A very interesting piece that describes how modern medicine and the law has bumped up against religious beliefs.
For years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ fiercely held belief that blood transfusions are contrary to God’s will led to emotional and very public disputes, hospitals clashing with parents over whether to infuse sick children.
That long history of messy legal confrontations appears to be vanishing, however, amid changing approaches to the issue on both sides, health-care officials say.
The church’s ban on accepting blood still stands, but some major pediatric hospitals have begun officially acknowledging the parents’ unorthodox beliefs, while many Jehovah’s Witnesses are signing letters recognizing that doctors may sometimes feel obliged to transfuse, they say.
As institutions show more respect toward parents’ faith and try harder not to use blood, Witnesses often seem eager to avoid involving child-welfare authorities to facilitate transfusions, and more accepting that Canadian case law is firmly on the doctors’ side, some hospital officials say.
The gist of the article is that legal fights have weakened the religious position. Medical authorities will take the issue to a judge without hesitation if the procedure is necessary. And they win temporary custody. The Jehovah Witness followers who face this choice seem more adamant that the procedure not be REVEALED than worried about having it done and causing eternal damnation. This represents some erosion of traditional belief that hurts people. A step in the right direction.