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When your next if kin is a jehovah's witness?

(7 Posts)
Lostflipflop Fri 01-Dec-17 21:06:17

My dad has been married to his wife for 11 years after meeting her online, marrying her, and moving her to the UK from the Philippines.

She is quite a bit younger than my dad and I have always questioned her motives for marrying him. She is also a devout jehovah's witnesses. When I was a kid, my dad had no tolerance of JWS, in fact I remember him once chasing them down the driveway!

Anyway... my dad is now in his sixties and my sister who is a nurse suspects he has had a mini stroke because of his speech and forgetfulness, and he has an appt with a doctor this week about it (he feels no different)

In the last few years my dad has become interested/brainwashed into becoming a JW and now attends all the meetings and conferences, as well as holding bible studies at his flat. He tells me he isn't baptised because he hasn't made up his mind about whether he wants to be a fully fledged JW or not just yet.

My question is, if anything happened to my dad, and he was in hospital and needed a blood transfusion, would his wife have any say over that, being that she is his next of kin?

Because of the background and the circumstances surrounding how they met, I can't help but feel suspicious of her, even though on the outside she is a lovely person!

Sorry this is long winded and a bit muddled, I am really confused right now!

Can anybody help?

didyouseethesunwasred Fri 01-Dec-17 21:10:39

What would he want? Maybe see what his choice would be and then you can support that if it ever came to it

Lostflipflop Fri 01-Dec-17 21:28:37

He just always says he doesn't know and then changes the conversation. She is always with him though, I don't live nearby so don't see him often but when I do its the both of them

Strawberrybubblebath Sat 02-Dec-17 11:16:13

You question her motives for marrying your dad. What are your dad's motives for marrying her? Are they in love? Who brain washed who? Are both parties mentally competent?
If it is a healthy marriage they are likely to both influence each other on different subjects.
If your dad is mentally competent and aware of the risks of his actions he can choose to accept or decline medical treatment even if that results in his death.

This must be terribly hard you you. Can you talk to your dad and let him know how upset you are and how worried you feel about this issue? Explain your views and how you are extremely upset and really need some clarity. I hope you can sort it together.

rizlett Sat 02-Dec-17 11:30:05

You Dad would have to be adamant that he was refusing any specific aspects of care and if he is not capable of making a decision himself and medical professionals can override wishes of NOK where necessary.

www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/ethics/medical-students-ethics-toolkit/6-consent-to-treatment-capacity

annandale Sat 02-Dec-17 11:38:25

Medical decisions are for the patient to make, with the proviso that the types of treatment offered are the decision of the health professionals . If the patient may lack mental capacity for a particular decision at a particular time (it is always decision-specific), a formal assessment should be made and recorded. At this point a medical decision is made by the consultant in charge of care in the patient's best interests.

I have to say that a consultant hearing that a patient was a Jehovah's Witness might believe that a patient's best interests included the need to express their religious beliefs by not having a blood transfusion. There might be alternatives to that treatment available though.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 20:10:13

I think it's patronising to believe your father has been "brainwashed" by JW's.
A lot of what they say I agree with (however I'm strongly against their views regarding the sacraments and taking communion), I must be one of the few people to have welcomed the door-knockers with open arms after having researched them.
I occasionally go to the Kingdom Hall to engage in discussion and meetings. It's very interesting, and I've explored my faith and what I believe more than with any other Christian denomination. Have you ever been along to see what it's about? It may settle your fears somewhat.
I by no means approve entirely of everything they say, and they welcome the discourse and discussion. I have no intention of joining the church (primarily because of the sacraments issue and others), and they know this, yet still welcome me without being pushy.

I think it comes down to whether your father is a biblical literalist. They are right to point out there is a biblical basis to the refusal of blood. There are also options to treat many things that would usually require transfusions in different ways. I'm currently praying for guidance on this particular issue myself.

He is an adult, and unless he is otherwise mentally incapable, he should be allowed bodily autonomy.
He would have to had personally made an order similar to a DNR order if he wished to not be given a transfusion if incapable of expressing this, as is my understanding.

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