'Life For Ruth' is a very well-written and thought-provoking film. Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that blood transfusions go against God's law. They rely on an interpretation of the Bible ( Acts 15 : 19-21 ) which states that '( the Gentiles ).. should abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood'. Most of us, I assume, would interpret abstaining from blood as not eating or drinking blood, but, as mentioned in the film, the meaning of the word 'eat' in the original Hebrew scriptures is 'to absorb into the body'. Therefore, both these religious sects believe abstaining from blood includes blood transfusions.
Michael Craig and Janet Munro play the parents of Ruth, an 8-year-old girl whose life becomes threatened and can only be saved if she has a blood transfusion. Her father refuses to give his permission and, although her mother relents shortly afterwards, it is too late and the child dies. Patrick McGoohan plays the doctor who is so outraged that he has the father brought before the Court on a charge of manslaughter.
There have been numerous real-life cases where a child has died because of the parents' beliefs. Their argument is that, in allowing a blood transfusion, they are denying the child eternal life after death.