Reflections on Cultural Preferences and Internal Medicine: The Case of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Changing Thresholds for Blood Transfusions

Iftach Sagy, Alan Jotkowitz, Leonid Barski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Jehovah’s witnesses oppose receiving blood transfusions based on religious grounds. This refusal raises complex medical, legal and ethical issues for the treating medical staff. In the past physicians attempted to force patients and children to accept transfusions when deemed medically necessary through the use of court orders. However, in recent years the threshold for blood transfusion has been gradually raised by medical experts as expressed in consensus guidelines, which means that Jehovah’s witnesses’ aversion to transfusion would have been partially justified medically. This article will further discuss these current trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-738
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blood aversion
  • Blood transfusion
  • Hemoglobin threshold
  • Jehovah’s witness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)
  • Religious studies

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