Did this case turn out the way you thought it would? Why or why not?
How could Cindy have assured herself that she would not receive any blood no matter what happened?
Would it have made any difference in the outcome of the case if the anesthesiologist had interviewed Cindy before the procedure and told her that her life could be in danger if she refused blood during both procedures?
What kind of consent is it when there is an emergency situation and the physician/healthcare worker needs to act or the patient may lose their life?
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Case Law Werth vs. Taylor 475 N.W.2d 426, 427 (Mich. Ct. App. 1991) Cindy Werth was expecting twins. Because she was a Jehovah’s Witness and had a firm belief in the religion’s teaching “that it is a sin to receive blood transfusions”, Cindy signed a “Refusal to Permit Blood Transfusions” form as part of her hospital preregistration. After delivery, Cindy had complications and was experiencing uterine bleeding. She was advised to undergo a dilatation and curettage and agreed. Again, she discussed her refusal to allow a blood transfusion with her obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/Gyn). After being placed under anesthesia and despite the specialist’s efforts during surgery, Cindy continued to bleed and was experiencing, among other things, premature ventricular activity and a significant decrease in blood pressure. The anesthesiologist (Dr. Michael Taylor) determined that Cindy needed a blood transfusion to sustain her life. Cindy’s OB/Gyn expressed Cindy’s refusal of blood transfusions, but the anesthesiologist proceeded anyway stating that it was medically necessary. The Werth’s filed a malpractice suit, alleging that Dr. Taylor committed battery by performing the transfusion without Cindy’s consent. Dr. Taylor moved for a summary disposition “because Cindy’s refusal was not conscious, competent, contemporaneous and fully informed.” The trial court found that Cindy’s refusals of a transfusion were made when she contemplated “merely routine elective surgery” and not life-threatening circumstances, and that, “it could not be said that she made the decision to refuse a blood transfusion while in a competent state and while fully aware that death would result from such refusal.” The record apparently reflected “the unexpected development of a medical emergency requiring blood transfusion to prevent death or serious compromise of the patient’s wellbeing.”