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Transfus Med Rev. 2009 Jul;23(3):221-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tmrv.2009.03.004.

Guidelines for managing conscientious objection to blood transfusion.

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Japanese Joint Committee on Refusal of Blood Transfusion on Religious Grounds, Waseda Law School, Waseda University, Japan.


Parents sometimes deny their children blood transfusion because of their religious beliefs. The Japanese Joint Committee on the Refusal of Blood Transfusion on Religious Grounds asserts that the health and life of every child younger than 15 years should be guarded by the collective efforts of health, welfare, and advocacy institutions when a parent or guardian seeks to withhold transfusion therapy. Patients 18 years or older should receive treatment without transfusion after signing and submitting a "Certificate of Refusal Blood Transfusion and Exemption from Liability." For a patient younger than 18 years, but 15 years or older, essential transfusion can be performed if the patient or at least one guardian consents. Without patient's or guardian's consent, guidelines for patients 18 years or older shall apply. Health care providers should offer the best possible care that is consistent with a patient's age and competency.

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