Boy Dies After Refusing Cancer Treatment

Judge denies parents' plea for transfusions hours before death
By Marcia Greenwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 2:55 AM CST
Dennis Lindberg, a 14-year-old Jehovah's Witness, died after a judge allowed him to refuse treatment on religious grounds.   (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

(Newser) – A 14-year-old Seattle boy who was given a 70% chance of recovering from childhood leukemia has died, weeks after refusing blood transfusions his biological parents—both recovering drug addicts—wanted him to have, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. He died just hours after a judge ruled in his favor after determining that the teen understood the consequences of his decision.

Doctors said the boy, a Jehovah's Witness, would need the transfusions to survive potentially lifesaving cancer treatments, but he refused on religious grounds. The boy's aunt—also a Jehovah's Witness—who became his legal guardian four years ago after his father was jailed for drug possession, supported his decision.