Leukaemia in children of Jehovah's Witnesses: issues and priorities in a conflict of care.


Throughout this paper PJ Kearney attempts to balance the risks and benefits of different approaches in paediatric oncology. Decisions have to be considered both in the short and the long term. Where religious beliefs, such as those held by Jehovah's Witnesses in relation to blood transfusions, conflict with normal medical practice the decision is often removed from the doctor, parents or patient to the courts. This sort of solution can be counter-productive, especially as good health care and subsequent recovery rely, to a large extent, on good relationships between and among the parties concerned. Destruction of these relationships, for whatever reason, often has a detrimental effect on the patient, in whose best interest everyone believes they are acting.

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