Authorization of Involuntary Blood Transfusion for Adult Jehovah’s Witness Held Unconstitutional–In re Brooks’ Estate

Despite serious illness, plaintiff requested, in accordance with her religious beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness, that blood transfusions not be administered to her. Upon the request of her physician and several assistant state’s attorneys, a court-appointed guardian was authorized to consent to a blood transfusion for the plaintiff, and a transfusion was administered. On appeal of the court’s action to the Supreme Court of Illinois, held, order reversed. The authorization of a blood transfusion for an adult Jehovah’s Witness who has only adult children is an unconstitutional interference with the patient’s right to the free exercise of her religion.