[PDF] Caring for patients who refuse blood: a guide to good practice for the surgical management of Jehovah's Witnesses and other patients who decline transfusion

Royal College of Surgeons - RCS
Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS)
Publication date:
01 November 2016


This document provides guidance on the surgical management of Jehovah’s Witnesses and other patients who withhold consent to blood transfusion. It takes into account and expands on the principles set out in Good Surgical Practice (RCS, 2014), Consent: Supported Decision-Making – A Guide to Good Practice (RCS, 2016) as well as guidance from the GMC and NICE, to enable surgeons and their teams to provide high-quality care to Jehovah’s Witness and other patients who refuse blood transfusion while respecting their right to make autonomous decisions about treatment.

It offers information on the current requirements for patient communication and supported decision-making and practical advice to support surgeons in complying with their legal, ethical and regulatory obligations. Although this guide has been developed primarily for surgeons, most of its recommendations are applicable to other medical specialties.