Jehovah’s witness and blood transfusion

Jehovah’s witness and blood transfusion

Jehovah’s witness and blood transfusion

Please Reply to the following 2 Discussion posts:

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Jehovah’s witness and blood transfusion

​According to the article of (Rashid et al., 2021) More than 8.5 million people in the world observe the Jehovah’s Witness faith and require unique consideration for perioperative blood management as they generally refuse transfusion of blood and blood products.

Managing anemia and acute blood loss in critical patients has long been reliant on the judicious use of red blood cell transfusions. The primary goal of blood transfusion is the efficient delivery of oxygen to end organs, especially the brain. Provided that appropriate guidelines are followed, allogenic blood transfusions are considered a safe and effective therapeutic option. Some patients refuse or decline blood transfusions due to cultural and/or religious beliefs, with the most well-known being followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Sticco et al., 2019).

Jehovah’s witnesses oppose receiving blood transfusions based on religious grounds. This refusal raises complex medical, legal and ethical issues for the treating medical staff. In the past physicians attempted to force patients and children to accept transfusions when deemed medically necessary through the use of court orders. However, in recent years the threshold for blood transfusion has been gradually raised by medical experts as expressed in consensus guidelines, which means that Jehovah’s witnesses’ aversion to transfusion would have been partially justified medically (Sagy et al., 2017). Jehovah’s witness and blood transfusion

Although the courts have ruled that the decisions of competent adults must be respected, and healthcare providers have come to appreciate the need to care for the whole person-including respecting beliefs that may appear irrational or harmful-dealing with individual believers can still be a source of moral distress. The Watch Tower Society has done an admirable job of establishing hospital liaison committees to educate healthcare providers about its beliefs with regard to alternative, bloodless surgical procedures, and to support Jehovah’s Witness believers in navigating the healthcare system (Pullman, 2019).


Conflicts arise between cultural beliefs and delivering competent medical care which makes it challenging for the healthcare providers. In my opinion, as a healthcare provider, it is imperative to respect a person’s belief in their care. It is paramount that we acknowledge and accommodate their culture and beliefs.

Discussion post # 2 Kelly

Cultural Competence: as Simple as the Food We Eat

“Culture is a set of beliefs, values, and assumptions about life that are widely held among a group of people and is transmitted intergenerationally” (Stanhope p. 141 para 4).  In order to practice as an APRN, we need to be aware of the distinct cultural needs of others. We need to be able to view the patient separate from the culture we live in and be able to recognize the importance of what they require in order to accept our care. This goes beyond ethnicity, religion, or race. We also cannot make assumptions about someone’s culture. By failing to recognize the cultural differences in our patients, we may be undermining their healthcare unknowingly (Black 2017).

“APN’s frequently face a dual challenge: to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to culturally diverse populations and to do so in communities that are often socially and economically challenged” (Joel p. 300 para 6). If a patient in a care center is losing weight due to malnutrition or refuses to eat the food in a hospital due to cultural beliefs, the APN needs to view those beliefs and not judge the patient for choosing not to eat the food. Food can connect us across cultures, and generations. Food can connect us to our heritage and ethnicity but is not limited by it.

I was reminded of this for the last several months. A co-worker brought food every day for a church friend that was hospitalized because they believe the food prepared by strangers will not heal the body. A healthcare provider may interpret this as the refusal of care, or non-compliance. Recently during Hanukkah, my grandmother insisted on taking a brisket and potatoes latkes to her friend at the care center who refused to eat anything that was set before her. Her friend was losing weight and had stopped speaking English. When we went to visit, she ate well and conversed with my grandmother. The staff asked, “How did you get her to eat?” My grandmother stated, “I gave her what she needed.” Cultural competence requires systems that can personalize the needs of the population they serve. Being able to apply cultural knowledge is also being aware of how culture influences our health practices, dietary needs, our beliefs about food, and how we communicate our health belief needs (Marion 2017).

As nurses, and especially as APNs we will face challenges as our population continues to evolve and change. According to Leininger’s theory, we need to view the patient in the context of their culture, respect the culture of the patient and recognize the importance of its relationship of the culture within the nursing care we deliver (Joel 2018). She encouraged us to use creativity and find the cultural path that works best for our patients, while still being able to deliver care. Sometimes, all we have to do is make minor changes in the delivery to make major changes in the outcome.


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