• They use many products derived from blood,yet they themselves won't donate a drop.Mostly reject 'whole blood' but use components,so this is like not outright stealing a car,but to say it's proper to steal motor,tires and transmission.Go figure.....
  • The JW blood transfusion policy has been an ever changing one from the very start. The Watchtower Organization and JW's have had MANY MANY position/belief/policy changes throughout the 100 + years that they have been around. For example: Watchtower Blood policy in 1961: “If you have reason to believe that a certain product contains blood or a blood fraction…if the label says that certain tablets contain hemoglobin…this is from blood...a Christian knows, without asking, that he should avoid such a preparation. - The Watchtower, p. 669, 11/01/1961 Watchtower Blood policy in 2006: "...when it comes to fractions of any of the primary components, each Christian, after careful and prayerful meditation, must conscientiously decide for himself." - The Watchtower, pp. 29-31, 06/15/2006 ... see also Watchtower Advance Directive, page 11, 1.3(b) Now compare this with what Jesus said in Mark 7:15-19 - "... there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.)"
  • What Jehovah’s Witnesses will accept and will not accept is clearly explained by this Website from one of the leading hospitals in the North East U.S.A.
  • I know they eat meat.
  • I have tried to find some official lines from the Watchtower Organisation, because there is a lot of confusion even amongst Witnesses themselves. here is one article: BLOOD: WHOSE CHOICE AND WHOSE CONSCIENCE? by J. Lowell Dixon, M.D. PHYSICIANS are committed to applying their knowledge, skills, and experience in fighting disease and death. Yet, what if a patient refuses a recommended treatment? This will likely occur if the patient is a Jehovah's Witness and the treatment is whole blood, packed red blood cells, plasma, or platelets. When it comes to the use of blood, a physician may feel that a patient's choice of nonblood treatment will tie the hands of dedicated medical personnel. Still, one must not forget that patients other than Jehovah's Witnesses often choose not to follow their doctor's recommendations. According to Appelbaum and Roth,1 19% of patients at teaching hospitals refused at least one treatment or procedure, even though 15% of such refusals "were potentially life endangering." The general view that "the doctor knows best" causes most patients to defer to their doctor's skill and knowledge. But how subtly dangerous it would be for a physician to proceed as if this phrase were a scientific fact and to treat patients accordingly. True, our medical training, licensing, and experience give us noteworthy privileges in the medical arena. Our patients, though, have rights. And, as we are likely aware, the law (even the Constitution) gives greater weight to rights. On the walls of most hospitals, one sees displayed the "Patient's Bill of Rights." One of these rights is informed consent, which might more accurately be called informed choice. After the patient is informed of the potential results of various treatments (or of nontreatment), it is his choice what he will submit to. At Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx, New York, a draft policy on blood transfusion and Jehovah's Witnesses stated: "Any adult patient who is not incapacitated has the right to refuse treatment no matter how detrimental such a refusal may be to his health."2 While physicians may voice concerns about ethics or liability, courts have stressed the supremacy of patient choice.3 The New York Court of Appeals stated that "the patient's right to determine the course of his own treatment [is] paramount . . . [A] doctor cannot be held to have violated his legal or professional responsibilities when he honors the right of a competent adult patient to decline medical treatment."4 That court has also observed that "the ethical integrity of the medical profession, while important, cannot outweigh the fundamental individual rights here asserted. It is the needs and desires of the individual, not the requirements of the institution, that are paramount."5 When a Witness refuses blood, physicians may feel pangs of conscience at the prospect of doing what seems to be less than the maximum. What the Witness is asking conscientious doctors to do, though, is to provide the best alternative care possible under the circumstances. We often must alter our therapy to accommodate circumstances, such as hypertension, severe allergy to antibiotics, or the unavailability of certain costly equipment. With the Witness patient, physicians are being asked to manage the medical or surgical problem in harmony with the patient's choice and conscience, his moral/religious decision to abstain from blood. Numerous reports of major surgery on Witness patients show that many physicians can, in good conscience and with success, accommodate the request not to employ blood. For example, in 1981, Cooley reviewed 1,026 cardiovascular operations, 22% on minors. He determined "that the risk of surgery in patients of the Jehovah's Witness group has not been substantially higher than for others."6 Kambouris7 reported on major operations on Witnesses, some of whom had been "denied urgently needed surgical treatment because of their refusal to accept blood." He said: "All patients received pretreatment assurances that their religious beliefs would be respected, regardless of the circumstances in the operating room. There were no untoward effects of this policy." When a patient is a Jehovah's Witness, beyond the matter of choice, conscience comes into the picture. One cannot think only of the physician's conscience. What of the patient's? Jehovah's Witnesses view life as God's gift represented by blood. They believe the Bible's command that Christians must "abstain from blood" (Acts 15:28, 29).8 Hence, if a physician paternalistically violated such patients' deep and long-held religious convictions, the result could be tragic. Pope John Paul II has observed that forcing someone to violate his conscience "is the most painful blow inflicted to human dignity. In a certain sense, it is worse than inflicting physical death, or killing."9 While Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood for religious reasons, more and more non-Witness patients are choosing to avoid blood because of risks such as AIDS, non-A non-B hepatitis, and immunologic reactions. We may present to them our views as to whether such risks seem minor compared to the benefits. But, as the American Medical Association points out, the patient is "the final arbiter as to whether he will take his chances with the treatment or operation recommended by the doctor or risk living without it. Such is the natural right of the individual, which the law recognizes."10 Related to this, Macklin11 brought up the risk/benefit issue regarding a Witness "who risked bleeding to death without a transfusion." A medical student said: "His thought processes were intact. What do you do when religious beliefs are against the only source of treatment?" Macklin reasoned: "We may believe very strongly this man is making a mistake. But Jehovah's Witnesses believe that to be transfused . . . [may] result in eternal damnation. We are trained to do risk-benefit analyses in medicine but if you weigh eternal damnation against remaining life on earth, the analysis assumes a different angle."11 Vercillo and Duprey12 in this issue of the Journal refer to In re Osborne to highlight the interest in ensuring the security of dependents, but how was that case resolved? It concerned a severely injured father of two minor children. The court determined that if he died, relatives would materially and spiritually care for his children. So, as in other recent cases,13 the court found no compelling state interest to justify overriding the patient's choice of treatment; judicial intervention to authorize treatment deeply objectionable to him was unwarranted.14 With alternative treatment the patient recovered and continued to care for his family. Is it not true that the vast majority of cases physicians have confronted, or likely will, can be managed without blood? What we studied and know best has to do with medical problems, yet patients are human beings whose individual values and goals cannot be ignored. They know best about their own priorities, their own morals and conscience, which give life meaning for them. Respecting the religious consciences of Witness patients may challenge our skills. But as we meet this challenge, we underscore valuable liberties that all of us cherish. As John Stuart Mill aptly wrote: "No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government . . . Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest."15 1. Appelbaum PS, Roth LH: Patients who refuse treatment in medical hospitals. JAMA 1983; 250:1296-1301. 2. Macklin R: The inner workings of an ethics committee: Latest battle over Jehovah's Witnesses. Hastings Cent Rep 1988; 18(1):15-20. 3. Bouvia v Superior Court, 179 Cal App 3d 1127, 225 Cal Rptr 297 (1986); In re Brown, 478 So 2d 1033 (Miss 1985). 4. In re Storar, 438 NYS 2d 266, 273, 420 NE 2d 64, 71 (NY 1981). 5. Rivers v Katz, 504 NYS 2d 74, 80 n 6, 495 NE 2d 337, 343 n 6 (NY 1986). 6. Dixon JL, Smalley MG: Jehovah's Witnesses. The surgical/ethical challenge. JAMA 1981; 246:2471-2472. ==================================== However, this does not seem to answer the question entirely. Wikipedia has a good section on it, but I do not know if it is JW approved or not: One controversial doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaches the Bible prohibits consumption, storage and transfusion of blood, including in cases of emergency. This doctrine was introduced in 1945, and has been elaborated upon since then. Accordingly the organization has established Hospital Information Services responsible for education on and facilitation of “bloodless surgery.” This service also maintains Hospital Liaison Committees whose function is to provide support to adherents. Although accepted by a majority of Jehovah's Witnesses, evidence indicates a minority of Jehovah's Witnesses does not wholly endorse this doctrine. Facets of the doctrine have drawn praise and criticism from both members of the medical community and Jehovah's Witnesses alike. Current doctrine Using biblical texts such as Genesis 9:3 (NWT); Leviticus 17:10 (NWT) and Acts 15:29 (NWT), The current doctrine states that: Blood is sacred to God.[1] Blood means life in God's eyes.[2] Blood must not be eaten or transfused.[3] Blood leaving the body of a human or animal must be disposed of,[4] except for autologous blood transfusions considered part of a “current therapy”.[5][6] Blood was reserved for only one special use, the atonement for sins, which led up to Jesus' shed blood.[7][8] When a Christian abstains from blood, he or she is in effect expressing faith that only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can truly redeem him or her and save his or her life.[9] Even in the case of an emergency, it is not permissible to sustain life with transfused blood.[10] Conscientious violation of this doctrine is a serious offense, after which a member is subject to organized shunning.[11][12][13] [edit] Medical implications Certain medical procedures involving blood are specifically prohibited under the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine. Other procedures are not doctrinally prohibited. For procedures where there is no specific doctrinal prohibition, individuals are to obtain details from medical personnel and then make a personal decision.[14] Use of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and blood plasma are specifically prohibited under this doctrine. Other fractions derived from blood are not prohibited. However, the Watchtower organization states, "some products derived from one of the four primary components may be so similar to the function of the whole component and carry on such a life-sustaining role in the body that most Christians would find them objectionable."[15] The following medical procedures are prohibited: Transfusion of allogeneic whole blood, or of its constituents of red cells, white cells, platelets or plasma.[16] Transfusions of pre-operative donated autologous blood.[17] The following are examples of medical procedures and products not prohibited: Blood donation strictly for purpose of further fractionation of red cells, white cells, platelets or plasma for either allogeneic or autologous transfusion.[18][19] Transfusions of autologous blood part of a "current therapy".[20] Hemodilution, a modified technique in which equipment is arranged in a circuit that is constantly linked to the patient's circulatory system.[21] Intraoperative blood salvage (autologous) or cell-saver scavenging, a method of picking up blood that has spilled from the circulatory system into an open wound, cleaning and re-infusing it.[22] Heart-Lung Machine, a method in which blood is diverted to an artificial heart-lung machine and directed back into the patient.[23] Dialysis, wherein blood circulates through a machine, is filtered and cleaned, then returned to the patient.[24] Epidural Blood Patch, consisting of a small amount of the patient's blood injected into the membrane surrounding the spinal cord.[25] Plasmapheresis, wherein blood is withdrawn and filtered, having the plasma removed and substituted, and returned to the patient.[26] Labeling or Tagging, blood is withdrawn, mixed with medicine, and then returned to the patient by transfusion.[27][28] Platelet Gel, blood is withdrawn and put into a solution rich in platelets and white blood cells.[29] Fractions from red blood cell Hemoglobin, the content of red blood cells. Also see blood substitutes Fractions from white blood cells.[30] Interferons Interleukins Fractions from platelets[31] Platelet factor 4 Fractions from blood plasma.[32] Albumin Globulins Clotting factors, including Factor VIII and Factor IX derived from large quantities of stored blood Wound healing factor Erythropoietin (EPO).[33] PolyHeme, a blood substitute solution of chemically modified human hemoglobin.[34] Hemopure, a blood substitute solution of chemically stabilized bovine hemoglobin derived from cow's blood.[35] [edit] Bloodless surgery Main article: Bloodless surgery While many Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood on religious grounds, there are non-Witness patients who also choose to avoid blood on non-religious grounds out of concern for AIDS, non-A and non-B hepatitis, and immune system reactions. As a result, bloodless surgery and transfusion alternatives are more commonplace than in the past. However, the term bloodless surgery does not literally mean surgery where blood is not transfused.[36][37] Also, in relation to Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion, bloodless surgery may at times employ techniques and medical applications contrary to their interpretation of Biblical law.[38] Thousands of physicians around the world have expressed a willingness to respect patient preferences and provide bloodless treatment.[39] There are about 200 hospitals in the world featuring bloodless medicine and surgery programs as a special service for adult and pediatric patients who wish to avoid or limit blood transfusions, or to avoid treatment contrary to the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine.[40] Whatever the reasons for their choice, bloodless surgery has been successfully performed even in such invasive operations as open-heart surgery and total hip replacements.[41] The Pennsylvania Hospital is one example of a medical institution with a bloodless medicine program.[42] Worldwide, there are 106 medical centers utilizing bloodless medicine programs, with 99 in the United States alone. [43] Jehovah's Witnesses have produced video documentaries showing the benefits of bloodless surgery techniques featuring interviews with many leading surgeons and prominent physicians in this field of medicine.[44] [45] However, experts on bloodless surgery express that bloodless medical and surgical techniques have limitations, and that the use of various allogeneic blood products and/or pre-operative autologous blood transfusion is the standard of care for some patient presentations.[46][47] In cases of certain medical emergencies when bloodless medicine is not available, blood transfusions may seem to be the only available way to save a life. Such situations are obviously very serious. In such instances, Jehovah’s Witnesses may ask their doctors to provide the best alternative care possible under the circumstances, with respect for their personal conviction. If asked, “Would you deliberately allow your child to die if blood would save it?” the Watchtower organization suggests Jehovah’s Witness parents answer, “I would demand that medical science do everything possible to save my child’s life short of giving it blood.”[48] This has led to the death of members, as stated in the May 22, 1994 issue of Awake, p. 2: "In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue." [edit] Hospital Liaison Committees To facilitate surgery without violating their belief against transfusions, in 1988 the Watchtower organization formed Hospital Information Services, an internal department which in turn established Hospital Liaison Committees to enroll doctors and surgeons who will practice bloodless surgery for Witness patients.[49][50] As of 2003 about 200 hospitals in the world feature bloodless medical programs.[51] As of 2006 there are 1,535 Hospital Liaison Committees worldwide ‘coordinating communication between 110,000 physicians’ [52][53] Hospital Information Services researches medical literature on the subject and translates medical-journal articles into several different languages. This department provides information to the local Hospital Liaison Committees as well as to doctors and hospitals seeking assistance in treatment options for Witnesses.[54] The Watch Tower Society has published information about medical matters, blood transfusion in particular, in order to provide an explanation of their view, and also to promote the idea that the practice violates God's laws. Many Witnesses carry a "Hospital Care Card" or an "Advance Medical Directive/Release card" ("No Blood" card) and, in some countries, a health-care durable power of attorney (DPA) form outlining their wishes in case of emergencies. They also give this information to medical personnel prior to surgeries or other medical procedures that might involve blood, organ transplants, or a decision whether or not to sustain their lives under certain circumstances. The Watchtower also makes available an "Identity Card" for parents to have their Minor children carry outlining parental (or legal guardian) medical preferences, and including information on how to contact a parent, relative, or somebody responsible for the child.[55] Acceptance within the Jehovah's Witness community (Certainly this section is not without controversy apparently) Prior to the Watchtower organization developing its blood doctrine to the point of prohibiting transfusion, but after its doctrine began teaching blood should not be eaten (circa 1927-31), a firsthand eyewitness account of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Ravensbrueck concentration camp under Nazi Germany relates an overwhelming majority were willing to eat blood sausage despite having alternate food to choose from and specifically after considering biblical statements regarding blood.[56] The reliability of this testimony is confirmed by another observer, Gertrude Poetzinger, whose husband, Martin Poetzinger, was appointed to the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1977.[57][58] In September of 1945, Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for publishing Watchtower literature commented on blood transfusion in the Dutch edition of Consolation (now called Awake!). A translation into English reads, “When we lose our life because we refuse inoculations, that does not bear witness as a justification of Jehovah’s name. God never issued regulations which prohibit the use of drugs, inoculations or blood transfusions. It is an invention of people, who, like the Pharisees, leave Jehovah’s mercy and love aside.”[59] Since developing the blood doctrine to the point of prohibiting transfusion a majority of Jehovah's Witnesses have adopted the Watchtower organization's position.[60][61][62] However the doctrine has not had universal acceptance among Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watchtower organization has expressly acknowledged division among Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding this doctrinal position, and that it has received repeated requests from individual Jehovah’s Witnesses that the doctrine be changed to sanction medical transfusion of donor blood.[63][64][65][66] It also reports that some Jehovah’s Witnesses have voluntarily accepted blood transfusions contrary to Watchtower doctrine.[67] The organization affirms this remained the case despite initiating in 1961 its policy of communal shunning for conscientious acceptance of blood transfusion.[68][69] In 1982, a peer-reviewed case study of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was undertaken by Drs. Larry J. Findley and Paul M. Redstone to evaluate individual belief in respect to blood among Jehovah’s Witnesses. The result showed 12% were willing to accept transfusion therapy forbidden under Watchtower doctrine.[70] Other peer-reviewed studies examining medical records indicate a similar percentage of Jehovah’s Witnesses willing to accept blood therapies either for themselves or for their children.[71][72] In the August 1998 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine, Donald Ridley, a Jehovah’s Witness and Watchtower staff attorney, argued that carrying an up-to-date Medical Directive card issued by the Watchtower organization indicates an individual personally agrees with the established religious position of the Watchtower organization.[73] However, the Watchtower organization has issued letters expressing serious concern regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses activating and maintaining these very documents. One letter cites reports that up to 50% of Jehovah’s Witnesses had failed to maintain up-to-date Medical Directive cards, with the result that individual Witnesses were not protected from routine transfusions. [74] Another letter reports that a large majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses had not filled out the Watchtower-provided Durable Power of Attorney document.[75] With respect to religionists accepting official doctrine of their professed religion, the Watchtower organization states, “Nowadays official church dogma may bear scant resemblance to the personal beliefs of those who profess that particular religion.”[76] Regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses accepting the Watchtower organization’s official position on blood, Drs Cynthia Gyamfi and Richard Berkowitz state, “It is naïve to assume that all people in any religious group share the exact same beliefs, regardless of doctrine. It is well known that Muslims, Jews and Christians have significant individual variations in their beliefs. Why should that not also be true of Jehovah’s Witnesses?”[77] A Watchtower representative, Donald Ridley, expresses that Jehovah’s Witnesses pursue a range of objectives, not just one. He relates these interests include medical, psychological, social, economic, legal, educational and spiritual pursuits. Donald Ridley then expresses that “Maximizing the good in one of these spheres will come at a cost in some other sphere. Rational people will trade off benefits in different spheres until the aggregate total is maximized.”[78] An apparent majority of Jehovah's Witnesses agree with Watchtower doctrine regarding blood, and these Jehovah’s Witnesses are typically fervent in their conviction.[79] However, this does not make insignificant the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who do not fully agree with the Watchtower’s blood doctrine. [edit] History of doctrine Charles Taze Russell, the first president of the Watchtower Society, referenced the Apostolic Decree recorded in the Bible in Acts 15:29. He wrote that “The things mentioned were merely to guard against stumbling themselves or becoming stumbling blocks to others.”[80] In 1909, Russell wrote concerning abstinence from blood, “it was necessary to the peace of the Church that the Gentiles should observe this matter also.” Regarding stipulations of the Apostolic Decree, Russell concluded, “these items thus superadded to the Law of Love should be observed by all spiritual Israelites as representing the Divine will.”[81] After Russell's death in 1916, Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded Russell as president of the Watchtower organization. Under his administration Jehovah’s Witnesses depicted uses of blood as heroic and the Lord’s work.[82][83] In 1925, blood transfusion was mentioned in an issue of Golden Age. It reported on Mr. B. W. Tibble who donated blood on forty-five separate occasions. The article highlighted his refusal of payment for donating, and the honor accordingly bestowed upon him by Order of the king.[84] In 1927 the Watchtower organization addressed blood, stating, “God told Noah that every living creature… must not eat the blood…”.[85] In 1931 this was expounded by the Watchtower organization teaching “that it was not the eating of the blood that God objected to, but it was bringing the blood of the beast in contact with the blood of man.”[86] At this time the Watchtower organization taught that human blood was sacred and that it was wrong to contaminate human blood with animal blood.[87] In 1940 while discussing interesting medical news, the Watchtower organization reported on a woman who accidentally shot herself with a revolver in her heart and survived a major surgical procedure during which an attending physician donated a quart of his own blood for transfusion.[88] After Rutherford’s death in 1942, the Watchtower organization (under Nathan Homer Knorr’s administration) wrote in 1944, “the stranger was forbidden to eat or drink blood, whether by transfusion or by the mouth” and that this applied “in a spiritual way to the consecrated persons of good-will today, otherwise known as “Jonadabs” of the Lord’s “other sheep.””[89] In 1945, the application of the doctrine on blood was expanded to prohibit blood transfusions of whole blood, whether allogeneic or autologous. [90] While the prohibition didn't specify any punitive measures for accepting a transfusion, by January of 1961 it became a disfellowshipping offence to conscientiously accept a blood transfusion.[91] This represented an admitted shift toward increased strictness by the Watchtower organization imposing additional obligation upon the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses.[92] As part of this doctrinal shift, the Watchtower organization warned that accepting a blood transfusion could prevent them from living eternally in God's new world, the hope held by members: "It may result in the immediate and very temporary prolongation of life, but that at the cost of eternal life for a dedicated Christian."[93] In September of 1961, the Watchtower doctrine stated that accepting fractions from blood was in violation of God’s law.[94] Two months later, in November, the doctrine was modified to allow fractions used from blood for purposes such as vaccination.[95] This position has been expanded on since, to a point where a Watchtower-provided Durable Power of Attorney form provided the following acceptable option for Jehovah’s Witnesses: ”I accept all fractions derived from any primary component of blood."[96] Publications by Watchtower frequently point out negative results from blood transfusions. "And let the transfusion enthusiasts with a savior-complex ponder the fact that on many occasions transfusions do harm, spread disease, and frequently cause deaths, which, of course, are not publicized." [97] In the news article, Watching the World, reference is made to a man named Robert Khoury, who, after receiving a blood transfusion said, “When I recovered I found I had a terrible desire to steal.”[98] The May 22, 1974 AWAKE! p. 18 quotes the United States Congressional Record: "'The Center for Disease Control has stated that the actual rate of hepatit[i]s may be well in excess of the official figure due to the failure of many physicians to report serum hepatit[i]s cases. The center estimates that as many as 35,000 deaths and 500,000 illnesses a year may be due to the presence of serum hepatit[i]s in blood for transfusions.'" In a 1961 Watchtower, Dr. Américo Valério, A Brazilian doctor and surgeon for over forty years, was quoted as saying "Moral insanity, sexual perversions, repression, inferiority complexes, petty crimes—these often follow in the wake of blood transfusion." In addition, reference is made to the book, Who Is Your Doctor and Why?, wherein Doctor Alonzo Jay Shadman says: “The blood in any person is in reality the person himself. It contains all the peculiarities of the individual from whence it comes. This includes hereditary taints, disease susceptibilities, poisons due to personal living, eating and drinking habits. . . . The poisons that produce the impulse to commit suicide, murder, or steal are in the blood.” [99] "The heart is a marvelously designed muscular pump, but, more significantly, our emotional and motivating capacities are built within it. Love, hate, desire (good and bad), preference for one thing over another, ambition, fear--in effect, all that serves to motivate us in relationship to our affections and desires springs from the heart.... It is significant that heart-transplant patients, where the nerves connecting the heart and brain are severed, have serious emotional problems after the operation." [100] In support of such statements, references are made to the Medical World News [101], and to Dr. D. E. Schneider, a neurologist and psychiatrist of New York. The August 2006 Awake! highlighted dangers from Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), mentioning that this was the cause of around 500 deaths in the USA in 2002. The New Scientist magazine stated that "researchers now agree that TRALI occurs in about one in 5000 transfusions, which means there are at least 5300 TRALI reactions per year in the US alone, and something like 500 deaths."[7] [102] In 1964, Jehovah's Witnesses were prohibited from obtaining transfusions for pets, from using fertilizer containing blood, and were even encouraged to write to dog food manufacturers to verify that their products were blood-free.[103] Later that year, Jehovah's Witnesses doctors and nurses were instructed to withhold blood transfusions from fellow Jehovah's Witnesses. As to administering transfusions to non-members, The Watchtower stated that such a decision is "left to the Christian doctor’s own conscience."[104] In 1982, a Watchtower article declared that it would be wrong for a Witness to allow a leech to feed on his/her blood as part of a medical procedure, due to the sacredness of blood.[105] In 1989 The Watchtower stated, "Each individual must decide" whether to accept hemodilution and autologous blood salvage (cell saver) procedures.[106] In 1990, a brochure entitled How Can Blood Save Your Life? was released, outlining Jehovah's Witnesses' general doctrine on blood. In 2000, the Watchtower organization's stand on blood fractions was clearly stated.[107] Members were instructed to personally decide if accepting a fraction would violate the doctrine on blood. In a later article, members were reminded that Jehovah's Witnesses do not donate blood or store their own blood prior to surgery.[108] In May of 2001, the Watchtower organization released revised Medical Directives and Identity Cards addressing its doctrinal position on blood. The Watchtower organization released these revised documents for distribution to commence as of May 3, 2001.[109] These revised documents specified that “allogeneic blood transfusions” were unacceptable whereas the former document (dated 1999) stated that “blood transfusions” were unacceptable. The revised 2001 documents were active until December 20, 2001. At that time the Watchtower organization rescinded the 2001 revised document, stating, “After further review, it has been determined that the cards dated “md-E 6/01” and “ic-E 6/01” should not be used. Please destroy these items and make sure that they are not distributed to the publishers.” Elders were instructed to revert to the older 1999 edition of the Watchtower issued Medical Directives and Identity Cards.[110] [edit] Critical views The disallowing of blood transfusions has met with internal objections by individual Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as criticism from the medical, ethical and legal communities, especially over the death of children of Jehovah's Witnesses who have fought against the administration of blood in emergencies. Some feel there are several inconsistencies and contradictions in the current policy, and groups such as Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood are striving to have these concerns addressed.[111] If a person has previously been disfellowshipped for accepting a blood fraction that is now permissible, they are not automatically reinstated, as the disfellowshipping is considered to be a result of showing disrespect for the leadership of the Organization as much as the issue of blood. Jehovah's Witnesses' stance on blood has been controversial, particularly in the case of children. In the United States, many physicians will agree to explore and exhaust all non-blood alternatives in the treatment of children at the request of their legal guardians. However, some state laws require physicians to administer blood-based treatment to minors if it is their professional opinion that doing so is necessary in order to prevent immediate death or severe and permanent damage. In her article in the Journal of Church and State, Kerry Louderback-Wood alleges that for the Watchtower organization to label the currently acceptable blood fractions as "minute" in relation to whole blood causes followers to misunderstand the scope and extent of allowed fractions.[112] She also claims that Witness publications exaggerate the medical risks of taking blood and the efficiency of non-blood medical therapies in critical situations.[113] Witnesses respond that blood as the fluid per se is not the real issue. They say the real issue is respect and obedience for God’s personal property- blood.[114][115] That the matter blood is not at stake, is seen in the fact that members are allowed to eat meat which will still have some blood left in it. As soon as blood is drained from an animal, the respect has been shown to God and then a person can eat the meat even though it will contain a small amount of blood. Jehovah's Witnesses view of meat and blood thus is different than the Jewish view that goes to great lengths to remove any little trace of blood. [8] [9] Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, revealed in his book Crisis of Conscience that, for some years prior to 1975, hemophiliacs writing or phoning Jehovah's Witnesses headquarters were told that they would be allowed to take a clotting factor derived from blood just once as "medication," but that taking it more than once would be considered "feeding on blood," and was thus prohibited.[116] In a meeting on June 11, 1975, the Governing Body adjusted its position, deciding to allow hemophiliacs to take clotting factors repeatedly. This change of policy was privately communicated to those who had earlier enquired, but was not published until 1978, when it was mentioned briefly in a Watchtower article discussing serum injections.[117] It is not known how many hemophiliac members may have survived between 1975 and 1978 had they chosen to accept this treatment, unaware of any changes in the official position. Immunoglobulin injections are also controversial, requiring 3 litres of blood to manufacture and often coming from pooled blood sources containing the blood of up to 60,000 people Lastly, here are some sites that appear to be former JWs who comment on the practice
  • According to thier website they use 'other' types of blood products in hospitals... They refuse blood transfusions... see: for further info on the Jehovahs witnesses blood trans doctrine...
  • Because of the overwhelming abundance of print on this subject, i couldn't read every word and only skimmed some of it. I noticed the statement that we are confused over the issue. It may be said, more to the point, that we individually draw different lines in the matter of conscience. True, our understanding has become more refined and we have adjusted our thinking over the years. Consider this: We will not eat blood-sausage or other foods known to be made with blood and yet we eat meat (as did the Israelites and Jesus himself), knowing that there are traces of blood in them. God's law, not only to the Israelites, but to all decendents of Noah, Jew and Gentile (Genesis 9:5+) forbade the eating of blood. The restriction was repeated to Christians (Acts 15) as a necessary thing. Now, am i imagining things or are a few people awfully worked up over whether i take a part of a blood cell into my body? Properly bleeding meat makes it sufficiently blood-free to show the respect for blood that God intended and for the saving blood or our Savior, Jesus. The arguments of some remind me of Jesus words to his opposers who complained because John the Baptizer wouldn't eat or drink and complained about Jesus who did both. Which is the real stickler? That we won't take blood or that some of us might, in good conscience, take a product that has a trace of it?
  • Nope. In the bible it says to abstain from blood. We would not accept anything derived from blood, unlike what JehovahWitness says. We would however, accept a non-blood alternative.
  • Some will agree to use their own blood (have it taken out and stored so they can use it at a later date) or blood expanders. Other wise, no. However, if a child is in a life-threatening situation and they need blood to survive, the parents cannot refuse.
  • i dont think so
  • As a matter of Bible principle Jehovah's witnesses abstain from putting blood or whole blood products into their bodies. There are certain components of blood that are used by Jehovah's witnesses. But never whole blood. The Bible says refrain from eating blood. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't make any difference if you put it into your mouth if you take it by enema or you inject it into your veins you're still putting blood in your body
  • I mean they contain blood, no?

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