My JW husband has asked me to print out the salient points so he can bring it up to his study leader. Here's what I've composed.
To whom it may concern, XXX Congregation of the Jehovah's Witnesses,
It recently came to my attention that the Watchtower Society's teachings on blood misrepresent secular evidence on the dangers of refusing a blood transfusion. This misrepresentation of facts leaves congregation members misinformed on the dangers of their medical decisions. I understand that my husband, a Jehovah's Witness in good standing, will soon be asked to sign a "no blood" card as part of the society's annual campaign, based on these false teachings. I read this information in a recently published essay, "Jehovah's Witnesses, Blood Transfusions, and the Tort of Misrepresentation," in the Autumn issue of Baylor University’s Journal of Church and State, December 13, 2005.
As my husband is not being provided full information on the medical dangers of his decision, I can no longer in good conscience support my husband in his refusal to accept a blood transfusion.
Excerpts from that article:
The peer-reviewed essay details many misrepresentations of medical facts, which the religion partly relies on to support its blood prohibition, thus denying its members from making fully informed medical decisions.
*The misrepresentation of secular facts;
*The misrepresentation of historians’ writings;
*The amplified medical risks of accepting a blood transfusion;
*The misrepresentation of blood’s necessity and the medical alternatives to blood transfusion;
*The organization’s current blood policy misrepresents the scope of allowed blood products; and
*The organization’s blood policy contains contradictions about autologous blood transfusions.
The essay examines the State’s power to protect its citizens by allowing followers and their families to pursue legal action against a religion when it misrepresents secular facts which harmed the followers, and suggests possible avenues to apply the tort of misrepresentation to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Jehovah's Witnesses' corporate organization, and who publishes Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature.
The effect of these misrepresentations leaves both Jehovah’s Witness members, and medical staff treating them, ill-advised and Jehovah’s Witness patients more likely to suffer harm.
Most surgeries do not require blood transfusions. Some surgeries, such as coronary bypass, hip or knee replacement, hepatic resections [liver surgery], and radical prostatectomy [prostrate removal], are a higher risk. The pamphlet states that bloodless surgeries are safe and quotes as support a study by Dixon B. Kaufman concerning renal (kidney) transplants: "The overall results suggest that renal transplantation can be safely and efficaciously applied to most Jehovah’s Witness patients." More telling, however, is the self-incriminating information that the Society omitted (emphasis on Society’s actual quote):
Jehovah Witnesses had an increased susceptibility to rejection episodes. The cumulative percentage of incidence of primary rejection episodes was 77 percent at three months in Jehovah’s Witnesses versus 44 percent at 21 months in the matched control group. The consequence of early allograft dysfunction from rejection was particularly detrimental to Jehovah’s Witness who developed severe anemia (hemoglobin (Hgb)* 4.5 per cent) – two early deaths occurred in the subgroup with this combination. The overall results suggest that renal transplantation can be safely and efficaciously applied to most Jehovah Witness patients but those with anemia who undergo early rejection episodes are a high-risk group relative to other transplant patients.
Since the pamphlet dedicates pages to anemia, why did the Society omit that the almost double rates for organ rejection as well as the study’s clarification that "those with anemia" are a high risk group? (emphasis mine)