A member of the Jehovah's Witnesses died last month after giving birth by Caesarean section and refusing a blood transfusion, officials at Osaka Medical College reported.

The hospital said it had agreed with the woman before the surgery that it would not administer a transfusion.

Although she bled a great deal after delivering the child, doctors only took steps to arrest the hemorrhaging. She died several days later, the hospital said.

"We briefed her about the danger (before the surgery) and we repeatedly urged her family to accept a blood transfusion. But in the end we respected the patient's wishes," a hospital official said Tuesday.

Jehovah's Witnesses' officials said the hospital acted appropriately in treating the woman in accordance with her wishes.

Members of the denomination refuse blood transfusions as being against the Bible, citing the section in Leviticus that reads: "Whatsoever man . . . eats any manner of blood, I will cut him off from among his people."

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