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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2018 Jan-Jun;12(1):78-80. doi: 10.4103/ajts.AJTS_50_17.

Jehovah's Witness and consent for blood transfusion in a child: The Indian scenario.

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Department of Pediatric Oncology, Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.


In India, the clinical guidelines and laws governing consent for blood transfusion in a minor are meager and vague. In an elective situation, whether the parents can make a decision for the child on his/her behalf or whether the doctor has the right to make the decision in the best interests of the child is not clear. We present the case scenario of a child belonging to Jehovah's Witness denomination diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma. His parents were in a dilemma whether to opt for blood transfusion or not. In the absence of laws and guidelines in this context, and considering the complications that he developed during the treatment period, it was very challenging for us to manage the situation both medically and medico-legally. This situation highlights the need for framing consensus guidelines/laws regarding elective blood transfusion in a minor to make health-care delivery, smooth, transparent and flawless.


Blood transfusion; India; Jehovah's Witness; consent; medicolegal; minor

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