Are Jehovah’s Witnesses free to make informed decisions about blood transfusions?


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  1. Been there

    Helpful but what to do when patient refuses your request blood committee to leave room.
    With the liaison committee present this forms coercion and consent requires knowledge capacity and lack of coercion. I hope to never be in the situation again.

    • this is a sad story

      What do you say when a teen says her mom can stay in the room when you wish to speak about birth control or screen for illicit drug use? You take charge of the room, correct?

  2. Vinny

    Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) predicted the end of the world, IN WRITING, numerous times. Not once did they come true. They truly are known for their ‘False Predictions’ the world over.

    JWs are taught that they alone are TRUE Christians and that all other people not JW will soon be destroyed. This is no exaggeration.

    JWs will allow their own children TO DIE rather than accept a life saving blood transfusion even in severe medical emergencies. It has already happened THOUSANDS of times!

    Just like this mother died unnecessarily! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7078455.stm

    And now her husband has no wife and her two new twins have no mother. And all for what?

    Or this teenager that also DIED: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/8690785.stm

    This is very simple. JW’s NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

    From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

    As a 15 year active JW and zealous person for Jehovah (and an elder) here is my own story: http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/922#.USEl4aWhDHh

    JWs used to forbid Vaccinations and Organ Transplants (calling a life saving transplant “Cannibalism”) for a combined 33 years.

    JWs enforce extreme shunning for any member that decides to leave their religion or who commits a sin without showing enough repentance in front of the elders.

    Families have been devastated because of these harsh shunning policies. I have literally seen parents cut off all ties with their children solely because the kid did not want to remain a JW but went in another direction.

    Even the ex-JWs who leave the religion on their own, who are 100 percent truthful, sincere, love God, pay their taxes, help others and more are still SHUNNED by all current JW’s and marked as godless, proud, sinning apostates. And the Awake magazine recently literally called them “mentally diseased”.

    And MANY contemplate suicide because the penalties of losing everything are simply TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

    But an honest question is: Why do so many JWs leave after being one time followers?

    As I eventually found out, the JW religion did say, IN WRITING, that the end would come in 1914 and then again in 1925. Was Jehovah directing all that? 1914 and 1925 came and went! They were proven false predictions. Period.

    They also said the end very likely would happen in 1975 and even commended (in the watchtower) witnesses for selling their houses and pioneering because of it.

    But 1975 came and went!

    They also said (for many decades) that the end would come before the generation born in 1914 passed away. In fact up until 1995 it was written inside each Awake magazine cover. Only they then had to change that meaning as well (including the Awake masthead) because that generation CAME AND WENT TOO.

    I was a JW (and elder) for 15 years before leaving because of the blood and fractions policy 10 yrs ago. Today I’m shunned by all JWs simply because I left the religion.

    Most JWs simply accept everything the Watchtower teaches and says as “food from God”. Just like I did.

    Most believe God has chosen the Watchtower Society as his “channel”, which provides food from God Himself to their religion and ONLY their religion.

    But an honest look at the facts of the JW religion shows God has not chosen the Watchtower for anything!

    Take a LOOK: http://www.freeminds.org/history/part2.htm

    ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

    Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

    Obviously ‘GOD’ would not get things wrong like this. Obviously ‘GOD’ did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

    But most JW’s have no idea about these things. They’re told to stay away from anything critical of their religion.

    For example: Was God’s spirit with JW’s when they said Organ Transplants were a “conscience matter” in 1961?

    OR,

    Was God”s spirit with WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are same as “Cannibalism” in 1967and forbid them?

    OR, was God’s spirit with the Watchtower Society when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are NOT the same as cannibalism in 1980 and now allow them?

    Was God behind all those changes each time? Did ((GOD)) get all those things wrong each time? How many people DIED by refusing kidney transplants for example only later on to be told they’re OK to have now?

    Which is why some end up taking their lives due to losing their family, or feel compelled to speak out about it, like me right here and now.

    And now, because I walked away, JWs are demanded to shun you for life (including your very own family).

    Which is why if I can help some honest hearted people by sharing my own story as a warning it’s truly is a worthwhile thing to do.

    Examine, examine, examine and ask as many questions as you can.

    Vinny

    • Jim Rizoli

      Vinny….Great summation of the JW’s.
      Bottom line the JW’s are a Cult and operate that way.
      I have pretty much put my past life with them behind me and have moved on but the trail of hurt and pain continues on for thousands of others. They say they are a religion of love but it’s just the opposite because their love is conditional. You must love their organization and put it above all else.
      If not you will be heading for a quick exit. I was DF’d for “loose Conduct”…..which had nothing to do with sexual matters but was morphed into not agreeing with the elders, on several issues.
      Bottom line you have to go along to get along.
      Been out for over 20 years and life is good….went through my mourning stage, writing stage, and all the pain that went along with it….
      Now I look back and feel sorry for all those still stuck in the fish bowl…..
      You really don’t see the light until you are out of the fish bowl, but when that day happens the scales fall off your eyes and you can actually say Free at last Free at last…

      Jim Rizoli
      Framingham Mass

    • James

      7hey Vinny. There you are again. Wow. You really get around. You must be on welfare to have so much time to troll the Internet posting your stuff that is removed as offensive from almost everywhere you post. Enjoy the free money and beer at the end of yhe month. It’s coming soon.

      • shiwiii

        This is the reply of someone who cannot refute the statements, but instead tries to attack the person instead of the context because there is no defending the practices stated.

    • Shayda

      Thank you. I left about 14yrs ago for good when my first son was born. I come from an entire family of JWs. My dad was an elder, my mom is a pioneer, all my brothers and sisters (9 of them now…one brother committed suicide 3yrs ago) all my cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles. I have dealt with this pain of shunning for years from family and old friends. It has led to depression, anxiety, alcoholism…I’m turning my life around but the pain is always there. I never understood the blood thing even when I was younger and baptized at 15. I was born in 1975 so perhaps Inwas destined to leave as I survived thru that Armaggedon prediction. Lol.

      • felica

        I was born in 1975 and was baptized when I was 13. I left about 15 years ago and life is so much better! All of my family are still JW’s. they will never see “the light” till they can step outside the box. Lol

    • John Dorward

      This situation happened to My son-in-laws wife. Two years ago she died giving birth to twin girls due to refusing blood. HLC plus, elders, and half the congregation was there to make sure she nor husband would cave in to having blood.
      Jump ahead about a year later, and my daughter(with a 5 yr old) married the father of the twins. They are happy and she loves the twins as if they were her own. Both are weak “in the truth”.
      The WT has so much blood on its hands, it’s unfathomable.
      Thank you for your insight on the subject,
      Sincerely,
      John

  3. Mary

    The idea that Jehovah’s Witnesses are free to make the decision not to take a blood transfusion is comparable to those at Jonestown being ‘free’ to make the decision to drink the Kool-Aid. You are brainwashed into either conforming what the religious leader(s) tell you to do, or risk losing everything you know and love. In essence, you have a spiritual gun to your head. My brother in law died because of the ban on blood transfusions. It’s a totally sickening doctrine that I’m pretty sure the present leaders know is bogus. However, if they get rid of it now, they risk multiple lawsuits from family members who lost loved ones after being told that Jehovah forbids human blood transfusion.

  4. Crow

    The question that needs to be asked about the Hospital Liaison Committee (the WT blood police) is whether they are involved in the JW patient’s care for the good of the patient or if their interests lie in promoting alternative treatments.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not dying for a religious belief, they are dying for the advancement of medical technologies and research. Most of the drugs that are used as alternatives to blood transfusions are used in an off-label fashion or they are drugs/products that have been approved only for Jehovah’s Witnesses under compassionate use programs as a way to either keep the product in production or to get into the marketplace.

    Two examples.

    In 1979, the FDA gave approval for the human testing of Fluosol-DA, a blood ‘substitute’ that was manufactured in Japan by Green Cross. The Jehovah’s Witness population was targeted for a clinical trial – which, of course, indicates that the Watchtower Society was involved in the FDA hearings, offering up the JWs as guinea pigs. And how did that go? Well, not so well. Fluosol-DA ended with with an FDA warning because of the high risks and mortality associated with it’s use and eventually was pulled from production.

    And then there is the Hemopure trials. Same thing. Hemopure was tested on JWs (and others) along with other blood substitutes such as Polyheme. And FDA stopped the trials on those. Why? Because Hemopure added an additional 30% risk of mortality. Hemopure is still available, however. Only for JWS and only with FDA approval on an individual basis, arranged for by the Watchtower’s blood police – the HLC – and…the US Department of Defense. That’s right – the religion that disallows its members to enlist in military service, even to the point of imprisonment for those who refuse, will willingly and knowingly arrange for those same members to serve their country in the capacity of research subjects for military research in to blood products.

    The Hospital Information Services of the Watchtower – the HLC – has a vested interest in promoting alternatives to blood transfusions. They have little interest in the JW patient’s spiritual beliefs other than that those beliefs are what keeps the bloodless industry well supplied with guinea pigs.

    • Crow

      I forgot to add this.

      The Hospital Liaison Committee became an official department of the Watchtower Society in….1979. The very same year that the clinical trials for Fluosol-DA would have required recruiters for the JWs who would be enrolled in those trials.

    • John Dorward

      Hello
      I’m not surprised at WT involvement in this greedy, selfish, scheme. Was wondering, where did you find all of this info? It is a mind blower. I have been out since 2013 and keep on learning more and more trash of this cult.
      Have you or did you connect with Mike and Kim about this? I would be glad to share this with them if you wouldn’t mind.
      Thank you for this info as I plan to share with my still “in” children.
      Sincerely.
      John

  5. Paul

    JWs and blood transfusions are different than Catholics and contraception, because if a JW is discovered taking a blood transfusion they are automatically considered to have disassociated themselves and hence shunned.

  6. Daniel Walker

    I was a Witness for over thirty years and can confirm that this article is correct. Witnesses are raised in an environment where total obedience to Watchtower law is required across a wide range of subjects, under pain of shunning. They are taught never to read or share material that contradicts Watchtower laws and teachings, and again flouting this rule can potentially lead to shunning. They are largely forbidden from having friends or marrying those who are not witnesses, so when shunned they literaly lose everyone they know. The information they are given about blood is extremely misleading and incomplete, and compliance is enforce at the beside by the Hospital Liason Committee, who will observe if a Witness “chooses incorrectly” and form a committee with a view to potentially instruct shunning of that Witness.

    The Witness might be able to convince this committee to forgive them if they are “truly repentant” in Watchtower parlance but this is by no means certain, as such committees are notoriously fickle. The person will need to prove they are sorry for taking a transfusion and surviving, and not simply trying to avoid being shunned. Additionally, if a medical condition requires multiple transfusions over a period of time, the committee will view the repeat offenders as proof that the person was not really sorry.

    In short, Watchtower does indeed demand that Witesses choose between their lives and their loved ones.

  7. Julie Leon

    When information is suppressed and the only information a person has on the subject is from one source, such as is the case with JWs, there is no informed decision.

  8. Crow

    The Watchtower Society uses terms in different ways than the rest of the world does.

    “Informed consent” in JW speak actually means “informed by the organization and the organization only”.

    The information that over rides anything and everything that a medical professional can tell a JW about the benefits of a blood transfusion is this: Paradise. Simply that. There is nothing that a doctor can tell a truly deluded JW that will overcome the promise they have been given to them by the Watchtower: that they will live forever in a paradise earth… if they reject a blood transfusion.

    Just imagine Eloise Dupuis’s choices. She believed that if she accepted a blood transfusion that not only would she not be resurrected into that promised paradise but that she was also putting her baby’s chance at eternal life at risk. A baby, according to the WT, is judged on its parents’ actions. If it happens that “Armageddon” arrives before they have grown up enough to become baptized and the parents are not in Jehovah’s favor, then the child will be destroyed with no hope of a paradise existence. Therefore, in Eloise’s mind, she had to refuse blood so that her baby could also get to paradise – accept blood and neither her or her baby would make it through Armageddon. And, she had to reject the transfusion or her husband wouldn’t see her in paradise – he would lose too.

    It is the same dilemma for all her family members. If her husband gave permission to transfuse her, he would lose his paradise hope. So would any other JW who stepped up to the plate and said “please, please, save this woman’s life and give her blood.”

    The other phrase that has loaded meaning to it is “conscience matter”. The rest of the world thinks that this phrase means that each JW individual has permission to choose blood or not based on “their conscience”. The only place that this looks good is in a court of law that thinks the phrase means the same as it would in regular use: that the JW is free to use his/her conscience in deciding whether to take blood or not.

    “Conscience matter” implies that the individual has freedom of choice. Well, they do. But what the WT fails to elaborate on is that refusing blood is a sign of a “godly conscience” and taking blood is a sign of “bad conscience” – with consequences.
    The WT uses the individual’s stand on blood to define if their conscience is bad or good.

    When a Jehovah’s Witness walks into a hospital with a noblood card in their wallet, or a noblood ID of some sort, they have a blood bomb strapped to their back. A bomb that will explode the minute they need a blood transfusion to live and the Watchtower doesn’t care how many people get splattered when it goes off. The emotional and psychological toll, not only on the entire medical staff, that have to deal with watching helplessly while the patient dies needlessly, but also on families, friends and entire communities, is a disaster that has a ripple impact with no real way to measure the damage. Invisible damage – trauma left behind. And then there is the visible damage – the increased cost and burden on our public health system in Canada to care for a group of people who have an imaginary rare blood disorder.

    Most people will say “…oh, those stupid people, if they want to die, let them. It doesn’t affect anybody else.” But it does – the medical community has been throttled and held hostage for decades by an American corporation (the Watchtower Society) that has a phobia about sharing blood. The WTS has used and misused the law in order to force their brand of medicine onto the existing medical establishment.

  9. Gayle

    https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/watchtower-study-february-2017
    12 The Governing Body is neither inspired nor infallible. Therefore, it can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction.

    Please JWs consider, since the Governing Body admit in the WT they “can err in doctrinal matters or in organizational direction,” please research more personally, deeply. Your life and the life of your loved ones depend on you reviewing all things.

  10. Diane King

    I find this very interesting having emerged from a cult environment myself, not JW, but there are similar characteristics – perhaps the preeminent being: “The leadership defining and enforcing personal convictions as God’s Word.” That’s the wonder of liberty in Christ – is HE leads us. Having said that, the issue of blood transfusions – there is NOTHING in the Scripture that prohibits this – the Lord saying, “The life is in the blood” and in the sacrifices, not to be consumed. (I summarized – “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Lev 17:11). (A foreshadowing of Jesus shedding His blood for us, of course).

    So, having said that, I have a problem with the medical profession in general, and how they acquire donated blood. I hope I’m never in a situation requiring it or medical attention AT ALL. (I’ve come by loathing of the medical profession honestly and have had all 5 of my kids at home, to begin with.) But that isn’t a biblical principle (other than 2 Chronicles 16:12: “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.”)

    You know cults by their fruits – split families, damaged individuals. Be wary of other such cults, especially politically and historically.

  11. John

    As a former JW (over 20 yrs in) and whose family are still in I can assure you 100% there are two reasons they don’t accept blood. Coercion and fear. Those who actually do honestly believe it’s wrong are victims of crafty manipulation both of scripture and medical science.

  12. Leesa Hawes

    From a third generation ex- Jehovahs Witness Australian perspective. Women in the organisation are expected to be obedient, submissive homemakers or pioneers (full-time preachers). The Watchtower corporation is a patriarchal, misogynistic organisation that discourages its adherents from pursuing higher education. Women like myself who had a minimum formal education are lead to believe that the Watchtower uses credible scientific research for its articles on health and that its “no blood policy” is bible based. In their own words, the Watchtower state that Christians are commanded to abstain from blood, you will prosper and have good health and it equates blood with fornication and idolatry. “Acts 15:28, 29 If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!” (There the eating of blood is equated with idolatry and fornication, things that we should not want to engage in)”. In an emergency such as a placenta abruption which I experienced with my fourth child, it is standard procedure to telephone an elder who supported my husband so he did not weaken in faith and consent to a blood transfusion for myself. Which I now understand is undue influence. Despite signing all the relevant no blood consent forms, I had no real understanding of the dangers posed by the WT no blood policy in an emergency situation. The personal cost of displaying a lack of faith or disobedience to the Watchtower and their interpretation of the bibles resurrection of the dead, by accepting a transfusion is to be treated by all friends and family as a person without faith, shunned, seen as unclean, mentality diseased and excommunicated, if you did not repent of the sin of accepting a transfusion, even if it saved your life. As a world rejecting in-group the threat of expulsion is an effective control mechanism as members have no external support and are taught from birth the world and worldly persons on the outside are under satanic control.

  13. Joseph Rizoli

    Personally, ANY treatment can be refused if a person thinks that it is either a religious stance or a helath issue.
    The problem with the WT organization is even though they dont claim they are “inpried” they write and claim they are “Gods
    prophet”, thus its member obey out of fear of going against God. A similar Biblical situation and dilemma happened in the Bible with the man Ahithophel, His words were as from God, or God’s “oracle”. He told his men to committ sin and they did. Being an oracle from God gives you a lot of power. People need to find out if the WT is really an oracle or not. For the most of us out of the group we found out they werent. Refusing blood is a personal matter.

  14. Margaret

    “In the interim—–”
    This sounds like a very reasonable interim measure to tackle this problem for Witnesses.
    It would not be a good idea to take away the right to refuse treatment even if it meant death for all patients.

    • Crow

      I am all in favor of a patient having the right to refuse medical treatment. Absolutely. Everyone has that right . Providing their are of sound mind

      The right to refuse implicitly means that a person also has the right to accept – and that is the right that has been taken away from them. They also have the right to accurate information in order to make an informed decision to accept or reject medical treatment. They don’t have that. The Watchtower’s promotional propaganda for alternative bloodless treatment never says anything about the risks of that treatment or anything at all about the benefits of a blood transfusion.

      Many of the JWs still hold onto that outdated and superstitious belief that they will acquire the traits of the one who donated the blood and that notion came directly from the Watchtower back in the days of early transplants when transplants were prohibited by the WT. Many JWs believe that if they get the blood of a homosexual that they can become homosexual. Or that they could become a murderer if that is who gave them blood.

      The JWs are pathetically misinformed and uninformed about the medical use of blood. What they really need is to be given the correct information about blood transfusions and to be de-programmed from the blood phobia that they have inherited from the Watchtower Society. The Watchtower Society is responsible for taking a phobia and turning it into a religious belief and then using that superstitious belief to promote medicine that avoids the sharing of blood.

      • shiwiii

        I have to agree with everything you just wrote here

  15. Steve

    JWs say they refuse blood on Biblical grounds and then attempt to shore up their refusal with medical science selectively sourced or entirely misused. Then they ‘slip’ back to Scripture by saying,”Ultimately, we refuse because the Bible forbids it”.

    In the meantime, a perusal of their one-sided literature continues to bolster a very dubiously literal take on ancient texts.

  16. shiwiii

    Where in the Bible does it say that fraction are ok, but whole blood is not?

    It doesn’t, it is only men who have made this distinction under the self appointed “mouthpiece of God”

  17. Joe Dodd

    The WBTS claims that a baby’s clotting factor peaks on the 8th day hence the reason why baby boys were circumcised on the 8th day, therefore further proof that the bible is inspired by god. Is there any medical proof of this as I’ve never read it in any medical journal.

  18. john ship

    I have been in jws 50 years now no longer accept their stand on blood since the asurd policy of alowing fractions of blood.this raises the question if it ok to take fractions where do the fractions come from? They come from donors. So is it now ok for me to be a blood donor?

  19. Claire Beecham

    I ashamed to say that at one time in my life I assisted Watchtower/ Jw.org in their legal activities. I remember one Watchtower lawyer telling me how those on the JW liason committee were trained when having to meet with hospital faculty who had concerns for their patients. One such tactic was to have the liason members strategically sit with their backs to the windows so their faces would not be clearly visible. This would create intimidation. It bothered me then. Haunts me now.

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