court case, the Harris County District Attorney announced that it was investigating Gulfway General Hospital for its growing reputation as"a nationally-known haven for Jehovah's Witnesses seeking an alternative to blood transfusions."  The investigation was initiated due to the testimony of Dr. Kenneth Riggle that at least two other out-of-state JW children, plus a third Texas JW baby, had died at Gulfway General Hospital within the past couple years. Riggle testified that Jehavah's Witness Parents who had newborns experiencing Rh factor issues came to Gulfway seeking a treatment called photo-therapy, which Riggle said involved "bathing the child in a fluorescent light," which penetrates the skin, and appears to neutralize the blood disorder. At a later hearing, Riggle stated that "less than ten" children had died in the past six years. (He couldn't even provide an exact death count.)
 
jw-jw-jw
 
GUY LACY and NELL LACY v. HARRIS COUNTY ET AL was a 1974 $6,000,000.00 federal lawsuit which this JW Couple filed against Harris County officials in Texas, and Escambia County officials in Florida. Outcome unknown, but predictable since it hasn't been heard from since filing.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE FRANCISCO RAMIREZ was a 1973 Texas court decision. Jehovah's Witness Parents, Mr/Mrs Martimiano Ramirez , of La Villa, Texas, brought their 11 year-old son, Francisco Ramirez, to Gulfway General Hospital, in Houston, Texas, presumably to be treated for bone cancer and its complications by fellow Jehovah's Witness, Dr. Kenneth Riggle. When the parents refused to consent to needed blood transfusions, and apparently neither the JW Doctor, nor Gulfway, would seek court intervention, someone notified the Harris County Welfare Dept, who sought temporary custody of the boy. A local court declared the JW child "neglected", and gave custody to the County, who then had the child transferred out of Gulfway to Ben Taub Hospital where needed transfusions were administered.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE JOHN VICTOR MARTINEZ III was a September 1973 California court decision which involved the 15-week premature newborn son of John Victor Martinez Sr. and Martha Lucille Martinez of Union City, California. Due to Rh factor issues, the baby's blood needed to be exchanged if there was to be any hope that he would survive. The parents refused to give their consent based on the family's WatchTower beliefs, so doctors at Hayward's Kaiser Hospital sought court authorization, which was granted. Hayward Police even took the newborn into protective custody to prevent him from being ABDUCTED and KIDNAPPED from the hospital. Mary Martinez, the baby's paternal grandmother, decried the court's action in violating "God's law", and remarked that the parents already had four children who did not need their blood exchanged, although she admitted one girl had been sickly, and a sixth baby (John Victor Martinez Jr.) had died at four months due to some other problem.
 
Two weeks later, local NITWIT Judge Douglas Riggs overturned the previous judge's decision and returned custody of the baby back to John Martinez and Martha Martinez, who refused to allow any further blood transfusions. Outcome unknown other than that the two JW Parents died the same day in 1981 -- apparently either an automobile accident or a murder-suicide (reason for this last speculation).
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BABY SAMUEL was an August 1973 California court decision. An unidentified JW newborn with Rh factor problems had to have court intervention to receive the needed exchange transfusion. The Judge that handled the Martinez case revealed this case to a reporter while discussing the Martinez case. The Judge informed the reporter that such Jehovah's Witness cases were so ROUTINE that the procedures were well established.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE MATTHEW SHEETER was a 1973 California court decision. In March 1973, Mr/Mrs Danne Sheeter took two year-old Matthew Sheeter to Oakland's Children's Hospital, where the child was initially diagnosed with severe anemia likely due to intestinal hemorrhaging. The Sheeters were told that surgery and blood transfusions would be needed to save the child's life, which they refused to consent to based on their WatchTower beliefs. The hospital sought police and judicial intervention. A Judge gave a verbal order for the Sheeters to give their consent, but they refused. The child was then placed in police protective custody, and the hospital was authorized to provide all necessary medical care. A police Captain told a reporter that the JW Parents were "relieved" once all the hoops had been jumped through, and provision had been made for their child's life to be spared. Fortunately, neither surgery nor transfusions were needed.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN THE MATTER OF LYNN C. DRUCKENMILLER was a 1973 Pennsylvania court decision. In January 1973, a male named Lynn Druckenmiller, age 13, of of Allentown, Pennsylvania, needed surgery at St. Luke's Hospital, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to correct congenital megacolon. His Jehovah's Witness Mother, Marilyn Druckenmiller, refused to give consent for blood transfusions during the surgery, or for the complications that developed afterward. Marilyn Druckenmiller's father, Lynn B. Burns, petitioned for court intervention. The grandfather was granted temporary custody and authorization to consent to all needed medical care. Outcome unknown. (Note: Marilyn Burns Druckenmiller is believed to have been "converted" to the WatchTower Cult while living with her military husband, William J. Druckenmiller, while he was stationed in Japan during the late 1950s. Military readers should be aware that the WatchTower Cult has for decades TARGETED AND PREYED ON LONELY MILITARY WIVES stationed far from family and friends.)
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN THE MATTER OF ELIZABETH ROSSI was an early 1970s California court decision. Sometime prior to September 1973, when this case was finally revealed to the public, Jehovah's Witness Parents Gary Rossi and Jan Rossi, of Los Angeles County, California, refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their newborn daughter, Elizabeth Rossi, who was suffering from anemia. Multiple blood transfusions were court-ordered administered to Elizabeth Rossi over a several week period, but apparently as soon as Gary Rossi and Jan Rossi could remove the baby from that hospital, they did so. (It is not known under what legal circumstances such occurred. This may or may not have been a de facto "kidnapping".) They then took the by-then 7 week old baby from Los Angeles to Houston, Texas, to a Jehovah's Witness Osteopath, named Kenneth Riggle, who practiced at Gulfway General Hospital, and who was the "savior" of hundreds of JWs from across the United States. However, Kenneth Riggle later testified at a state investigation of his practice held in September 1973 that Elizabeth Rossi was practically dead when she arrived at Gulfway. Dr. Ken Riggle did nothing more than have Elizabeth Rossi placed under an oxygen tent while she waited to slowly die.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE VALERIE NORWOOD was a 1973 Indiana court decision. In March 1973, Valerie Norwood, age 17, was admitted to Indianapolis' Marion County General Hospital suffering from a life-threatening kidney infection and severe anemia. Mr/Mrs Ernest Norwood refused to consent to the blood transfusion that the hospital deemed that Valerie needed, so court intervention was obtained. The local court took temporary custody of the teenager, and authorized all necessary medical care. But, as Mrs. Norwood pointed out to a reporter, they nor their daughter were responsible for violating WatchTower Cult rules, since the transfusion was court-ordered. HALFWIT JW Elder John Johnson appeared during the legal proceeding spouting the typical WatchTower Cult nonsense that has zero bearing on the purpose of that legal hearing.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
APPLICATION OF MILWAUKEE COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL was a 1973 Wisconsin court decision. A newborn infant of unidentified Jehovah's Witnesses Parents, born on September 20, 1973, was suffering from complications from negative Rh factor blood. When doctors at Milwaukee County General Hospital informed the Jehovah's Witnesses Parents that their newborn would need a series of exchange blood transfusions, the parents refused to give their consent. The hospital petitioned a the local county court for guardianship. An emergency hearing was held crib-side, where a judge declared the infant "neglected", and authorized all necessary medical care to save the infant's life. After receiving the needed transfusions, the baby was released to its parents a week later.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE KENNETH GISINGER was a 1973 Ohio court decision. In May 1973, Kenneth Gisinger, age 5, and his unidentified Jehovah's Witness Mother, of Wooster, Ohio, were involved in a serious auto accident. Blood transfusions were needed to save Kenneth Gisinger's life, but his JW Mother refused to consent. Akron's Children's Hospital sought and obtained court intervention. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
BYRD FAMILY OF MORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA. In the 1960s and early 1970s, a family of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the Morristown, Pennsylvania area, whose last name was "Byrd", lost five or more newborns to Rh factor complications. In/around 1972-3, they somehow were able to transport a newborn all the way to Gulfway General Hospital in Houston, Texas by the time the newborn was only three days old. All of this seems to indicate that these JWs were using a midwife; otherwise, there would have been legal intervention. That fifth child died the day after it arrived in Houston, after Jehovah's Witness osteopath, Dr. Kenneth Riggle, tried to cure the Rh factor problem with UV light therapy.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE HEATHER MARIE BERGERON was a 1972 Kentucky court decision. Mrs. William Bergeron, of Newport, Kentucky, delivered a baby daughter, Heather Marie Bergeron, in October 1972 at a Fort Thomas, Kentucky hospital. Due to Rh factor complications, doctors deemed that blood transfusions were necessary to do a complete blood exchange. The Jehovah's Witness Parents refused to give their consent, so the hospital sought and obtained court authorization to provide the baby girl with all necessary medical attention, including blood transfusions.
 
However, while the hospital was jumping through the legal hoops, William Bergeron snatched the newborn from its crib in the maternity ward, pushed a nurse from blocking his exit, and ran from the hospital with multiple staff and doctors in pursuit. As Bergeron loaded the newborn into his car, one of the pursuers attempted to removed the car's distributor wiring. However, Bergeron managed to start his car, and nearly hit some of his pursuers getting away. (No criminal charges were pursued.) Thereafter, William Bergeron took the newborn to Gulfway General Hospital, in Houston, Texas, where a Jehovah's Witness Osteopath, named Kenneth B. Riggle, promised to treat the baby without any transfusions. Outcome unknown.
 
Typically, a summary of this case published on a Jehovah's Witness webpage mentions nothing of the ABDUCTION and KIDNAPPING, but rather states that when the Kentucky hospital sought legal intervention to perform the blood exchange that Bergeron "TRANSFERRED" his newborn daughter to another hospital. That webpage goes on to boast how Kenneth Riggle was able to treat the child using UV light therapy. [See comments elsewhere in this section where Kenneth Riggle and his UV light therapy treatments to cure Rh factor problems, and resulting deaths of JW children, were investigated by the state of Texas. Kenneth Riggle eventually moved to another state where he maintained a much lower public profile.]
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE JASON SHIPLEY was a May 1972 Nebraska court decision. Jason Shipley was born two months premature at St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. The baby had a deformed esophagus, and would die without corrective surgery. The baby's Jehovah's Witness Parents, Mr/Mrs Kent Shipley, ages 19, refused to grant permission for blood transfusions needed to perform the emergency surgery -- calling blood transfusions "a direct sin against God". A local judge granted doctors legal custody, and authorized necessary blood transfusions. Emergency surgery was performed as soon as the court order was received, but three day-old Jason Shipley did not survive.
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE NEWBORN GARCIA and IN RE INFANT GARCIA were related 1972 Texas court decisions. In February 1972, a Jehovah's Witness couple named Oscar Garcia and Hermelinda Garcia delivered a baby which had a spinal deformity. When the Jehovah's Witness Parents refused to consent to a blood transfusion, if needed, Bexar County's Green Hospital sought court authorization. Fortunately, no transfusion was needed in the February surgery. However, when a second surgery was needed in March, the parents again forced the hospital and the courts to go to the time, trouble, and expense of obtaining a second court order.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BABY BOY GIGLIOTTI and RHODE ISLAND v. PETER GIGLIOTTI were related 1972 Rhode Island court decisions. On/about June 1972, Providence's Womens and Infants Hospital was forced to seek and obtain court intervention when Mr/Mrs Peter Gigliotti refused to consent to blood transfusions needed by their newborn son. Thereafter, Peter Gigliotti attempted to physically prevent hospital staff from administering a blood transfusion to his newborn son. Gigliotti took the bookbag all JWs are known to carry and broke out the window glass to the locked door which prevented him from entering the operating room where his son was receiving the transfusion. Two doctors were able to prevent Gigliotti from interfering until Police arrived and arrested him. Gigliotti was convicted of malicious mischief, and threatened to appeal. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE TEXAS MALE MINOR. In November 1972, an unidentified 12 year-old boy in El Paso, Texas, was admitted to an El Paso hospital to have unspecified emergency surgery on his nose. The unidentified Jehovah's Witness Mother, supposedly a divorcee, refused to consent to blood transfusions, and the father's whereabouts were unknown, so the hospital sought and obtained court intervention.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN THE MATTER OF KEVIN SAMPSON was a 1970-71 New York appellate decision. Kevin Sampson was the 15 year old son of Mildred Sampson, a Jehovah's Witness. Kevin Sampson suffered from extensive neurofibromatosis or "Von Recklinghausen's disease", which had caused a massive deformity of the right side of his face and neck. The outward manifestation of the disease is a large fold or flap of an overgrowth of facial tissue which causes the whole cheek, the corner of his mouth, and right ear to drop down giving him an appearance which can only be described as grotesque and repulsive. The disease had not yet progressed to a point where his vision had been affected or his hearing impaired.  However, the massive deformity of the entire right side of his face and neck was so gross and so disfiguring that it exerted a most negative effect upon his personality development, his opportunity for education and later employment, and upon every phase of his relationship with his peers and others.
 
Kevin had been exempted from school since 1964 due to his facial disfigurement. Although various tests administered by school authorities showed him to be intellectually capable of being educated and trained to a reasonable level of self-sufficiency, he was, at 15 years of age, a virtual illiterate(The court failed to comment on why his mother had not "home schooled" Kevin - something that JW parents do quite often. Or, why had the JWs not taught him the basics in their "Theocratic Ministry School", of which, they never miss an opportunity to boast.  Did the JWs discriminate against Kevin because of his disfigurement with regard to the JWs' five meetings per week?  Was he allowed to participate in field service?)
 
From all the information made available to the court as the result of extended hearings and various reports, particularly those supplied by those educators who have become familiar with the pattern of Kevin's development, or the lack thereof, the conclusion was inescapable that the marked facial disfigurement from which Kevin suffered constituted such an overriding limiting factor militating against his future development that unless some constructive steps were taken to alleviate his condition, his chances for a normal, useful life were virtually nil. The unanimous recommendation of all those who had dealt with the many problems posed by Kevin's affliction - educators, psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians and surgeons - was that steps be taken to correct the condition through surgery. It was conceded, however, that insofar as Kevin's health and his life was concerned, this was not a necessary operation. The disease posed no immediate threat to his life, nor had it as yet seriously affected his general health. Moreover, the corrective surgery would not cure him of the disease. In fact, there was no known cure.
 
However, the surgery could not be performed without substantial risk. Dr. Hoffmeister testified: "I think it's a dangerous procedure. I think it involves considerable risk. It's a massive surgery of six to eight hours duration with great blood loss. This is a risky surgical procedure." When asked if the risk would be much above average he replied, "much, much, much." The surgeon repeatedly emphasized the surgery risk in operating on this patient "even with blood."

Without permission to administer blood transfusions the risk became totally unacceptable. Dr. Hoffmeister testified: "I think the loss of blood would be so extensive, that I personally would not dare to undertake such a procedure having only plasma expanders at my disposal." The surgeons were adamant in their refusal to operate upon Kevin unless they had permission to use blood and to administer during the surgery such blood transfusions as the patient's condition required.
 
The Commissioner of Health of Ulster County brought a "neglect" proceeding, charging that Kevin Sampson was "neglected" by reason of the failure of his mother, Mildred Sampson to provide him with proper medical and surgical care. Mildred Sampson was not opposed to having the recommended surgery performed upon her son. However, because she was a Jehovah's Witnesses, she steadfastly refused to give her consent to the administration of any blood transfusions during the course of the surgery, without which the proposed surgery could not be performed. The county government even offered to pay all expenses connected with the operation. The trial court ruled in favor of the Commissioner's petition, and New York's appellate and supreme courts affirmed.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

MANSLAUGHTER OR MURDER?

IN THE MATTER OF TANYA E. McDOUGALD I was a 1971 Nebraska court decision. In June 1971, 15 year old Tanya E. McDougald of Omaha, Nebraska was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital due to an ulcerated colon. When informed that Tanya's surgery would possibly require the administering of blood transfusions, Tanya's mother, Mrs. George McDougald, informed doctors that she, Shirley McDougald, and her daughter were Jehovah's Witnesses, and that neither would consent to blood transfusions, because "Taking blood into the body is sinful." [This JW Family obviously had never eaten any meat, poultry, or fish, in their entire lives.]  Shirley McDougald professed, "If Jehovah God made you, and made you live, He surely can protect you from death." If Tanya died, "It's His will." Administrators at St. Joseph Hospital proceeded to petition a local court for guardianship and authority to administer necessary medical treatment. The petition was granted, but for what appears to be a mysterious reason, Tanya McDougald was released by St. Joseph Hospital, with a statement that she had "recovered".

IN THE MATTER OF TANYA E. McDOUGALD II was a second related 1971 court decision, but it is suspected to have occurred in a different state. In November 1971, George McDougald and/or Shirley McDougald took their 16 year-old daughter, Tanya McDougald, to an unidentified different hospital for Tanya's continuing ulcerated colon problem. That hospital also deemed that treatment would possibly require the administering of blood transfusions, and that hospital also sought and obtained authorization to administer blood transfusions if needed during surgery.

Tanya McDougald died due to "complications from a ruptured colon" at an unidentified Omaha hospital in December 1971. Does anyone doubt that her JW Parents also had pulled her out of, or ran from, that second hospital, only a few weeks prior to her death???

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw

IN RE BORTER TRIPLETS was a 1971 Wisconsin court decision. In October 1971, the wife of Edward Borter delivered triplets at Madison's St. Mary's Medical Center. One baby was stillborn, and the surviving boy and girl required blood transfusions to live. As devout Jehovah's Witnesses, both parents refused to give their consent -- forcing the hospital to seek and obtain court authorization. Curiously, just three weeks later Ed Borter had two fingers mangled in a farming accident, which gave him the opportunity to again refuse the eventually unneeded blood transfusion.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE AARON WASHBURN was a 1971 Texas court decision. In November 1971, Aaron Washburn, age 16, of Dallas, Texas, was seriously injured in a head-on motorcycle-truck accident. When Aaron and his Jehovah's Witness Parents, Mr/Mrs Vernon Washburn, refused to consent to blood transfusions, doctors at the unidentified Dallas hospital that provided the initial emergency care sought court intervention. A local juvenile court judge declared Aaron "neglected" and gave temporary custody to the county welfare department with authorization to consent to all necessary medical treatment.

At the mandatory followup hearing, that same juvenile court judge was confronted by a number of local JWs arguing against his initial decision, including a local Osteopath named Dr. W. E. Winslow. [This same JW Doctor is mentioned in other similar cases in this website, so readers should "find" and read those cases so as to understand who was and what was that JW doctor.] That group of JWs was able to convince the judge to rescind his initial order. Once that was accomplished, Aaron Washburn was apparently moved to East Town Osteopathic Hospital, where Winslow practiced.
 
Forty days after the accident, and long enough to make sure that Aaron Washburn survived Winslow's experiments, the JW Machine found an AP reporter who would write a puff piece the JWs so badly needed on this issue. Declaring the Washburn Case to be a combination legal-medical victory, the news article described the court victory that I have outlined, plus it described how Dr. Winslow was able to perform "a TOTAL of seven hours of operations on the boy without blood." You guessed it, the news article never tells how many operations it took Winslow to perform what even Winslow described as "tightrope surgery". It is no telling how much additional expense that all this additional meticulous medical care cost someone, and you can bet it was not Washburn's parents. It should have been obvious to even the most idealistic reader that the real world cannot afford to spend so great an amount of time, energy, resources, and money on any single individual; no matter how much our society values the individual. Given that, our society certainly cannot afford to single out an entire group of people who are entitled to receive such medical care.
 
But none of those observations were the most significant flaw that I spotted in the news article. In fact, Aaron Washburn received emergency care at the first hospital under the initially granted court order which authorized blood transfusions. Nowhere in the article does it confirm or deny whether Washburn did or did not receive one or more blood transfusions during his emergency room treatment and the one, two, or three days that he stayed in that first hospital prior to being transferred to Winslow's care. It was that time period during which replacement of blood lost in the accident was most crucial. Thereafter, all Winslow had to worry about was blood loss during the followup surgery(s). Typical WatchTower Cult HALF-TRUTHS.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE STEVEN DELANDER. In July 1970, a Fremont, California boy named, Steven Delander, age 8, was struck by an automobile while riding his bicycle on the city street. Taken to Washington Hospital, he was in critical condition, with head injuries, internal bleeding, and a crushed leg. Doctors told the boy's mother, Diane Wells, that Steven would need a blood transfusion in conjunction with the necessary surgical procedures. Based on her WatchTower beliefs about blood transfusions, Diane Wells refused to consent not only to blood transfusions, but also any surgery period, evidently afraid that once the doctors started operating that they would administer a transfusion if circumstances dictated. After two hours delay, Wells finally consented to the surgery.
 
Following the surgery, Steve Delander was listed in fair condition. Curiously, the hospital made a special point to the reporter that no transfusions had been administered despite a three-ring-circus between the police department and the courts prior to the surgery, in which noone appeared to know what they were doing. However, afterwards, the hospital indicated that they well knew what legal procedures to follow in such circumstances. Either someone goofed in this case, or the media was being told merely what the hospital wanted reported. 1970 was too late a date for a California hospital not to know how to handle JWs and JW Elders.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
IN RE BABY GIRL VAUGHAN was a 1970 New Jersey court decision. When Mr/Mrs Gregory Vaughan, of Trenton, New Jersey, refused to consent to exchange transfusions needed by their prematurely born daughter, due to their WatchTower beliefs, the unidentified hospital sought and obtained court intervention in order to save the newborn's life. Outcome unknown.
 
jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw
 
BABY GIRL DeWAAL KIDNAPPING. A Canadian case sufficiently outrageous enough to post here is that of Baby Girl Dewaal. In March 1970, a Jehovah's Witness, named Lynne Dewaal, gave birth to a baby girl at Smith Falls, Ontario. When it became known that the newborn needed a blood transfusion, the JW Mother refused to permit such. However, the non-JW Father, Antonius Dewaal was agreeable, and with his cooperation, the Children's Aid Society transferred the newborn to Kingston General Hospital, where the transfusions would be administered. However, several of Lynne Dewaal's fellow JWs (unclear whether she accompanied them given that she had given birth only three days previous) traveled to Kingston General Hospital, and while several distracted hospital staff, others grabbed the newborn from the hospital nursery and fled. Outcome unknown, but apparently Canadian law was/is so disorganized on this topic that no criminal charges were pursued.

jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw                     jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw-jw


2000s Cases 1990s Cases 1980s Cases 1960s Cases 1950s Cases


<<<------PREVIOUS PAGE----------HOME PAGE----------NEXT PAGE ------>>>

MATURE MINORS UNBORN CHILDREN PARENTAL OBLIGATIONS ADULT CHILDREN