Jehovah's Witness who refused treatment at KU Hospital loses liver disease battle

HILL CITY, Kan. (AP) — A northwest Kansas woman who won her battle to get Kansas to pay for an out-of-state transplant has lost her fight against liver disease.

The Kansas City Star reports 66-year-old Mary Stinemetz of Hill City died Sunday at a Colorado hospital located near her daughter, three years after she learned she needed a new liver.

The Jehovah's Witness refused to undergo a transplant at Kansas University Hospital because she would need a blood transfusion, which went against her religion.

Last year a Kansas appeals court found the state violated her constitutional right to exercise her religious faith by denying Medicaid coverage for a bloodless transplant in Nebraska.

Her condition got worse by the time she got on a transplant list, and she became ineligible for the procedure.

Tagged: Hospital, Kansas, University

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 5 months ago

A few days ago I thought about writing a summation about exactly why the Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood for transfusions, complete with references from the Tanakh, the New Testament, and the 'Aid to Bible Understanding', which is the Jehovah's Witness' complete explanation of what they believe and why. But the task seemed a bit formidable, and regrettably, I didn't put forth the effort.

But, it won't take long to write down a brief summation of what it's all about. It's based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of kashrut, which is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Muslims follow a very similar set of dietary laws, called halal.

In order to remain kosher, in no case is blood to be consumed, whether in cooked form, or if it is contained within meat. That's what kosher salt is for, it's no different than regular salt, except that the grains are larger, and the purpose of kosher salt is to draw as much blood as possible out of meat before it is cooked.

So, in a few cases in the Torah and the New Testament, notably in Acts, the injunction against the consumption of blood is recalled.

Chapter 15, verse 20: "but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood."

and verse 29: "that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

Over the decades, the Jehovah's Witnesses, along with many other churches, have come up with conclusions that are based upon an interpretation that can only be supported in an English translation, and don't make any sense to anyone that understands what is really being talked about, or what the meaning of the author probably was centuries ago.

In no case in the Bible is something like a blood transfusion mentioned or implied, the closest implication is the injunction against eating blood. I would have to research this exactly, but I believe it is mentioned less than six times in the entire Bible.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are the only church that believes that blood transfusions are prohibited, and for the record, yes, I did go through their study program. Their entire theology is based upon the belief that the scriptures (in their own translation, it's not standard) are absolutely accurate and infallible. And, to top that off, they also believe that their own interpretation is absolutely accurate and infallible.

But, I am suspicious, because it has changed so much over the decades.

The Jewish point of view, which has been held for well over 2,000 years, is that what has occurred in this case is an extreme violation of halakhah, that is, Jewish religious law, in that saving a life is more important than anything else. This woman has apparently died because of a very serious misunderstanding of Jewish kosher dietary laws.

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verity 1 year, 5 months ago

When my mother had surgery some years ago, her own blood was recycled---that was at the height of the AIDs scare. Maybe that is what they are talking about?

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Steve Swaggerty 1 year, 5 months ago

My wife is waiting for a kidney transplant. A "bloodless" procedure is impossible. This woman's decision defies logic.I have faith in the Lord but there are some things he hasn't made possible yet. Prayers are with the Family.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 5 months ago

Illogical to those of us who use intelligence and learning to make good decisions. But all religion is really a fraud to get into our wallets and deceive good people. A lot of the things that many religious dogmas advocate do make good sense, but way too many people are completely addled and dumbfounded by some of the more bizzare things that imaginary religion dictates.

It is all imaginary, formulated to attempt to answer the unanswerable, therefore is not subject to reality standaeda and good common sense. But to allow such flubdubbary to cause grief and loss is not what life is supposed to be about and those who desire to dictate doctrine to others to control their behavior can do a great deal of real damage to unsuspecting and ignorant people.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

How bizarrely illogical-- a liver transplant is OK, but not blood transfusions.

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FarneyMac 1 year, 5 months ago

Welp, this was the least surprising headline ever.

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