Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers - August 2006 Awake!

by AnnOMaly 55 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • skeeter1

    Bethel is responding to the BIG NEWS ("Jehovah's Witnesses, Blood Transfusions, and the Tort of Misrepresentation").

    I think there's a copy at http://www.reexamine.info/images/bloodessay.pdf , but I do not know if it's an official copy....

    In particular, Bethel read pages 813, 814, 815, 818, 819 & footnotes 156, 157, 178.

    They are trying to come clean, and tell the average JW the truth, for a change.

    Bethel realizes the $$$$$ liability is HUGE , as well as the press reports got alot of JWs to call into Bethel.

    But, dear Bethel missed the part about telling the average followers how many times the JWs are getting hemoglobin, or the fact that red blood cells are transferred between mother & child or between twins at birth. So, we're still at half truths. But, I commend Bethel...they are getting closer to ditching this blood ban.


  • M.J.

    Yup, they're counting on this stuff to save them. Hemoglobin based oxygen carriers are the next big thing and Witnesses are going to jump on board.

    Think of this, though. Hemoglobin itself is what carries the "breath". What other portion of blood more specifically symbolizes life?

  • M.J.

    case-in-point. The blood of some of God's creatures (earthworms, for instance) utilize free-flowing hemoglobin in the blood as its PRIMARY component. That's right. This blood has no red blood cells. There is current research into extracting this special hemoglobin from earthworms to work as a HBOC in humans.

  • lilybird

    I remember a very sad case in our congregation. A sister with 7 small children .. one was just a baby... was told she had a very aggressive form of leukemia. This was in the late 70's when treatment would not be as good as present day. She was told that without blood she would die within a few months.. She didn't take blood as she trusted on Jehovah.. A few months later, those little kids were without their mother...It was very sad,,They didn't get much help from the congregation and the children were always very lost with out her..The org is a cruel and unloving place that destroys families...

  • eyeslice

    I agree - looks like a change of policy is in the air.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    We've known for a while that Hemopure and other similar products have been occassionally approved by HLC's for transfusion in the past.

    I agree that this seems to be a 'cracking the door open' policy to some extent. An allowance, no matter how reluctantly they state it, to allow Witnesses use of the one primary component of blood usually needed in emergencies - the hemoglobin from RBC.

    It seems that I had read [perhaps on AJWRB site?] though, that the hemoglobin represented 97% of the RBC. Anyone know? Have they intentionally mistated the percentage to make it more palatable in the eyes of some witnesses? Making it more a fraction with this statement?

    Within each red blood cell are some 300 million hemoglobin molecules. Hemoglobin represents about one third of the volume of a mature red cell.


  • blondie

    Hemoglobin-based products already used by JWs and reported widely in the media.

    I'm sure the WTS has been inundated by questions from HLCs, elders, individual JWs, and health care professionals as to the "scriptural" status. I contacted the HLC in my area and they were at a loss as to what to say about whether it was "allowed" or not with risk of disassociating yourself.

    This must be the WTS response to that confusion in JW world.


  • BluesBrother

    Rather than a loosening of the bonds, I see this as tightening. It is a clarification of the statement made in 2004.


    6/15 p. 23 par. 16 Be Guided by the Living God ***
    Still others may accept injections of a plasma protein to fight disease or to counteract snake venom, yet they may reject other small fractions. Moreover, some products derived from one of the four primary components may be so similar to the function of the whole component and carry on such a life-sustaining role in the body that most Christians would find them objectionable.

    When is a fraction not a fraction? When the GB say that it is a big enough portion of blood to trouble most Christians consciences.

  • Jourles
    It seems that I had read [perhaps on AJWRB site?] though, that the hemoglobin represented 97% of the RBC. Anyone know? Have they intentionally mistated the percentage to make it more palatable in the eyes of some witnesses? Making it more a fraction with this statement?

    Jeff, that is the first thing I picked up after just reading this article. It appears they are trying to downplay the percentage of hemoglobin contained in a rbc. Notice the use of the words, "mature red cell?" I'll have to break out a couple of med books to research this, but I'm absolutely positive that hemoglobin does comprise roughly 96-97% of a rbc. It could very well be that the amount of hemoglobin in a rbc diminishes or breaks down over the life of a rbc(obviously). The WTS could in fact be correct by using this "1/3" term, but only if a rbc nears its end-of-life, "mature" stage.

    One of the greatest arguments for allowing rbc's is in fact using hemoglobin as a prime example. The 97% composition of hemoglobin in a rbc shows there is really no big difference in allowing one but not the other. The only difference(and I'm very surprised they used it in the article) was the fact they brought up the antigen typing of the membrane. This is the main difference between the two. With rbc's, you must get the blood type correct(A, B, AB, O) before transfusing. With hemoglobin you do not. It is universal, and plus, it carries a longer shelf life. So we need to ask ourselves(or mainly the jw's), why one and not the other? JW's will say it's against what the fds bible teaches. In fact, it is not a scriptural issue anymore. It is a medical one. That is the tipping point. JW's are not supposed to follow general medical practices as a spiritual guideline. They are supposed to follow the bible's commands. This entire rbc vs. hemoglobin debate is a medical issue, not a scriptural one.

    I can already see it. Argue with a jw over the percentage of hemoglobin contained in a rbc, and the jw will fire back saying "it's only a third of a rbc. It's not that much overall. It is only a fraction really." If it was printed in the Awake as a third, jw's will repeat it saying it's only a third. And they will likely argue to their grave that it's only a third. They will use the line, "Did you go to medical school? Well I'm sure the WTS has doctors that know what they're talking about." Get past these arguments, and you might make them think for a change. Oh, and don't forget to ask them how the hemoglobin was obtained in the first place. Were the rbc's donated and stored prior?

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer

    Hello, Jeff

    You write:

    “It seems that I had read [perhaps on AJWRB site?] though, that the hemoglobin represented 97% of the RBC. Anyone know? Have they intentionally mistated the percentage to make it more palatable in the eyes of some witnesses?”

    Scientists tend to refer to blood constituents in terms of dry weight when making statements of amount by comparison. By dry weight hemoglobin comprises about 97 to 98% of a red cell. If you include the water measure of a red cell then, by comparison, hemoglobin makes up approximately one-third of the red cell.

    When it comes to major parts of blood, including water, hemoglobin is the next largest constituent of blood. I’m sure the WTS is hoping the average JW will remain ignorant of realizing this fact.

    Marvin Shilmer

Share this