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Urgent blood transfusion required for Jehovah’s Witness

Personal Injury Compensation

Urgent blood transfusion required for Jehovah’s Witness

Re PW (Jehovah’s Witness: Validity of Advance Decision) [2021] EWCOP 52

A number of cases concerning the refusal of blood transfusions by Jehovah’s Witnesses have been reported over recent decades, and a common theme is the issue of whether the patient has capacity to make the decision. In the case outlined here there was an issue concerning the validity of an advance direction made by an elderly patient to refuse treatment. Although the advance directive refusing life-sustaining treatment met the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and was applicable to the proposed treatment, the Trust treating the patient, with the support of the family, established on the balance of probabilities that the advance directive was invalid because the patient had done something which was clearly inconsistent with the advance decision remaining her fixed decision.

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