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Articles & Posts

Without fanfare, Jehovah’s Witnesses quietly soften position on blood transfusions

Exchange transfusion - series: MedlinePlus Medical EncyclopediaTom Blackwell, National Post Staff | Dec 20, 2012 9:59 PM ET

For years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ fiercely held belief that blood transfusions are contrary to God’s will led to emotional and very public disputes, hospitals clashing with parents over whether to infuse sick children.

That long history of messy legal confrontations appears to be vanishing, however, amid changing approaches to the issue on both sides, health-care officials say.

The church’s ban on accepting blood still stands, but some major pediatric hospitals have begun officially acknowledging the parents’ unorthodox beliefs, while many Jehovah’s Witnesses are signing letters recognizing that doctors may sometimes feel obliged to transfuse, they say.

As institutions show more respect toward parents’ faith and try harder not to use blood, Witnesses often seem eager to avoid involving child-welfare authorities to facilitate transfusions, and more accepting that Canadian case law is firmly on the doctors’ side, some hospital officials say.

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12 comments to Without fanfare, Jehovah’s Witnesses quietly soften position on blood transfusions

  • Jacqueline

    Some blood transfusions are allowed, some not. Very heavy, deep article.

    http://ajwrb.org/watchtower-approved-blood-transfusions

  • Frank

    Interesting – and confusing for the poor publishers. When I was an elder, you cannot believe how many publishers asked me to help them “decide” on how they should fill out their “blood card” – the options are bewildering. And the Organization sticks with its default policy – these are the (current) options – “each person takes responsibility for his own choice”.

    Which, as many can attest, is double-speak for “you carry the can – irrespective of how we move the goalposts.”

    In effect the Organization uses the publishers as sacrificial lambs:
    - Organization makes policy
    - Publishers are ‘encouraged’ to obey. (The threat of disfellowshipping and/or losing Jehovah’s favour are powerful incentives, yes?)
    - Publishers who run into conflict with the Law are given “legal support’ – but each individual ‘lives with the consequences’
    - Organization benefits. Apparent ‘victories’ are publicised, to prod the faithful. Where things don’t work out, the publisher is either used as an example of a martyr, or as a warning.

    it’s the classic “Heads We Win, Tails You Lose” ploy. If you study Organization written policy, and have a legal background, you will immediately detect how it is very carefully cloaked in legalistic terms / methodology. Why? To protect the Organization. Maybe one day I’ll get round to telling you how an Organization policy flip-flop led to Bigamy.

  • Jacqueline

    This is the download of the 15 page article of the Awake magazine. It is painful but it should be posted to add to the Awake Front page above.
    http://www.mediafire.com/view/j1x6pso6b0v7axj/youths_who_put_god_first_1994_AWAKE_15_pages.pdf

  • keepha

    They now think giving blood is a conscience matter?

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Keefa – Do you have any additional information on this?

    • Jacqueline

      I don’t know about giving blood Keepha. In some countries it is against the law for the society to punish in any way a member if they TAKE blood. In the US most publishers are not aware of these laws in other countries. Now if anyone take blood here you can repent like any other (sin), whereas in the past you were seized upon in the hospital and told not to, if you did you got disfellowshiped.

    • Erika

      From what I’ve been told by an JW elder is that all though they can not disfellowship you, the congregation elders consider a person disassociating themselves from the organization if they take a blood transfusion or authorize one for someone else that is in their immediate family. I guess a loop hole in the law of leaving it to an individual’s conscience.

      • Jacqueline

        Erika, such a life or death issue of blood transfusions or organ transplants, chemo therapy etc are medica.l issues not addressed in scriptures. These quirks are there for control and a marketing ploy to get him noticed ( Rutherford & Noah, Franz) and it worked.
        Everyone have birthdays but not all get married so he outlaws birthdays. It is about control. Jesus shed blood and blood over the doorpost in Egypt saved lives. In fact unless blood is poured out no forgiveness takes place and life results from our sons being forgiven. Please don’t fret but instead take it to God in prayer and if you feel you committed a sin ask for forgiveness in Jesus name and leave it at the foot of Jesus. The men that keep bothering you with this are company men for the governingbody to keep their members in fear of them.
        These men have no power over you, only what you allow. You are a grown woman, able to make your own medical decisions.
        Their additional laws means nothing. They have more than the law code like the Sanhedrin of Jesus day and he said they bind them on the people but won’t on themselves. These are just men like you. Take care and pray. Jacqueline

        • Erika

          Thanks for making me more comfortable about it. I have went back and forth about the matter for two years now. I appreciate you for that Jacqueline.

          • Jacqueline

            Erika you are so welcome, I am home now. I can’t imagine your pain over how you are treated because you took a blood transfusion. Erika I noticed something that it is mostly women and children that die from this issue of no blood transfusion. Brother generally will take it repent and you never hear about it. My father took 8 blood transfusions and dared them to do something about it.
            Erika pleas go to this link if you have a chance and read about the children that died before the governments of this world came to their aid.

            http://cftf.com/comments/kidsdied.html afterwards read the real life stories of parents that let their children die for the watchtower society (not God as he has no such prohibition). http://watchtowerlawsuit.com/
            I remember having this magazine in my hand and asking my mother if I was going to have to die once. I was so afraid as I had each of my children, you know that I was married to an elder and I knew he would be pressured to let my child die. With the youngest I had the hospital call a judge right away to take my child when it was suspected the spleen had ruptured. (you may remember this). But thankfully the judge didn’t have to intervene.
            Please follow the article to the bottom to see where vaccinations(again children) were once “prohibited”, by this I mean it was not a choice as some may still feel vaccines are harmful. Organ transplants were once prohibited until alledgedly higher ups needed them. Many died because of what men that wanted to controll their adherents for the vast profits the magazines brought in, also millions from the huge district conventions. I can give you the name of a secretary for one of the governingbody members that would take the count and record.
            Cremation was banned and my mother with nine children spent so much money on preserving and embalming my father because of this.
            Jehovah doesn’t want to bind you with all these little laws and quirks of these nine men. It’s purpose is to lead you to Christ. We are probably doing a lot of things that are not good for us but God allows us to do the best we can now.
            Roman 8:20-39 says all creation (man) on account of inherited sin are subjected fraility, mental, emotional, moral and physical weakness and hereditary death. But thanks to the shed blood of Christ we will have (all mankind) redemption. Then he will (under the kingdom) bring the body to perfection and there will be no need for the many medical procedures that help us to be sustained now.
            THE GOVERNING BODY ARE EITHER BIBLE MEN OR DOCTORS, WHICH?

  • Jacqueline

    What a beautiful story, just thought I would share. This is the rest of the story. So many are so sorry they let their children die, since now it is a conscience matter.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/03/ohio-woman-thanks-lawyer-who-saved-her-life-36-years-ago/1#.UquFk0ZMGM-

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