How would you respond to the following statement:
No one was negatively affected or died by heeding past understandings on blood fractions, organ transplant, hemodilution, etc. Most of the past understandings on medical procedures existed when the treatments were not being used on a large scale.
I have even been stumped by this one. However, The AWAKE! 1965 4/8 P.18 does says:
Then there are reports of prevention
having. been realized by means of the use
of Rh-positive haptens. These haptens are
a blood fraction taken from Rh-positive red
cells and given orally or by injection to ,a
woman whose blood shows a high degree
or titer of immunization to the Rh factor.
In one to four months the titer is down to
zero, at which time a pregnancy is rec-
o'mmended. Upon conception treatment is
resumed. Those using this method have re-
ported perfect results. However, this in-
volves the use of blood fractions, which
s objectionable on Scriptural grounds.
Yet, medical history shows the Rh injection became commercially available in 1968. This date is given on Wikipedia and in the AWAKE!:
It showed up in 1968. After years of research and frustrating attempts by doctors to treat these very sick babies, which met with limited success, an immunization was developed that was effective in preventing the problem of “Rh babies.” This was good news. But how did it work?
A book by Douglas Starr states "...and by the late 1960s this injection became commercially available" (Blood - An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce, P. 208).
Furthermore, in that same year (AWAKE! 8-22-1965 P. 18) the WTBTS seems to have toned down their "objectionable" response by saying:
The fact that serums are prepared from
blood makes them undesirable to Chris-
tians because of the Biblical law against
the use of blood. However, since they do
not involve the using of blood as a food to
nourish the body, which the Bible directly
forbids, their use is a .matter that must
be decided by each person according to his
conscience. Vaccines, on the other hand,
do not involve blood in their preparation.
Quite a toned down statement only a couple months afterward.
Obviously, whether or not someone was difellowshipped or not is irrelevant. What matters is whether the WTBTS told JWs that certain medical procedures were unscriptual when they could have benefited from such. However, to benefit from such, I think it would be reasonable that such methods were considered safe and available as non-experimental. It seems that the WTBTS started allowing many medical procedures right around, or a couple years after they became widespread.