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news article

Jehovah’s Witness can get bloodless liver transplant

By BRAD COOPER

The Kansas City Star

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/04/2850571/jehovahs-witness-wins-transplant.html#ixzz1MNXT1mV5

TOPEKA | The state of Kansas violated a Jehovah’s Witness’ constitutional right to exercise her religious faith when it denied her request for an out-of-state liver transplant, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.

A three-judge appeals court panel overturned a lower-court ruling and ordered the Kansas Health Policy Authority to grant Mary Stinemetz’s request to undergo a Medicaid-funded liver transplant in Nebraska.

“We are very happy,” said Corinne Petrik, the lawyer representing Stinemetz.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/04/2850571/jehovahs-witness-wins-transplant.html#ixzz1MNXN18z1

Stinemetz, 64, had refused to undergo a liver transplant at the University of Kansas Hospital because she would need a blood transfusion — something she could not accept as a Jehovah’s Witness.

She said Jehovah’s Witnesses follow biblical directives to abstain from blood, pointing to passages in the books of Acts, Genesis and Deuteronomy, according to court records.

Church doctrine leaves it to the discretion of members to accept certain blood fractions and donor organs.

Stinemetz wanted the state to approve a liver transplant in Nebraska, where she could undergo a bloodless procedure, but her request was rejected because the procedure would be done out of state.

For 20 years, the Hill City, Kan. woman has suffered from primary biliary cirrhosis, a chronic disease that causes the liver to deteriorate and malfunction over time.

Stinemetz, who has known since last year she would need a new liver, isn’t on a waiting list for an organ, and her eligibility for a transplant hasn’t yet been evaluated.

Repeated efforts to reach the Kansas Health Policy Authority for comment on Wednesday’s ruling were unsuccessful. It is not known whether the agency plans an appeal to a higher court.

While the Kansas Court of Appeals found that state Medicaid rules didn’t focus on Stinemetz’s faith, it did note that state regulations allow for exceptions to the general rule barring Medicaid funding for out-of-state services.

Because the rules allow for exceptions, the state under the First Amendment could not deny Stinemetz’s request unless it had a compelling reason, something that judges had trouble pinpointing during oral arguments.

The state “has failed to suggest any state interest, much less a compelling interest for denying Stinemetz’s request for prior authorization for the out-of-state liver transplant,” Judge Thomas E. Malone wrote for the appellate court.

The court noted that cost was not an issue in denying Stinemetz’s claim, finding that the bloodless procedure costs less than one that requires a transfusion.

“There is no question that the (state) would authorize a bloodless liver transplant if a medical facility was available in Kansas to perform the technique,” Malone wrote in the 40-page opinion.

Given that the bloodless procedure is less costly, the state is “unable to argue that the agency is being fiscally responsible as the steward of Kansas’ tax dollars” by rejecting Stinemetz’s request.

Stinemetz’s appeal was based partly on a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case involving a Seventh-day Adventist who was let go from her job because she wouldn’t work on Saturday, the Sabbath of her faith.

That woman was denied state unemployment benefits when she couldn’t find a job because of her unwillingness to work on Saturdays.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Seventh-day Adventist, finding that government needed a compelling state interest to justify infringing on someone’s right to freely exercise religion.

The Kansas Health Policy Authority, meanwhile, contended the case involving the Seventh-day Adventist didn’t apply any more. The agency instead, relied on a 1990 Supreme Court case involving two workers in Oregon who were fired for ingesting peyote for sacramental purposes and were denied unemployment compensation.

The Supreme Court eventually upheld the denial of benefits, ruling that the government can uniformly enforce laws that might impinge on someone’s religion as long the law doesn’t focus on one’s faith.

But the Kansas appeals court distinguished between the two cases, noting that the Oregon case involved illegal activity and the case with the Seventh-day Adventist related to unemployment benefits.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Oregon case that in situations where the state might have a system of exemptions in place, it must have a compelling reason not to extend those exemptions in cases of religious hardship.

In the Stinemetz case, the appeals court found that because Kansas provided exceptions to its rules, it had to have a compelling reason to deny her request.

To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send email to bcooper@kcstar.com. To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send email to bcooper@kcstar.com.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/04/2850571/jehovahs-witness-wins-transplant.html#ixzz1MNXHTXGl

Well I guess some countries are listening and others aren't....

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Sorry to bring this up, l just feel like sharing this little discussion that l had early last week with a man in the ministry. This man said he had so many things against us (JW's) and out of those things is the blood issue. He said supposing a woman is in labour and has lost a lot of blood in the proccess, do we not suppose to allow blood transfussion? And he also said that it is true that the Bible said we shoudn't eat blood, but is it not what enters through the mouth that is eating? I first commended him for speaking out, then l gave him this illustration: that if you tell somebody that you don't want to see him/her in your house at all, but one day you come back home from work and met the person right inside your house. You now asked the person, "have l not warned you not to come to my house at all?" then the person replied " l did not enter through the door but l entered through the window." Then, how will you feel? The man couldn't respond. Then l told him, like you already confirmed that it is true that the Bible said we should not eat blood, irrespective of where it passes into our system, the fact is that we have disobeyed God. And am sure that God will not be happy with us as you will not be happy with that person who defies your order not to enter your house at all, only to enter, and give excuse of not entering through the door but through the window. Though he has nothing further to say on blood issue again but he still continues his arguement on other issues which l don't want to disucuss on this thread.

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.......... that if you tell somebody that you don't want to see him/her in your house at all, but one day you come back home from work and met the person right inside your house. You now asked the person, "have l not warned you not to come to my house at all?" then the person replied " l did not enter through the door but l entered through the window." Then, how will you feel? ....

Good for our sister, great illustration. I will use it in the field! Keep on keeping on with him, that was one barrier down more coming up, the silence said it all!! Bravo my sister (<img src=)'>

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Sorry to bring this up, l just feel like sharing this little discussion that l had early last week with a man in the ministry. This man said he had so many things against us (JW's) and out of those things is the blood issue. He said supposing a woman is in labour and has lost a lot of blood in the proccess, do we not suppose to allow blood transfussion? And he also said that it is true that the Bible said we shoudn't eat blood, but is it not what enters through the mouth that is eating? I first commended him for speaking out, then l gave him this illustration: that if you tell somebody that you don't want to see him/her in your house at all, but one day you come back home from work and met the person right inside your house. You now asked the person, "have l not warned you not to come to my house at all?" then the person replied " l did not enter through the door but l entered through the window." Then, how will you feel? The man couldn't respond. Then l told him, like you already confirmed that it is true that the Bible said we should not eat blood, irrespective of where it passes into our system, the fact is that we have disobeyed God. And am sure that God will not be happy with us as you will not be happy with that person who defies your order not to enter your house at all, only to enter, and give excuse of not entering through the door but through the window. Though he has nothing further to say on blood issue again but he still continues his arguement on other issues which l don't want to disucuss on this thread.

Simply amazing. I love this illustration! I will use it. Thanks. (Neh 9:6)

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Very good illustration. Here's something a little more to add:

in·gest/inˈjest/Verb

1. Take (food, drink, or another substance) into the body by swallowing or absorbing it.

2. Absorb (information)

So you see, whether we eat it with our mouth or it enters our body by some other means Acts 15:18 doesn't say 'do not eat blood' it says to "abstain [...] from blood". No matter how it's ingested, there's only one way to abstain.

Also, if one could remember all the information they could point out that bloodless procedures are cheaper in cost, healthier for the patient as there is WAY more to blood rejection than merely matching blood-type, clinically documented quicker recovery times, and current medical science dictates that bloodless procedures are more advanced, quicker/easier to use and any doctor that absolutely "needs" blood is being sloppy.

A good reference is noblood.org a brother runs that site, though worldly folks also interested in bloodless medicine are also part of the community there. (My screen name over there is kujoe for anyone that is curious) I don't really post over there much. I'm more of a lurker.

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