Right to Body Autonomy
And if you haven't already, do head on over here and have a gander. It would be most amusing to see if the power of the blogs compels you, I mean works in mysterious ways. Also it would mean a lot to Gimmie.
Twenty major has a post up yesterday about a Jehovah's Witness who has taken an action against the Coombe Women's Hospital. She has brought them to court for giving her a blood transfusion against her will. The woman a 24-year-old French-speaking woman, known as Ms K said she believed a blood transfusion was a transgression of "an order from God'' and she was "prepared to die'' for her faith.
It's a messy case to begin with, the woman, an asylum seeker, initially lied to the hospital about her husband's whereabouts, leading the hospital to conclude she was the only biological parent to her newly born child.
But either way, one thing seems to be clear, she was-despite losing 80 percent of her blood- adamant she did not want a transfusion and the Coombe rode roughshod over her wishes.
Now I understand the befuddlement and consternation involved here. She was probably going to die and she didn't probably as a result of her treatment. It might seem totally off the charts for us to comprehend a woman who will willingly die because some religious book has a rather broad anti-blood message, but surely this has got nothing to do with the actual case at hand.
This woman was 24 years old, an adult. It must surely be up to her to accept or refuse medical assistance.
What if I went into hospital and was told I had breast cancer, and the only hope of my survival was the removal of my breasts. What if, after I declined for some reason they went ahead, drugged me and removed both breasts. Would I have a case against the hospital? Of course I would, it's my body I have the right to refuse treatment.
As far as I can see this case is no different, as unpalatable as it might seem to watch a young mother die because of a religious belief, we must accept that it is her belief and her right to follow it.
She might seem ungrateful, and I don't really understand any woman prepared to die and choose a religion over watching her child grow up, but there you go. I'm not her. But I could be. And as such I want my rights to decide what to do with my own body respected.
The Coombe-in my opinion- completely overstepped its boundaries in this case.
What do you think?
Labels: blood trumps rights