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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Cindy K. Werth and Donald E. Werth, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Michael V. Taylor, M.D., Defendant-Appellee, and County of Alpena, d/b/a Alpena General Hospital, Alcona Citizens for Health, Inc., d/b/a Alcona Health Center, Cheryl L. Parsons, M.D., C.L. McDougall, M.D., and Mark J. Outman, C.R.N.A., Defendants.

Headnote

Should health care professionals be allowed to administer life-saving, emergency treatment when there is a possibility that the patient would have refused? Plaintiff, a Jehovah’s Witness, underwent severe bleeding following the birth of her twins. Despite knowing that plaintiff’s religious beliefs prohibited blood transfusions, defendant ordered a blood transfusion to avoid her death. Consent could not be obtained at the time from the plaintiff because she was under general anesthesia and her condition was rapidly deteriorating.