A mother died in a Shropshire hospital after refusing a blood transfusion when complications set in following the birth of her twins. Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden from having blood transfusions, meaning doctors were powerless to save 22-year-old Emma Gough.
Terry Lovejoy, a spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Telford, said: "We share the family's very real grief".
Of course, he failed to acknowledge the completely avoidable nature of a death that leaves the newborn twins without a mother. Not that the doctors would have been wise to intervene. Across the Irish Sea, Dublin's Coombe Women's Hospital is currently pursuing a case against a Jehovah's Witness who has threatened to sue the hospital after she was given a blood transfusion following massive blood-loss during childbirth. The woman, who had lost 80% of her blood, told the court the transfusion was "like a rape". The hospital says it was only informed of the woman's objections "through a friend" who was also a Jehovah's Witness, and claims "constitutional rights to freedom of conscience and free practice of religion do not extend to enabling her to decline appropriate medical treatment."
Update: I've closed comments on this post as I keep having to moderate long, nonsensical comments which seem to contain long swathes of quotes from web pages, rather than original statements.