Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Mother Who's Jehovah's Witness Dies After Refusing Blood Transfusion

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40-year-old Adeline Keh, had been trying desperately to have a child, including years of failed IVF, but then she concieved naturally last year. However, Adeline, a Jehovah's Witness, became critically ill after giving birth to her son Mawsi via caesarean section and died three weeks later after refusing blood transfusion treatments that could potentially have saved her life.

Speaking for the first time since his wife’s death, Kwaku Keh, a lawyer living in Walthamstow, told the London Evening Standard:

“My wife and I were best friends. We had been trying to have a baby for some time but it had not happened for us even with the help of IVF. Then in 2013 my wife got pregnant without medical intervention and our only son was delivered by caesarean section.

I was overjoyed and could not wait for them to come home. Each time I went to pick her up [from the Homerton] I was told that she could not come home. Eventually my wife lost her fight and passed away and we never got to come home as a family.”

Mrs Keh remained in hospital after her son’s birth on September 18 to receive antibiotics for an infection. She developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and was transferred to Papworth, a specialist heart and lung hospital in Cambridge.

She had told doctors of her refusal to receive blood products, and lawyers confirmed her wishes had to be obeyed. She was put on a machine at Papworth but it could not effectively re-oxygenate her blood without a transfusion. She died two days later.

An inquest last month found Mrs Keh died on October 19 from a combination of ARDS, sepsis, an infection in the caesarean wound and “refusal of transfusion on religious grounds”.

Coroner Belinda Cheney, in a narrative verdict, said Mrs Keh died from a “rare infective complication”. The source of the infection had been impossible to detect until the post-mortem and the decision not to receive blood “may have compromised the final medical intervention”.

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