Indiana woman gets blood transfusion despite husband’s religious huffing

A HOSPITAL in Charleston, Indiana, took legal action in regard to a patient whose husband who ordered medical authorities not to give her a blood transfusion.

Although apparently no longer a fully practising Jehovah’s Witness, 58-year-old Charlestown resident Bruce Huff still believes it is a sin to receive any blood or blood products. When his wife, 58-year-old Candy Huff, became unconscious several weeks ago and was rushed to Clark Memorial Hospital, he wrote a letter to the staff telling them not to  administer transfusions.

The hospital filed a petition in Clark County Circuit Court asking that someone be appointed to make medical decisions for Candy Huff, alleging Bruce Huff was unable to make decisions in her best interest. Bruce Huff believes the decision to not allow him to make medical decisions for his wife is in violation of his religious beliefs.

Huff declared:

I love Candy. I told them to do absolutely anything to save her life except give her blood or blood products.

Candy Huff’s aunt was appointed by the court to make her medical decisions, and the hospital has continued to give Candy Huff blood.

Pamela Thompson, an attorney for Clark Memorial Hospital, said Bruce’s religious objections were not the reason for the petition.

This situation was very, very unique.  [Religion] was not the substance or basis of the petition.

Because of privacy laws, Thompson said she could not explain their reasons, but said they had good reason to believe Bruce Huff was not able to make the best decisions for his wife.

Candy Huff never considered herself a Jehovah’s Witness but shared his beliefs, Bruce Huff said. He said they had talked many times about the blood issue and thinks she would not have wanted transfusions.

I know my wife better than anybody. She always wanted to do what is right.




19 responses to “Indiana woman gets blood transfusion despite husband’s religious huffing”

  1. Reginald Selkirk says:

    Bruce Huff believes the decision to not allow him to make medical decisions for his wife is in violation of his religious beliefs.

    Bad angle, legally speaking. It’s about what is good for Candy Huff, not what strokes Bruce Huff’s ego. If it was his own health at stake, he might have a stronger case.

  2. elainek123 says:

    Nice man, One way of getting rid of your wife. Surely if she had died without a transfusion that would have been murder.Interested toknow the outcome.

  3. Daz says:

    The JH transfusion thing has a rather meandering history. Thing with this story, he’s guessing that his wife might share his views. She’s never called herself a JH, so he’s on dodgy ground, I’d say.

    Also speculation: As the hospital are adamant that the grounds for this petition aren’t his religious views, I find myself wondering just how compos mentis this bloke is. I can’t think of any other reason for them to claim he’s not capable of speaking for his wife.

  4. Marcus says:

    “I know my wife better than anybody. She always wanted to do what is right.”

    Which is presumably why she didn’t become a JH, Bruce.

  5. Broga says:

    I think the word superstition is preferable to beliefs. I think Daz focusses on a salient point. In view of the hospital comment perhaps Bruce is mentally ill. However, here they, and anyone else, meet problems: how to separate insanity from religious belief? Many religious beliefs, hauled out from under the aegis of religion, would be diagnosed as the results of mental illness.

    For example: bread believed to be flesh; wine believed to be blood; a dead man who is prayed to believed to respond by curing terminal illness; prayers to a god who is believed to suspend the laws of nature in favour of the person praying; virgin births; a man rising from the dead. There are plenty more but I will stop there.

  6. Stonyground says:

    The sad thing is that this belief about blood transfusions is based upon the superstitious beliefs of ignorant bronze age people who knew far less about the real world than even the most ignorant JW of today.

    On the subject of religious beliefs being dangerous to your health there is this:

    Honestly, if someone was trying to sell you something called zam zam water, wouldn’t the name of it alone tell you that he was trying to take you for a fool?

    On the subject of trolls, it appears that one has popped up at I don’t know whether it is the same one that we’re getting because the moderator has done a good job of cleaning up while telling people not to feed it.

  7. tony e says:


    Ref trolls. I used to be of the viewpoint that they could be a good thing, in that they could debate and move an argument along. However, due to the two malignant trolls that have been haunting this site over the past few weeks, I have had to revise my opinion.

    One moron goes on about the formation of the universe and no matter how many times he is told ‘we do not yet know’ just repeats the same question like a fundie mantra The other muppet bangs on about the definition of freethinker, ad nauseum, whilst missing the fact the name kind of gives it away.

    I think this site is weaker without the valuable contributions of Barriejohn, Broadsword and Harwood.

    Personally I would still like to debate with believers that visit this site, but, for now I’ll just stick to talking to sane people.

  8. Anonymous says:

    he wrote a letter to the staff telling them not to administer transfusions.

    Charge him with assault/endangering the welfare/whatever charge would be appropriate if this had occurred absent of religious belief.

  9. Daz says:


    Agreed for the most part. It’s worth mentioning that Billy, for all his idiocy, at least stayed off the top page, which is what most visitors will see. The other is far more poisonous IMO, as he attacks people, not their arguments.

    Totally agree about BarrieJohn, Harwood and Broadsword, though Broadsword left because of software glitches affecting commenting, not trolls.

    Just rambling here. Not so much trying to make a point, as thinking out loud. My worry about being too cautious about feeding trolls is that I’ve seen groups in the past that got so into the ‘opposing view/any outsider = troll’ point of view that they basically disappeared up their own arses, as they totally ignored any opposing input. I tend to think that feeding the occasional possible-troll kind of acts as a safety measure against that.

  10. JR says:

    You know, if the JWs had formed the belief of not shedding the blood of animals for food, I personally would have had a sneaky sense of admiration for them. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Blood, blood and more blood appears all over the Bible. Life blood, animal blood, Jesus’s blood, shedding blood, we are saved blood, sacrificial blood. In fact, one might say – “it’s bloody ridiculous”. It shows how dangerous the Bible can be and how the “religious” home in on idiosyncratic interpretations and create dangerous practices that can prevent the well-being of people by denying life saving treatment.

  11. Thiago says:

    It seems like he could benefit from her death.. and that’s possibly why they don’t wanna disclose the reasons why they didn’t take his decision.. as far as insurance scam goes.. it’s never a bad time to be a jehovah witness when the insured party is about to die and you’re the beneficiary and only responsible for decision making? what do you think?

  12. stargraves says:

    I am sorry that Barriejohn, Broadsword and Harwood are gone. I had no idea.

    But I do think theres scope for discussion with the numpties too – I hate censorship of all sorts (Ot at least within reason) – so I think we need at least a kind of moderated bear pit here, where we can welcome the testes, huttons, boswells, neowolfes et al, and let them spout – it would be shooting fish in a barrel, were it not for their circular lunacy.

    I see how they spoil threads, but equally, web technology has systems in place for this already – football forums as an example.

    I don’t agree with silencing dissent always – even if it is derp – but I think this freethinker site would be served better as a forum – rather than a blog – where any braindead who turns up can scramble the discussion until they are deleted – at least as a forum or bulletin board, us sensible chaps n chapesses can have logins as ourselves, and there would be new articles, as is now, but as discussion topics, but there could open discussion areas, which would at least, give the nutjobs an arena to reveal just how derp they are, while at the same time, allowing us regulars to tell them herp.

    tis just a thought….

  13. Daz says:

    If anyone wants a more private space for OT natter, venting inappropriate spleen, whatever, I have a virtually unused forum. It’s only linked from my site — which is hardly humming with traffic, and I’m shifting over to Disqus comments anyway — so it’s pretty much off the radar. Shame to see it go to waste, and thought it was worth offering. It accepts html code, but not Alt+number-pad entries. Feel free to start new threads etc. Mi casa, su casa.

  14. Buffy says:

    Bruce Huff believes the decision to not allow him to make medical decisions for his wife is in violation of his religious beliefs.

    Your wife’s life is on the line and you’re worried about your chosen religious lifestyle? Nice priorities.

  15. Carasek says:

    On the loose subject of women suffering at the hands of religion:

    Very sorry to hear the confirmed exit of BarryJohn, Broadsword and Harwood. Come back!

  16. tony e says:


    My apologies for any confusion made by my last post reference Broadsword, Barriejohn and Harwood no longer contributing to this site due to trolls.

    Reading on from that post, I think I might have given the impression that I know this to be fact, which I do not.

    I should have put it down as ‘I am under the impression’ that they stopped contributing due to trolls.

    Again my apologies for any confusion due to my piss poor grammar.

  17. Stonyground says:

    Further to the discussion about trolls. I think that light moderation is better for having free and open discussion and I think that we should always be pleased to have counter opinions appear on our threads. However we do have to draw the line somewhere, people who come on just to be insulting or disruptive need to know that they are not welcome. Anyone who has commented for any amount of time soon gets to know what is acceptable and what is not. Those who have never learned any manners deserve to get banned.

  18. Daz says:


    No worries. I think most read your meaning between the lines. Least we aren’t all calling each other out over trivial points, like the current mess at Pharyngula.

  19. Nick says:

    I don’t think he would rather his wife die, but he would prefer his wife to be given alternative treatment to blood transfusions which not only goes against his (and maybe his wife’s) religious views regarding the sanctity of blood, but also due to the many medical risks associated with the inherently hazardous procedure of blood transfusions. For example, see here:

    and here:

    It’s also true to say that in America, in many hospitals, nearly half of all blood transfusions given, maybe unnecessary. See here:

    Alternatives to blood transfusion and those seeking them are rapidly growing in popularity (not just for the religious), often called Bloodless Medicine & Surgery. The risks are less and the treatment offers better health outcomes for the patient (e.g. faster recovery time, less chance of infection). Complex medical procedures such as cardiac surgery, transplantation (kidney, liver, etc.) and even trauma cases, can be successfully treated without blood transfusion.

    Government of Western Australia Department of Health.

    The Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital

    Institute for Patient Blood Management and Bloodless Medicine & Surgery at Englewood Hospital

    Bloodless Surgery Grows in Popularity

    Recent TV News Clip – “Blood Transfusion-Free Surgeries?”

    Bloodless Medicine and Surgery benefits all patients and is fast becoming the new gold standard in medical treatment. Even the US Army is interested.