Jehovah's Witness refuses life-saving transfusion, Spain/July 13, 2007
By Samantha Kett

A Dénia woman who is seriously ill after an accident at work has refused a blood transfusion on the grounds of religion.

The 35-year-old suffered head and stomach injuries whilst at work on the industrial estate in Ondara, in a firm that deals with wood-lacquering.

She was pushing a large wheelbarrow loaded with planks of wood which overturned and fell on her.

Witnesses say she was bleeding profusely from the mouth and her colleagues took her to accident and emergency.

Whilst medics consulted her paperwork, they discovered she was a Jehovah's Witness, which prevents her from having a blood transfusion in the event of an accident or illness.

Mari'a Dolores Ortiz was taken to the Centro de Rehabilitacio'n de Levante, in Valencia, where her injuries were operated on. Her six brothers and sisters were warned that she may not survive if she did not have a transfusion.

However, medics refused to go against the patient's wishes.

They referred the matter to her family, who took the same line.

Last Wednesday, a judge ratified the patient's refusal to take a transfusion.

In the meantime, she remains in intensive care and her life hangs in the balance.

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