A 14-year-old boy from Seattle died last week after a judge ruled that he did have the right to refuse a blood transfusion. Doctors had predicted that Dennis Lindberg, who was suffering from leukemia, would have a 70 per cent chance of surviving the next five years if he underwent a transfusion.
In a hearing last Wednesday, Skagit County Superior Court Judge John Meyer ruled that Lindberg's decision was his own: "I don't believe Dennis' decision is the result of any coercion. He is mature and understands the consequences of his decision... I don't think Dennis is trying to commit suicide. This isn't something Dennis just came upon, and he believes with the transfusion he would be unclean and unworthy."
However the boy's birth parents, who do not have custody, believe their son was influenced by his Jehovah's Witness aunt. They had hoped Dennis would have the transfusion, and attended the hearing last week.