What are the primary ethical issues related to the refusal of blood transfusions in a child?

  1. Choose a newborn health challenge such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and palate, or absence of digits.

a. How might parents from various cultures feel about the cause of this condition?
b. How does this compare with the biomedical understanding?

  1. An emergency room nurse is taking care of a 5-year-old boy who suffered trauma from a bike accident. His family identifies as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The nurse explains that the boy may need a blood transfusion. The parents express concern because taking blood, including via blood transfusion, is discouraged by their religion, a stance with which they agree.

a. How should the nurse discuss this situation with the parents and the interdisciplinary health care team?
b. What do you think the best course of action should be?
c. What are the primary ethical issues related to the refusal of blood transfusions in a child?

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