Patients reject blood transfusion

The Star, Kenya/April 25, 2012

Two members of the Jehovah Witness denomination admitted to hospital because of severe anemia have refused to undergo a blood transfusion saying it is against their faith's teachings.

Susan Wakio Mwangi, 27, and 68-year-old Martha Wanjiku were taken to hospital after they fell ill. Doctors recommended that they have a blood transfusion but they refused.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible prohibits ingesting blood and that Christians should therefore not accept blood transfusions or donate or store their own blood for transfusion. In cases where a member is required to have a transfusion, they are expected to insist on non-blood alternatives. Any member who willingly accepts a blood transfusion—even in a life or death situation— is liable for expulsion from the religion.

Yesterday, doctors at the hospital said they were giving the two women drugs which will stimulate the production of red blood cells. However, they are concerned since the two are severely anemic need a blood transfusion to save their lives.

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