A Jehovah's Witness from Shropshire who gave birth to twins died after refusing a blood transfusion on religious grounds.
Emma Gough, 22, of Telford, died following the birth of her children at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on October 25. The twins, who are healthy, are being cared for by their father, Anthony Gough, 24, it has been reported.
Paul Gillies, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Britain, explained that members of the faith believe that blood transfusions are prohibited by certain Biblical passages.
He said: "It’s all to do with our relationship with our Creator, Jehovah.
"We take the views on blood that we do because we want to have a good conscience."
He went on: "For us, the decision about blood isn’t as difficult as people would imagine because we have confidence that the Creator knows what he is talking about."
Mrs Gough’s husband Anthony, a central heating engineer, told the Shropshire Star: "With everything’s that happened, it’s very difficult for everyone. We are coping the best we can."
Terry Lovejoy, spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses in Telford, said that the religious community has offered support to the bereaved family.
He said: "We are supporting the family - they are going through a very difficult time and we understand their grief."
He would not comment further on the circumstances of the death. A spokesman for the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital would not comment on the death.
The funeral was due to take place today.
A spokesman for the coroner’s office gave the cause of death as complications of profound anaemia, haemorrhage, and complications of a twin delivery. The inquest was opened on October 30.
* Meanwhile, a former Jehovah’s Witness who refused a blood transfusion when her twins were born called today for the law to be changed.
Rachel Underhill, 32, a company director from Brighton, East Sussex, said: "Hospitals can override parents’ wishes when it comes to treatment of Jehovah’s Witness children.
"The same should be true of Jehovah’s Witness adults.
"They (hospitals) should be allowed to administer a transfusion without fear of censure or legal action."
One day a patient might leave the religion and "be grateful", she added.
Eight years ago, Ms Underhill, then a Jehovah’s Witness, refused a blood transfusion when her twins were born, 10 weeks premature, by emergency Caesarean section.
She said: "A chill went down my spine as I saw the headlines while standing in the supermarket this morning.
"My own story came flooding back to me all over again and I realised just how lucky I am to be alive.
"She could have been me - a young mum, recently married. I feel so very sorry for her and her family.
"I also feel angry because this could all have been avoided if only the Jehovah’s Witnesses would recognise how out-of-date and out-of-touch they are with other Christians on this matter and change their policy.
"Instead, another person has died."
She went on: "I’ve just seen my own daughter - who has cerebral palsy - have a five-hour bowel and bladder operation.
"I was overjoyed to be able to sign the consent form saying the hospital could treat her in any way they felt best."
Ms Underhill was a Jehovah’s Witness for 30 years before leaving the faith.