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