Friday, 30 Nov, 2007 Offbeat
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Boy Dies, Refusing Blood Transfusion

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A 14-year-old Seattle boy refused to have blood transfusion because of religious believes. He died of leukemia several hours after the court affirmed his right not to have the treatment. Dennis Lindberg, of Mount Vernon, who was diagnosed with leukemia died at Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Seattle. He was Jehovah's Witness, who believe that blood is sacred and blood transfusion goes against their believes, thus rejecting the necessary treatment.

Superior Court Judge John Meyer supported the boy's decision saying that Lindberg was old enough to give him the right to refuse the transfusion.

The boy's aunt and his legal guardian were on his side, being Jehovah's Witnesses themselves. Lindberg's parents disagreed with the court decision and asked to overrule their son.

Lindberg was suffering from leukemia and got chemotherapy as a a part of a treatment, though he urgently needed blood transfusion as the treatment destroys red blood cells. The situation became so serious that the Children's Hospital reported about the case to the state. While adults have the right to refuse blood transfusion, children do not have this right.

Adolescent's right becomes somewhat controversial as they already can make decisions but came up with their own believes, they fight for vigorously. It becomes difficult to respect their rights and to protect them at the same time.

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