Worldwide Reports

Ethical Considerations in Medical Treatment to Jehovah's Witnesses

Cardemil GH | Acta Bioethica |
Hospital Clínico de la Universidad de Chile
Hospital Clínico de la Universidad de Chile - Santos Dumont, Independencia, Chile, Chile

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Abstract

Currently, it would be unthinkable to treat a patient without explaining him his complications and possible morbidity, without mentioning alternative treatments or, worst, oblige or deceive him giving treatment that he rejects.

The case of Jehovah’s Witnesses is worth considering. National and international experience show solid scientific base for the practicability of complex surgeries without the use of blood, some of them unthinkable years before.

The present article refers to some legal-ethical norms, Chilean as well as International, referring to the autonomy and non discriminating patients, and it shows the experience of the University of Chile Hospital Clinic that, since 1988, counts with a successful health care program for patients who do not wish blood transfusions.

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