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THE IMPACT OF NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION ON BLOOD TRANSFUSION

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By Edikan Ekanem

Blood transfusion is the transfer of blood or blood products from one individual to another. Some medical doctors in Nigeria have accepted this lifesaving means in this 21st century medical practice while others do not. This act has saved lives while some have also been lost even after the transfusion. Over the years, there have been several but serious controversies on the acceptability of this life saving means between patients and their owners, patients and doctors, medical doctors themselves and even third parties. These controversies have metamorphosed to serious unending fights between the parties involved. Consequently, certain questions come to mind. Is the Nigerian constitution silence of this issue? Are there no laws that back up the rejection or acceptance of blood transfusion during treatments? What could be the possible implication of these laws when violated? Appropriately, the aim of this concise work is to elaborate and expound on the constitutionality or otherwise of the acceptance and rejection of blood transfusion as a life-saving means. Relevant judicial authorities and statutory provision will be cited to bring out the thrust of this work. Apparently, the combine effect of section 37 and 38 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended which provides for the right to private life and family life, and the latter, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion has shied the individual’s right to accept or reject blood transfusion accordingly. Section 38 (1) states: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance”. From the above section, it is clear that an individual may at his own volition accept or reject blood transfusion and any other blood related treatment without any intimidation, pressure or undue influence from any third party as an exercise of his constitutional right. In buttressing this point, it was held in the case of Medical and Dental Practitioner’s’ Disciplinary Tribunal V Emewulu & Anor. (2001) 3SCNJ 106, by the Supreme Court that where the deceased and her husband had objected to transfusion of blood which could have saved the life of the deceased, on the grounds that they are Jehovah’s witnesses, they were merely exercising their right of freedom of religion, thought and conscience as envisaged under section 38 of the constitution. From the above declaration of the court, is it legal and just to be attacking persons for refusing blood transfusion even when their lives are at stake? Is it not hypocritical that educated persons would allow sentiments to blind their eyes, making them interfering on others’ personal issues that they are not concerned? Similarly, in Medical and Dental Practitioner’s’ Disciplinary Tribunal V Okonkwo (2001) FWLR (Pt 44) 542, Uwaifo J.S.C said: “I am completely satisfied that under normal circumstances, no medical doctor can forcibly proceed to apply treatment to a patient of full and sane faculty without the patient’s consent, particularly if that treatment is of radical nature such as surgery or blood transfusion. So, the doctor must ensure that there is a valid consent and that he does nothing that will amount to the trespass to the patient. Secondly, he must exercise a duty of care to advise the patient of the risk involved in the contemplated treatment and the consequences of his refusal to give consent” The court further said: “once the patient has made his choice, the doctor or hospital cannot overrule such a choice… the patient’s right to object to medical treatment is founded on the fundamental right to privacy and right to freedom of thought and religion. The sum total of these rights is that an individual should be left alone to choose a course of life…” From the above, is clearly seen that patients objecting blood transfusion are not guilty of any offence because the constitution as interpreted by court of competence jurisdiction allows them to do so. Adversely, medical doctors are often disturbed that these objections to blood transfusion by patients may lead to professional misconduct if resulted in death. Interestingly, the court on the aforementioned cases also held that such doctors will not be guilty of professional misconduct in such instances. From the forgoing analysis, it is without doubt in our minds that the constitution has granted us the freedom to decide whether or not to accept blood transfusion. It is also important to note that no one in any circumstance can query one’s decision to accept or reject blood transfusion. More so, by the doctrine of guardian ad litem and loco patentis, it imperative to stress that no child should be given treatments that the parent or guardian has not consented. Parents and guardians are legally bound to protect their infants’ children who are legally incapacitated to make defences for themselves. Summarily, it is summited that all citizens of Nigeria are at leverage to choose whether or not to accept blood transfusion even at the face of death. It will also amount to abuse and violation of fundamental rights of a patient if forced or pressured to accept blood transfusion as third parties do not have any right whatsoever to question a decision of a patient that is constitutionally guaranteed. It should also be borne in mind that patients whose life was saved from an unconsented blood transfusion can maintain an action against the perpetrator, claiming damages accordingly. Let us learn to respect others decision as we want them to respect ours on issues of treatments and blood transfusions. There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right. – Martin Luther King Jr. Thank you. Edikan Ekanem is a student of University of Uyo, a contemporary writer and a columnist. He can be reached at 08130015006 or [email protected]

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Politics

Amaechi Vows To Release Names Of Those Sabotaging Security

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said that cabals are frustrating the recently approved $198m maritime security contract.

Amaechi vowed to publicly mention names of saboteurs while speaking at a Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive Forum held in Warri, Delta State on Thursday.

He said “Reason, why vessels will not come to the Eastern ports, is because there is war insurance due to insecurity in the ports here.

“The war insurance means if the goods cost N10,000 in Lagos, it will cost N20,000 here because there is an extra cost on it due to Insecurity issues. Even as a minister, I can’t enter a boat ride from Warri to Port Harcourt due to insecurity issues, but I can move around Lagos at any time of the day.

“I once asked a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, why people from Anambra don’t import from Port Harcourt port, and he said it cost less to import from Lagos and move to Onitsha even with the price they pay on the road. It is cheaper to import from Lagos to Aba, yet Aba to Port Harcourt is a 30-minute drive.

“For shipowners, you need to do a petition to Mr President. The President approved a contract of $195m for maritime security, but there are people in the system sabotaging the contract because it will restore security in the water. I won’t say who they are until it gets out of control. We are still battling for the contract to take place, but if it gets out of place, we will name them publicly, including the security people involved.

“There are people who make billions of Dollars from the insecurity on the water, so they don’t want security on the water because if we secure the water, all their rubbish will go.

“There are businesses which provide the vessel for oil companies in the name of providing security. The moment we secure the water, they are out of jobs?

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Prison Officer Brutalizes Son, Injures Him For Playing Football (Graphic)

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According to a photographer who shared photos of a teenage boy brutalized by his father, almost went into coma after he sustained a deep injury on his head, just for playing football.

The Nigerian Prisons staff beats his son from 7:00pm till 2:30 am, says report.

See what the photographer/Instagram user wrote..

This happened at Oluwatedo area of Ibadan, Mr Adepoju Biodun is married with three kids,he works with Nigerian prison service Agodi,ibadan.his eldest child is Israel, On 16th February 2018 Israel went to play football and after the football his father beat him from 7:00pm till 2:30am in the early hours of Saturday till he sustained a deep cut on his head with blood everywhere in the house.his the appropriate way to correct or chastise our child. This is beyond chastisement. Israel was beaten to coma before he was later rushed to Don Bosco specialist hospital Ogungbade. I will soon upload the surface area of the deep cut as soon as they open it.his siblings also tolu and praise served severe punishment, they were relieved as soon as Israel was rushed to the hospital. Please share until the appropriate authorities sees this especially Nigerian prisons, UNICEF. #UNICEF #law #crazyfather #ibadan #opayemioludayo
#tolanialli #bayoomoboriowo #michaelomoboriowophotography #ajimobi #florenceajimobi #lawyer #nigerianprison #nigerianprison #freshfm #splashfm #inspirationfm

Beating for your son for playing football? My God.

Someone please remind him how much Neymar is worth per week!!! Kaii

There is another angle to look at this… No father in his right mind would do this to his own son!!! This is a clear case MENTAL ILLNESS/TRUMA probably due to the nature of his work. I am not a psychologist but I know in that in Nigeria  we lack the culture of looking out for the signs of mental fatigue amongst our workers in all sector. Military /Paramilitary have no proper way of been evaluated for any form of work trauma. This man could be having or experiencing trauma as the result of the nature of his job. May God help him and his family.

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UYO STATE LAWMAKER RESCUES PUPILS AGAIN …DONATES DESKS TO SCHOOL

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The member representing Uyo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Eyo Okon, on Friday, donated 120 desks to the pupils of Government Primary School, Aka Offot, Uyo Local Government Area.

Hon. Monday Eyo who described Education as a bedrock of any society, and for any society to make progress, stated that when the foundation that is the primary level of education is well laid, motivated and properly activated, the child who is at the centre of learning is well prepared, informed and sharpened for the future both mentally and physically.

Headmaster of the School, Mr. Simon Edet Eyo, alongside the Village Head of Aka 1, Eteidung Francis, Hon. Kufre Mendi, while receiving the Lawmaker, commended him for his kind gesture and rapid response to the plight of the pupils within the short notice of time.

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PDP RESPONSIBLE FOR FUEL HIKE- Don Etiebet …BLAMES OBJ,JONATHAN FOR OIL SPILLS IN NIGER DELTA

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Former Petroleum Minister Chief Don Etiebet says the current fuel crisis in Nigeria is caused by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Speaking in an interview in Uyo, Chief Etiebet the APC leader in Akwa Ibom explained that the petroleum distribution in Nigeria is controlled by PDP members who are causing the fuel hike to project President Muhammadu Buhari as a failure.

Buhari is the substantive Ministet of Petroleum in Nigeria.

“Who are still controlling the petroleum distribution in Nigeria; it is still the original PDP marketers.”

He attributed the fuel hike to the impending elections in the country, saying it is an attempt by the PDP marketers to discredit APC.

 “Election time is coming and they are doing all kinds of thing for petrol not to be available, and what do they want? They want increase I petrol price so that they can use that against APC”

Etiebet, who was minister of petroleum under Gen. Sani Abacha attributed all oil spill in the South-South Zone to illegal bunkering.

He said illegal bunkering in Nigeria where sponsored by the previous Government OF Chief Olusegu Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

“Many Government in the past even up to the last Government have been supporting illegal bunkering; please quote me, I am the former minister for petroleum and I know the details”

On the proposed reintroduction of onshore/offshore oil dichotomy by the APC restructuring Committee, Dr. Etiebet said there was nothing wrong with the committee report.

“ I believe what the committee meant maybe oil discovered or produced outside that isoba boundary.”

He assured that president buhari has done well for Akwa Ibom with the development programme been seen in all part  Akwa Ibom state and urged Akwa Ibom people to rally round him for the re-election of President Buhari in 2019

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The NANS JCC Chairman Comrade. Ekanem Utibe seeks for partnership with wema bank

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By Our Source

****Pleads with Bank to erect an Atm machine at heritage polytechnic and other tertiary institution in state
Akwa Ibom State NANS JCC Chairman Comrade Ekanem Utibe, accompanied by the Secretary General Comr. Akanimo Ifiokonon, Director of sports Comr. Akan Udom, P. R. O Comr.  Kokoette Udom and Enoima Monday Udosoh Monday, were today received by the Dir of Special Duty of WEMA BANK Mr Victor Akpan at Eket LGA branch who directed to the office of the branch service manager.
The chairman appealed to the bank management to assist the students community by erecting an Atm Machine at the campus for the benefit of Nigerian students and the bank. 
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