To Do or Not To Do-Living Donor Hepatectomy in Jehovah's Witnesses!

by Atlantis 8 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Atlantis

    To Do or Not To Do--Living Donor Hepatectomy in Jehovah's Witnesses:

    Living donor liver transplantation has come to be an acceptable alternative to deceased donor transplants. Several ethical issues related to living donation have been raised in the face of reported perioperative morbidity and mortality. We report our experience in 13 consecutive Jehovah's Witness (JW) donor hepatectomies. From June 1999 to April 2004, 13 adult JW donors underwent donor hepatectomies at the USC–University Hospital. Nine donors underwent right lobectomy with a 62% mean volume of the liver resected. Four donors underwent a left lateral segmentectomy with a mean volume of 17.8%. Cell scavenging techniques, acute normovolemic hemodilution and fractionated products were used. The mean hospital stay was 6.2 days. All donors are alive and well at a median follow-up time of 3 years and 4 months. Live liver donation can be done safely in JW population if performed within a comprehensive bloodless surgery program.

  • blondie

    Live liver donation can be done safely in JW population if performed within a comprehensive bloodless surgery program

    Since 1980, organ transplants are a conscience matter with JWs as long as blood is not used. I wonder how they factor in the "unnecessary" danger involved though.


  • cabasilas

    Just a question...

    Wouldn't there be some blood in the organ, especially a liver? Or is it flushed clean of blood?

  • Kaput

    This article says the blood is flushed out of the donor's liver before transplantation.

  • Sam Beli
    Sam Beli

    I was told by a transplant surgeon that a large amount of blood remains in the donor liver. That is one of the reasons that they privately view JWs as inconsistant. It may also be one of the reasons that both donor and recipient must be of the same blood type.

  • Woodsman

    I am for organ transplants.

    I find it odd thought that JWs refuse an organ transplant of blood from a living person but accept an organ transplant, such as a liver, from someone who has died.

    If the Hebrew Bible is to be used for guidance today as JWs state then how about the laws on touching dead things. Would putting organs from dead things in your body be congruent?

  • blondie

    Actually, Woodsman, accepting an organ transplant was a DFing offense between 1967 and 1980 and was compared to cannabalism.

    They changed their tune in 1980 and it was no longer cannabalism.

    As to ridding the organ completely from blood, their reasoning might be similar to this about meat, and the red fluid that flows out.

    *** w72 9/1 p. 544 Questions from Readers ***

    Of course, even the meat from properly bled animals may appear to be very red or may have red fluid on the surface. This is because bleeding does not remove every trace of blood from the animal. But God’s law does not require that every single drop of blood be removed. It simply states that the animal should be bled.

    Then, too, there is extravascular fluid in the meat. This fluid may mix with traces of blood and take on a red color. The extravascular fluid filling the spaces between the cells is known as interstitial fluid and resembles blood plasma. But it is not blood and therefore does not come under the prohibition respecting blood. Hence the presence of a reddish fluid does not in itself make meat unsuitable for food. As long as an animal has been properly bled, its meat may Scripturally be used for food.


  • M.J.

    The Torah prohibits consumption of blood. Lev. 7:26-27; Lev. 17:10-14. This is the only dietary law that has a reason specified in Torah: we do not eat blood because the life of the animal is contained in the blood. This applies only to the blood of birds and mammals, not to fish blood. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of kosher animals.

    The first step in this process occurs at the time of slaughter. As discussed above, shechitah allows for rapid draining of most of the blood.

    The remaining blood must be removed, either by broiling or soaking and salting. Liver may only be kashered by the broiling method, because it has so much blood in it and such complex blood vessels.

    Of course, any organ transplant introduces more white blood cells than a transfusion.

  • Kaput
    Liver may only be kashered by the broiling method, because it has so much blood in it and such complex blood vessels.

    "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a little chianti." I wonder if Hannibal kept kosher?

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