Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The pregnant Jehovah's Witness.
  1. N C Drew


    The prospect of dealing with a rapidly and inexorably bleeding patient fills most medical practitioners with alarm. When that patient is a Jehovah's Witness, the knowledge that a blood transfusion is likely to be refused turns that alarm into a state of acute anxiety and conflict. This state is further heightened when the patient is young and otherwise healthy--a situation found particularly in obstetric practice with the occurrence of ante- and post-partum haemorrhage, and ectopic pregnancy. In the last 25 years in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there has been one maternal death in which the refusal to accept a blood transfusion has been considered to be an avoidable factor. In this article I have attempted to identify the magnitude of the problem in obstetric practice and have sought to clarify the moral and legal aspects.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.