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Am J Kidney Dis. 2011 Oct;58(4):647-53. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.05.030. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

When a patient refuses life-saving care: issues raised when treating a Jehovah's Witness.

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Yale Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8029, USA.


Patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses frequently cross the path of nephrologists when they are acutely ill in the intensive care unit and stable in the long-term setting. It is important that we as a group have a rudimentary understanding of their philosophy about blood transfusion so that we can be proactive in their management. We use a case as a launching point to discuss the origins of the faith and the decision to refuse blood, as well as potential therapeutic strategies that can be used to improve the care of these patients. Improvement in our understanding as physicians will facilitate a more productive conversation with our patients about a complex and emotional issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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