Mother dies after refusing blood transfusion over faith fears

LONDON - Jehovah's Witnesses said on Monday they are concerned for the family of a young mother who died after giving birth to twins because her faith prevented her from accepting a blood transfusion.

Media reports said Emma Gough, 22, from Telford, Shropshire, gave birth to a baby boy and girl at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Oct. 25.

But complications set in after she suffered severe blood loss and she died hours later.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible prohibits the accepting of blood and that it is a sin to do so.

Followers are advised to make clear to hospital staff before any operation that they do not want a transfusion, and to sign a medical directive card making clear their choice.

Tom Taylor, chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, said in a statement: "We have offered our deepest condolences to the family, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

Terry Lovejoy, spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses in Telford, told Reuters: "We are very concerned for the family at a time of grief for them."

He said he did not want to comment further until the full facts had emerged and a hospital review had taken place.

Newspapers said Gough's husband Anthony, 24, is caring for the twins.