JW comments about blood

by startingover 18 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • startingover

    I recently had a conversation with a JW friend about the thing at the service meeting this week about blood. I explained I don't understand how they can even be offering these fractions as a choice because of the stored blood situation. Here is a comment I got:

    My own take or way of looking at it is... if you eat a steak, you inevitably still eat a little blood. Yes, you pour out the blood in the killing/butchering process, and that's all you're scripturally required to do - you're not required to wash the blood in running water until there's NOTHING LEFT... so for my own conscience, a fraction is less than what you would get when you're eating a steak, so why be a fanatic about it? A for how does the Society justify it? I'm not sure. I feel that they're really not justifying it- they're leaving it up to each person to decide whether they can conscientiously do it or not. And I had the same thought - it's coming from stored blood that is not your own... But is that any different than "stored blood" in a piece of meat that you throw on the grill, cook and eat? It's a fraction... and so is that.

    And also this.

    We had a guy from the NY Liaison committee come and speak at our hall a few weeks ago... I'll look in my notes and see if I can remember what he said about the fraction fraction thing... One thing he did keep saying is that a lot of times Witnesses die and they didn't HAVE to... they die because they didn't make a decision about these things ahead of time and didn't do their homework... that medically there are so many options available to us right now that are so great - they're working so closely with medical professionals all over the world and a lot of advancements have been made medically that may never have been if it weren't for our stand on blood... and the medical community and other people are actually benefitting because of it.

    Very typical pattern, blame the rank and file.

  • garybuss

    Personally, I like the way the Society is headed. I hope they're successful in their present campaign to get the Witness people to take blood.

  • Highlander

    I hope you're right Gary. Let's hope the blood doctrine goes the way of the organ transplant doctrine.

  • blondie

    So the fluid in meat is a blood fraction, stored blood....that's a new idea. When did the WTS make that statement? A small amount is talked about here not the pint after pint after pint that is required to make hemoglobin-based products such as Polyheme.

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

    When meat is cut in the course of preparation for cooking, or when it is sliced after it has been cooked, a reddish fluid may run out of it. Is such meat suitable for eating by a Christian?—U.S.A.

    A Christian may eat meat only from animals that were drained of their blood at the time they were slaughtered. The Bible commands: "Keep abstaining . . . from blood and from things strangled."—Acts 15:29.

    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 notblood 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.

    There may be times, however, when a Christian has reason to believe that an animal may not have been bled properly. If there is no way for him to get the facts, he may choose not to eat the meat and thus avoid disturbing his conscience. This is in harmony with the principle stated at Romans 14:23: "If he has doubts, he is already condemned if he eats."

  • Balsam

    This current information provided by AJWRB.ORG concerning JW and blood on Religious tolerance;

    Reform group:

    The "Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood" [AJWRB] describes themselves as

    "a diverse group of Witnesses from many countries, including elders and other organization officials, Hospital Liaison Committee members, Doctors, and members of the general public who have volunteered their time and energies in an effort to bring about an end to a tragic and misguided policy that has claimed thousands of lives, many of them children. promoting change within the WTS on the topic of blood transfusions." 6

    The AJWRB notes that, over time, the Jehovah's Witnesses "has gradually permitted each component [of blood] to be used, first globulin, then the clotting factors, plasma proteins." 2 Hemoglobin was finally allowed in 2000-JUN when the leadership of the group modified:

    "...the prohibition on transfusions by deeming that God had revealed to them that transfusions of some blood components might be acceptable, providing there was later repentance, has come too late for many hundreds of followers known to have died because they refused blood." 7

    As of 2002-JAN, Jehovah's Witnesses were urged to not accept whole blood transfusions. However, according to the AJWRB:

    "...if you discount the membranes of the red cells, white cells and platelets, they are allowing somewhere between 97 and 98% of the blood. However, the membrane is stroma (protein/enzyme) and as a fraction it too would be permitted. So technically the WTS permits 100% of the blood in fractionated form." 8

    horizontal rule

    Transfusions of PolyHeme ® :

    Northfield Laboratories, Inc. produce a material called PolyHeme®. 9 It:

    "is a human hemoglobin-based temporary oxygen-carrying red blood cell substitute in development for the treatment of life-threatening blood loss when an oxygen-carrying fluid is required and red blood cells are not available."

    PolyHeme is not whole blood, but is derived from it. Some Jehovah's Witnesses have accepted it. L.C. Cotton indicates that members must decide for themselves whether to accept this product. He said:

    "When blood is fractionated beyond those primary components and other blood derivatives, we feel that it is an individual decision. If an individual's conscience will allow him to accept the product, then that would be up to that individual. That is between himself and his God...The understanding is that each person stands before God and is judged according to his own conscience. The other Witnesses would not criticize any decisions he makes." 1

    The 2006-AUG issue of Awake! magazine contained an article on the value of blood, with a sidebar on h emoglobin-based oxygen carriers [HBOC]. The article states, in part that Jehovah's Witnesses:

    "...reject all transfusions involving whole blood or the four primary blood components - read cells, plasma, white cells, and platelets. As for the various fractions derived from those components - and products that contain such fractions - the Bible does not comment on these. Therefore, each Witness makes his own personal decision on such matters." 10

    The sidebar states:

    "Regarding this [HBOC] and similar products, then, Christians face a very serious decision. They must carefully and prayerfully meditate on Bible principles concerning the sacredness of blood. With a keen desire to maintain a good relationship with Jehovah,
    each must be guided by his Bible-trained conscience." 11

    The sidebar contains a citation of Galatians 6:5. This and the previous verse are translated:

    "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden." King James Version.

    "But let him prove what his own work is, and then he will have cause for exultation in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. For each one will carry his own load." New World Translation.

    These statements contain an unusual departure from normal teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization. Usually only the Governing Body is given the responsibility to interpret biblical passages. Some might interpret this article and sidebar as an admission that the organization does not have a definitive answer for the membership, and that the responsibility lies with the indivdual Witness.

  • Zico

    When I push for an anwer on blood, and why we can take fractions, upon realising that it doesn't make sense, Witnesses usually tell me to 'Wait on Jehovah'

  • Sam87

    i agree with you gary, if they end up saying blood is ok, then at least its going to save peoples lives

  • Anitar

    Well, when they finally do abolish the blood ban, the only reason will be to avoid the lawsuits, they care nothing for the thousands of deaths they are responsible for.

    In addition, they will eventually claim that there never was a blood ban, and it was all just the work of a few "overzealous brothers," just like the former organ donation policy. They've spent decades hiding behind their own stupidity and the advice of their well paid corporate lawyers who have been there so long they're practically trans-generational.

    The blood policy, like everything else about the Watchtower, is decided based upon their wallets. When the number of lawsuits and blood deaths exceeds the number of baptisms per year, it will quietly disappear.


  • garybuss

    Sam, you wrote: "i agree with you gary, if they end up saying blood is ok, then at least its going to save peoples lives"
    Blood is okay NOW! That's what the Society is trying to tell the Witnesses but they DON'T GET IT.

    All these articles and magazines, and meetings are saying the same thing, "TAKE BLOOD NOW!" But the Witness people are like the sheep running off the cliff to their deaths. The Society has said "Stop running off the cliff now!" but the Witness people keep running off the cliff because that's what they have been trained to do by indoctrination and repetition for decades.

    The Society is realizing the strength of their own reenforced education programs. All these years the Society has only taught the Witness people to go to meetings, go in service, and DON'T TAKE BLOOD. And now the Witness people won't follow the change.

  • Seeker4

    I think the JW's comments in the first post confuse the thought of "fraction."

    He's saying there is a minute amount of blood left in meat, and because it's such a small amount, a "fraction" of the amount that was bled out of the animal, that that is OK.
    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that if you were getting one of the "blood fractions" that the WTS is saying are now OK to take, you might actually be transfused with PINTS of it! It's not like you're getting a spoonful – is it?

    Any medical people out there?


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