She is a Jehovah's Witness and she is refusing blood transfusion. What should you do?

A 34-year-old woman with three children presents pregnant at 20 weeks of gestational age with anemia and severe gastrointestinal bleeding requiring transfusion to save her life. She is a Jehovah’s Witness and she is refusing blood transfusion. What should you do?

a. Honor her wishes, no transfusion.
b. No transfusion now, but the transfusion is mandatory after the second trimester when the fetus is a potentially viable baby.
c. Transfuse the patient.
d. Seek a court order mandating the transfusion.
e. Get consent of the father of the baby.

Explanation:

A - Honor her wishes; no transfusion. The pregnancy has no impact on the ability of a competent adult’s right to refuse therapy. As long as the fetus is inside her body, the fetus does not have the independent rights of a person. The fetus is considered the same as her body. Personhood for the fetus is only a consideration after the delivery. The same answer would be true even lf she were in her third trimester of pregnancy. The consent of the father is irrelevant. The father is not the one receiving the transfusion. Do not seek his opinion. The courts cannot order a competent person to receive a medical therapy she is refusing.