Blood, blood, blood. Blah, blah, blah. It's all been said before, right?
The resource material is from January 2000's Awake! Magazine. If you have your copy, you should pull it out and dust it off, if you don't have a copy, here is the link to the Watchtower page's version: http://www.watchtower.org/e/20000108/article_02.htm
(you don't need to click if you don't want to raise the WTS.org's hit rate)
The article in discussion is Blood Transfusions - A Long History of Controversy
The new dynamic to the article is the reference material. They name several doctors, and I would like to give you all a bit of information about them that the WTS fails to mention to the casual reader/negligent brother or sister.
"But in 1873, F. Gesellius, a Polish doctor, slowed the transfusion revival with a frightening discovery: More than half the transfusions performed had ended in death. Upon learning this, eminent physicians began denouncing the procedure. The popularity of transfusions once again waned."
Franz Gesellius was a polish doctor and medical author who is only notable for having recorded that of all transfusion recipients up to 1872, 56% died from complications. People for the next 27 years after the release of his report had never heard of "blood types."
"Then, in 1878, French physician Georges Hayem perfected a saline solution, which he claimed could serve as a substitute for blood. Unlike blood, the saline solution had no side effects, did not clot, and was easy to transport. Understandably, Hayem's saline solution came to be widely used. Strangely, however, opinion soon favored blood again."
Georges Hayem was a french hematologist, who is notable for the first accurate platelet count of blood, identifying hemolytic anemia, and creating a solution to act as a blood thinner. I looked all over the internet and google books for any reference to the alternative to blood, but all I've found were Witness biased articles.
"But early in the 20th century, Dr. Richard Lewisohn, of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, successfully experimented with an anticoagulant called sodium citrate. This exciting breakthrough was regarded by some doctors as a miracle. "It was almost as if the sun had been made to stand still," wrote Dr. Bertram M. Bernheim, a distinguished physician of his day."
Dr. Bertram was very distinguished. He was a hematologist who performed an extensive number of blood transfusions, and according to most notes, the majority involved patients who survived long after the transfusion.
The significance of these listed doctors is that they are used in an article that leans to the negative aspects, the fear shucking aspects of blood transfusions. This article fails to mention that both Georges Hayem and Bertram Bernheim remained hematologists who advocated blood transfusions before they became the industry standard. Franz Gesellius wrote in depth on blood transfusions in an unbiased manner that lead to the continuation of human-to-human blood transfusions in the coming world wars.
At the head of the article is a quote from Dr. Jeffrey McCullough that reads "If red blood cells were a new drug today, it would be very difficult to get them licensed." In the year 2000, it'd have been difficult to locate Jeffrey McCullough. He is (and at the time of the article) a professor at the University of Minnesota. His quote, using his professional name of Dr. J. Jeffrey McCullough, was taken from an April 21, 1998 New York Times article on Bloodless Surgeries (when references by the Awake!, his name was modified and the NY Times is not credited for the source).
The article can be seen here: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/04/21/science/bloodless-surgery-gains-new-acceptance.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
Jeffrey McCullough, after making this quote, continued his 49 year career in pathology, became the editor of the medical journal Transfusion, taught blood banking & transfusion medicine and clinical pathology (board certified in both), wrote and revised Transfusion Medicine (rev. 2004), and was accepted to the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council in 2005.
Despite his one quote, he has remained very much in the realm of blood transfusions and blood-based works to this very day.
Why it is the Watchtower Society sees a need to misrepresent sources to this degree is beyond me. I was under the impression that though they can't be taxed, religions are still bound to journalistic integrity when writing reports. It is my hope that people will see this and comprehend how distorted the writings of the Organization really are, even when not "quoting" the scriptures.
And now... my gift to all readers who've ventured this far. My thanks to you:
In my search for information on blood transfusions as they related to the Watchtower Society, I found two websites of interest:
This is an attempt to report on blood transfusions by a Jehovah's Witness without attaching the Watchtower name to it. If you notice, it is the same article provided on the Watchtower website, only reworded to avoid accusations of plagiarism, or most likely to attempt to present it as a personal "researched" opinion.
This is a blatant attempt to present the Watchtower article as personal opinion. It both rewords and plagiarizes the original article but the author has a surprising bit of information about it:
" This is an argument essay I wrote at Sinclair Community College English 111 a proud time in my life there were many classes I enjoyed but English Composition was great because I got encouragement as a writer and never got less than a B+ on any essay that first year. My favorite essay is this one because I defended a fundamental religious view to objective secular minds and it was accepted as a viable argumentwinning respect from those who differed in this opinion. Years of getting slammed in the face in the door to door ministry I found writing would get people to listen. this is an edited draft of that essay might not be the final one."
He "wrote" an essay and submitted it to a college teacher as his own work. He takes credit for the composition and "factual" information presented. And he is proud of it.
"in 1873, F. Gesellius, a Polish doctor, slowed the transfusion revival with a frightening discovery: More than half the transfusions performed had ended in death"
"In 1873, F. Gesellius discovered over half of all blood transfusions ended in death. In 1878, Georges Hayem perfected a saline solution blood substitue called Hayem's Solution that did not make blood clots, had no strange side effects and was easily transportable."
You will notice his next point of reference is Georges Hayem, which was the Watchtower's next point of reference. What fact comes next in the Watchtower article? Let's ask John Aster what HIS next sentence is: "But in 1900 Karl Landsteiner discovered certain blood types existed and could not be mixed."
That's correct! That's exactly what came next in the Watchtower's version.
Seriously guys and gals, for all of our rambling and ranting of the mindlessness of the Rank and File Witnesses, the John Aster blog dated June 2009 is the proverbial "proof in the pudding."
A late Christmas/Birthday gift to you all.