17 year old Bethany Hughes died this week from Leukemia. Her life was prolonged by blood transfusions ordered by a Canadian court. But the child’s situation bitterly divided her family. Bethany’s father fought for his daughter’s life, despite his religion’s teaching that no Jehovah’s Witness should receive a blood transfusion. The girl’s mother chose to obey the elders of her faith, left her husband and is now seeking a divorce.

Mr. Hughes has announced that he plans to sue Jehovah’s Witnesses for “destroying families” reports CTV.

CTV also offered an informative background history about Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings.

Some in the Canadian press seemed to be taken in by the Witness spin machine, which apparently sought to cloud the real issues. Dawn Walton, a reporter for the Globe & Mail, described Bethany Hughes as a “crusader for children’s rights.” But this was certainly not the case and essentially a public relations pose likely advised by the girl’s Witness handlers. Bethany Hughes first stated that she objected to the transfusions purely on religious grounds, the supposed claim of “children’s rights” came months later.

The girl’s father, once a loyal Witness, concluded that the organization told “lies” regarding the matter.

Though Bethany Hughes had an illness with a probable terminal prognosis, many Witness children have died when a blood transfusion during an acute medical crisis could have offered them a normal life. But they perished instead, simply because of the idiosyncratic and arbitrary requirements of their religion.

Once Jehovah’s Witnesses also forbid organ transplants and many members died due to that edict. Later the rule was changed. Today some say the Witnesses are in the process of changing their teaching about blood transfusions. Whether or not this is true one thing is certain, more Witnesses will die before this is accomplished and others will suffer like the Hughes family.


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