Two of the most ethically complex situations in pediatrics are those involving families whose religious beliefs preclude the provision of life-sustaining treatment and those involving young adults who have reached the age of legal majority and who face decisions about life-sustaining treatment. This month’s “Ethics Rounds” presents a case in which these 2 complexities overlapped. An 18-year-old Jehovah’s Witness with sickle cell disease has life-threatening anemia. She is going into heart failure. Her doctors urgently recommend blood transfusions. The young woman and her family adamantly refuse. Should the doctors let her die? Is there any alternative?
A Young Adult Jehovah’s Witness With Severe Anemia
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
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Nnenna Ukachi, Wynne Morrison, Samantha VanHorn, Revathy Sundaram, John D. Lantos; A Young Adult Jehovah’s Witness With Severe Anemia. Pediatrics September 2013; 132 (3): 547–551. 10.1542/peds.2013-0503
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