Problem

Irrational conscientious refusal of medical intervention

Other Names:
Medical advice ignored on religious or cultural grounds
Refusal of medical treatment
Nature:
A number of religious groups have beliefs which lead them to refuse certain forms of medical intervention, however serious and painful the circumstances. Blood transfusions may be refused which could save a life, pharmaceutical drugs may be refused; and vaccinations may be refused, endangering the lives of others (in the case of epidemic diseases for example).
Incidence:
Rastafarian parents, members of the Zion Ethiopian Church and strict vegans, were convicted of manslaughter of their nine-year-old daughter. They had refused insulin treatments for her, although they were told she would die without them. They chose Homeopathic and dietary alternatives instead. The girl's death from untreated diabetes in 1993 was the first case in the UK for nearly 60 years.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.05.1999 – 00:00 CEST