Anaesthesia and peri-operative care for Jehovah’s Witnesses and patients who refuse blood | Association of Anaesthetists
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Anaesthesia and peri-operative care for Jehovah’s Witnesses and patients who refuse blood

Summary 

There are approximately 8.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses and around 150,000 live in Great Britain and Ireland. Based on their beliefs and core values, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood component transfusion (including red cells, plasma and platelets). They regard non-consensual transfusion as a physical violation. Consent to treatment is at the heart of these guidelines, which cover: 

  • Refusal of treatment by an adult with capacity
  • The reasons why a patient might refuse transfusion
  • The implications of refusing a transfusion
  • The processes and products that are deemed acceptable or unacceptable to Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • What to do when the patient is a child