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What are the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses within the emergency department?
Jehovah’s Witnesses of all ages who present to emergency departments requiring blood transfusion continue to pose significant ethical and legal dilemmas for clinicians. This arises from the perceived conflict between the clinician’s professional obligation and the legal rights of the patient.
Sarah Woolley’s paper in this issue presents a lucid, well thought through, and carefully researched discussion of these issues that is relevant for all emergency care clinicians; and includes some more detailed information about the legal position in the United Kingdom.1
The key issues highlighted by Woolley are:
the rights of adult and child Jehovah’s Witnesses requiring urgent transfusion