Nov 19, 2016

Public event in Laval to honour Jehovah's Witness who died after giving birth

Éloïse Dupuis refused emergency blood transfusion, now her aunt wants Civil Code amended to protect others

Stephen Smith
CBC News
November 19, 2016

Eloise Dupuis
Éloïse Dupuis, 26, died from complications related to blood loss six days after giving birth to her first child by C-section. (Manon Boyer)

A public memorial event for Éloïse Dupuis, a 26-year-old Jehovah's Witness who died six days after giving birth in October, will take place Dec. 3 in Laval.

The gathering is being organized by her aunt, Manon Boyer, to celebrate Dupuis's life, which Boyer alleges ended under pressure from other Witnesses to refuse an emergency blood transfusion.

Transfusions are prohibited under Jehovah's Witness doctrine, which holds that the Bible forbids adherents from "ingesting" blood.​

A Quebec coroner is investigating Dupuis's death to determine if her refusal of blood met legal and medical standards for free and informed consent.

Police in Lévis, where Dupuis died in hospital, are also investigating her death after Boyer lodged a complaint about the alleged behaviour of a Jehovah's Witness hospital liaison committee at the hospital.

"Éloïse didn't deserve to die like this, and she deserves to be remembered and celebrated, so that's what we're planning," Boyer said.

"There can't be another Éloïse. There can't be more children left motherless," she said.

The event will take place at 4 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Eggspress restaurant at 8028 Marcel-Villeneuve Avenue.

Boyer said the memorial will help compensate for the fact she and other non-Jehovah's Witness family members weren't invited to Dupuis's funeral, which she said takes place today in Sainte-Marie-du-Beauce, south of Quebec City.

Aunt wants Civil Code amended

The memorial event will also serve to highlight calls by Boyer and others for amendments to Quebec's Civil Code that would allow doctors to override religious objections when a life is at stake.

"If someone needs blood, doctors should have the right to give it to them," she said.

Boyer said she would also like to see a public inquiry on the issue.

"We need to debate this as a society, because that's where we're at. And I won't stop until the Civil Code has been amended," she said.

"We can't let sectarian movements do whatever they want in our hospitals. It's just inconceivable," she said.

No comments: