Blood decision backed
MONTREAL — Anyone has the right to refuse a blood transfusion, even if it means certain death, says a Quebec coroner who studied the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two Jehovah’s Witnesses who had recently given birth.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe ingesting blood goes against their beliefs and that they should not accept transfusions or donate their own blood.
“Every person in Quebec has this freedom of choice,” coroner Luc Malouin said in his report, which was made public Tuesday. “This freedom has been exercised here in accordance with the rules of law. It is up to everyone to make their choices and to fully assume the consequences.”
Eloise Dupuis, 27, of Ste-Marguerite, died of multiple organ failure resulting from hemorrhagic shock on Oct. 12, 2016, just seven days after giving birth to her first child.
She had been transferred to hospital in Levis from a birthing centre after complications, but had said from the start she’d refuse blood products or transfusions. A note in her medical file said she told medical staff she’d prefer to die rather than receive blood products.