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World News

Reprieve offered to Jehovah’s Witness

A Melbourne man who defied his wife’s and his church’s beliefs to save her life would only be taken back by the Jehovah’s Witnesses if he recanted his decision, a church minister said today.

The man won the right for doctors to give his desperately ill wife a blood transfusion on Tuesday, despite her signing a legally binding consent form that said she was not to receive any blood products.

The woman, 20, was in a coma after bleeding profusely when she developed complications after giving birth to her first child on Friday.

Jehovah’s Witness minister, Mr Peter Linke, said the man would be spoken to and welcomed back into the faith only if he agreed to abide by the group’s religious beliefs.

Members of the group who transgress its codes of behaviour are expelled, or “disfellowshipped”, and all other members of the congregation who wish to remain in good standing with the church are urged to totally reject that person to the extent of regarding them as dead. This includes close family members.

Jehovah’s Witnesses view blood as sacred and, based on a text in The Bible, believe God has forbidden humans from ingesting it in any form.

Article taken from – Australian Associated Press

February 26th 1998.

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