Sydney – An Australian mother and her unborn child died when she refused to accept a blood transfusion due to her religious beliefs, local media reported on Tuesday.
The Jehovah’s Witness follower was diagnosed with treatable leukemia when she was seven months pregnant.
But treatment involved urgent blood transfusions, which are forbidden in the Jehovah’s Witness church.
The 28-year-old woman refused to have a transfusion, her treating doctors, hematologists Giselle Kidson-Gerber and colleague Amber Biscoe, wrote in Australia’s Internal Medicine Journal.
The Sydney doctors from the Prince Of Wales hospital believed she and her unborn baby would have survived if she had accepted transfusions.
Her baby needed an urgent caesarean birth, but doctors feared the mother would die from blood loss if they carried one out.
“She would have had to have a classical caesarean, and she most likely would have bled to death” Kidson-Gerber wrote.
“The obstetricians weren’t comfortable with that when there was a chance we could have got her through.
“They were unable to do a caesarean for the sake of the baby without putting her at risk.”
But the baby died in her womb, and shortly after the woman suffered a stroke and multiple organ failure and died as well.