Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 15:54 UK

Young mother was 'happy' to die

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Emma Gough died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

A Jehovah's Witness who suffered internal bleeding during labour told a midwife she was "happy" to die than have a blood transfusion.

Emma Gough, 22, of Telford, Shropshire, died hours after giving birth at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in October.

She would not have a transfusion due to her religious beliefs, the inquest at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court heard.

Midwife Kelly Roberts told the hearing Mrs Gough had told her she was "happy with whatever happened to her".

Mrs Gough was asked twice by a hospital registrar if she would consent to a blood transfusion in a "life or death" situation, the hearing was told.

She was rational, coherent and clear in her wishes
Dr Lucy Turner

She had signed an "advance directive" that she did not want to receive a transfusion.

The inquest heard on Monday that Mrs Gough would probably have lived if she had agreed to a transfusion before undergoing an operation to remove a blood clot.

Ms Roberts told the inquest on Tuesday: "Emma stated that she was happy with whatever happened to her - even if she died - because she had had her babies."

Ms Roberts also said she had heard Mrs Gough informing registrar Dr Lucy Turner she would not accept blood, even to save her life.

Dr Turner, who delivered the twins, told the inquest: "I told Emma about my concerns that she was bleeding.

"I said 'In a life or death situation, would you accept blood?' - she said 'No' in reply."

'Acceptable and defendable'

After completing a consent form with Mrs Gough prior to the operation to remove the clot, Dr Turner again asked the new mother if she would accept a transfusion in a life or death situation.

"She said that she wouldn't," Dr Turner added. "She was rational, coherent and clear in her wishes."

An expert in obstetrics also gave evidence to the hearing, having been asked by the coroner to compile an independent report into the circumstances of the death.

Prof James Walker, of St James's University Hospital in Leeds, described the decision to remove the clot, which occurred naturally during childbirth, as both "acceptable and defendable".

Woman died after blood 'refusal'
07 Apr 08 |  Shropshire
Jehovah's Witness pregnancy talk
09 Nov 07 |  Shropshire
The right to die for Jehovah
05 Nov 07 |  Health
Mother dies after refusing blood
05 Nov 07 |  Shropshire

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