Pennsylvania judge says inmate can refuse blood transfusion

Asscociated Press/October 7, 2009

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - A judge says the state of Pennsylvania cannot force a seriously ill prison inmate to undergo a blood transfusion - even if it could save his life.

In a ruling made public Wednesday, Commonwealth Court Judge Keith B. Quigley said inmate Anthony Lindsey's wishes must be respected under the First Amendment.

Lindsey suffers from a serious kidney ailment. A doctor at the Laurel Highlands state prison says the 37-year-old prisoner is in imminent danger of dying if he does not have a transfusion.

Lindsey says he refuses to allow a transfusion because it violates his religious beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness. He is serving a 13- to 36-year sentence for drug trafficking.

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