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A licensed practical nurse who refused to accept blood transfusions because of her religious beliefs died Thursday afternoon of complications after giving birth.

Joanne Mangione, 30, died in Sisters Hospital from pneumonia-related infections, hospital spokesman Dennis McCarthy said.

Two days earlier, attorneys for Mrs. Mangione, her husband and the couple's Jehovah's Witnesses faith reached an agreement in State Supreme Court ruling out blood transfusions.

McCarthy declined to comment on whether a transfusion would have saved Mrs. Mangione's life. Medical sources who asked not to be identified said Mrs. Mangione developed a severe kidney infection that contributed to her death.

Mrs. Mangione's week-old baby is healthy, McCarthy said. She also had a 3-year-old child.

Although the hospital initially obtained a court order allowing blood transfusions to help Mrs. Mangione fight the infections, the hospital agreed not to administer them. In return, it would be held blameless for complications.

John Mangione, Mrs. Mangione's husband, could not be reached to comment. She gave birth by Caesarean section Nov. 28 and was placed in the intensive care unit after her pneumonia developed into adult respiratory distress syndrome, which made breathing extremely difficult.

A legal battle arose when hospital physicians recommended blood transfusions. Jehovah's Witnesses object to blood transfusions or the use of blood-derived medications in the treatment of illness because of their interpretation of biblical passages.

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