by DannyHaszard 185 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • DannyHaszard

    Does anyone know if these parents were willing to allow the "blood fractions" to save the babies, or if blood fractions would have been enough to save them?

    Good question,my impressions (my be off some) on this case is that the Watchtower operatives are holding to all blood is forbidden and their is the medical component here also these are 1.5 lb premature infants and their immature systems require whole blood?

  • DannyHaszard

    The Future is in Our Past
    Beacon, Canada - 6 hours ago
    Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible says they should abstain from blood (Acts 21:25) and therefore refuse blood transfusions for themselves and their ...
    Child welfare vs. religionToronto Sun
    all 2 news articles »

    Two keepsake articles

  • skeeter1

    The Future is in Our PastThe truth shall set you free?
    Audrey Manning
    The Beacon
    The first case of sextuplets born in Canada occurred in Vancouver on Jan. 6 to Jehovah’s Witness parents.

    The Vancouver babies were premature and needed blood transfusions to cope with low volumes of blood. Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible says they should abstain from blood (Acts 21:25) and therefore refuse blood transfusions for themselves and their children.

    The care of the babies presents an ethical dilemma for the doctors. Medical authorities do not generally have the authority to overrule the parents’ wishes. However, when a child is in danger of dying, the doctors can lodge a complaint with government authorities that can get a court order to enforce treatment.

    Religious authorities cite the special relationship between parent and child as something to be fostered and protected because it is the fundamental elemental upon which society and culture is constructed. The big question is: should the state intervene to save the life of a child?

    Here we have a conundrum. The same religious authorities who would champion the rights of the unborn and turn every stone to prevent a woman’s right to choose will not go out on a limb for the born, preferring to leave the matter to the courts.

    The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada cites three main principles at stake — the rights of parents, respect for religious beliefs and protection of children. In the unborn debate, protection of the unborn is paramount. After the child is born, protection comes after parental and religious rights.

    There is an ethical assumption parents should have care and custody of their children because parents love their children and strive to help them to become honourable human beings. This assumption does not stand up to scrutiny. If parents are abusing children, society intervenes to protect the children. The question is: who needs protection more than a child who will die if medical treatment is not administered?

    The argument is reduced to: are children individuals with human rights? It seems the only way to protect all children is to make the ethical assumption parents do not own their children. Parents are guardians charged with the task of helping their children to grow physically and emotionally. Life-and-death decisions regarding children should not take into consideration the religious beliefs of the parents.

    Parents have rights, but they are not absolute. Outside religious rules, parents can’t make decisions that have the potential to harm their children. Children are regularly taken away from their parents when they’re deemed to be at risk. Thus, while society may accept parents are free to become martyrs, they are not free, in indistinguishable circumstances, to make martyrs of their children.

    That parental rights do not give parents life and death authority over their children is especially relevant in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is because their teachings have changed radically, over the years, with regard to medical treatment.

    As well as whole blood, the Watchtower Society used to prohibit taking into the body any of the components that make up whole blood. Over time, while sticking to the banning of whole blood, they have gradually permitted the use of virtually all the components that make up whole blood.

    They first sanctioned globulin, then the clotting factors, plasma proteins and finally hemoglobin in June 2000. According to the Watchtower, June 15, 2000, Questions From Readers, essentially every component or fraction derived from whole blood and its primary components are allowed in medical treatment.

    Religious authorities often view new technologies with suspicion. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s many religious communities objected to vaccinations. Vaccinations were denounced as harmful and morally wrong. Jehovah’s Witnesses saw vaccination as a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood (the Golden Age, precursor to the Awake, Feb. 4, 1931).

    Between 1967 and 1980, the Watchtower Society and others held a dim view of organ transplants.
    Major religions, including Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, issued warnings against transplants. Some religions objected because the procedure involved cutting an organ from a living body. Others, like the Witnesses, viewed transplants as an extension of cannibalism (the Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1967).

    In 1980, the Watchtower Society made transplants a matter for personal decision, accepting the procedure as one that saves lives. Until the rules were relaxed, loyal Witnesses chose blindness rather than a corneal transplant and death rather than a kidney transplant.
    Some branches of the Jewish and Muslim faiths continue to voice concerns over the rapid advance of medical research. However, religious thinkers have been forced to consider scientific technology when dealing with theological issues. Questions relating to stem-cell research, fertility, contraception and abortion remain the focus of religious debates.

    There is no doubt society is conflicted over religious truths. Yet, even the most dogmatic views evolve. Is it reasonable to place the lives of children into this mix of personal beliefs and truths? Is it reasonable to give parents, like the parents of the sextuplets, the power of life and death over their children when their decisions are based on the whim of religious interpretation, which change over time?

  • DannyHaszard


    The truth shall set you free? Update Editorial on Biblical scholar ...
    DigitalJournal.com, Canada - 2 hours ago
    Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible says they should abstain from blood (Acts 21:25) and therefore refuse blood transfusions for themselves and their ...

    High rank article quickie easy register to post your comments JW Trolls are trashing it

  • chelsea

    I would presume that inwardly, both parents would feel relief at the court's intervention... even if they don't admit it to each other.

  • DannyHaszard

    The Ottawa Citizen
    Ottawa Citizen (subscription), Canada - 1 1 minutes ago
    Sextuplet case: Lawyer for Jehovah's Witnesses challenges BC government seizure of three sextuplets for blood transfusions. ...

    (still in the news)

  • DannyHaszard

    Court hearing into BC sextuplet case postponed
    CBC News, Canada - 2 hours ago
    The parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and their beliefs do not permit the medical procedure. The family's lawyer said Wednesday the government asked for an ... The next round in the battle over the future of four surviving sextuplets born in Vancouver has been postponed. Their parents were to appear in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday to appeal the government's decision to seize the children and give them potentially life-saving blood transfusions. The parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and their beliefs do not permit the medical procedure. The family's lawyer said Wednesday the government asked for an adjournment of proceedings and the family agreed. The case has been put over until at least April. The provincial Ministry of Children and Families said they asked for an adjournment because of the significant amount of information that had been put forward in the case. The babies were born in the first week of January, almost three months premature, and two died within weeks.

    Three of the four surviving babies were seized by the ministry after the refused to allow blood transfusions. Court precedent dictates the parents be given a chance to appeal that decision, their lawyer said, but the children were taken before that took place.

    Surprise move

    In a surprise move, the government handed control over the children's medical future back to the parents when their lawyer showed up at court to argue the decision. But the parents have chosen to continue their appeal. The identity of the family is protected by a publication ban, and the family has not spoken publicly about the children. When asked Wednesday about the children's condition, the family's lawyer said they are "progressing . McLeans20Cover.jpg There were over 500 news article URL's made over this scandal most still dominate the web the public perception of the Watchtower cult is forever exposed as bogus.~Danny Haszard

  • DannyHaszard

    Comment box at link add yours Babies seized after Jehovah’s Witness mother refuses blood for ...
    Times Online, UK - 1 hour ago
    Beyond evangelising, Jehovah’s Witnesses are commonly known for one other thing: their fervent opposition to blood transfusions . ... From The Times February 23, 2007

    Babies seized after Jehovah’s Witness mother refuses blood for sextuplets

    Catherine Philp The birth of Canada’s first sextuplets should have been cause for celebration. But their struggle for life has provoked a ferocious battle pitching Church against State and a child’s right to life against parents’ rights to practise their faith. When the four boys and two girls were born nearly three months prematurely in early January, they were hailed as a miracle. The mother, on being told that she was carrying multiple foetuses, had been offered “selective reduction”, a procedure to remove several foetuses to help to ensure the survival of the others. She refused. At birth, the babies weighed less than two pounds (1kg) each, and measured less than an outstretched adult hand. They were put into incubators but within a week two had died. Doctors told the parents that the surviving infants desperately needed blood transfusions if they were to survive, but once again the parents refused. The babies’ parents, still unnamed, it now emerged, were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Beyond evangelising, Jehovah’s Witnesses are commonly known for one other thing: their fervent opposition to blood transfusions. In their faith, it is nothing less than akin to rape. The belief is based on the Witnesses’ interpretation of several verses in Genesis, Leviticus and Acts that forbid Christians from ingesting blood. Unable to persuade the parents to allow the procedure, the hospital in Vancouver applied to the British Columbia government to take the surviving babies into protective custody so that the transfusions could be administered. The authorities complied and custody of the three most sickly infants was transferred to the state. The parents, while grieving over the loss of two of their children, were livid with the authorities for removing what they saw as their parental rights. They applied for a court order to return the babies to their care. But in the meantime two of the babies in custody were given transfusions — to save their lives, their doctors say. In his affidavit to the court, the children’s father argued that their rights had been trampled on and demanded that the children be returned to their care. He added that he and his wife had been forced to leave the hospital while the transfusions were taking place, unable to bear seeing doctors “violating our little girl”. But, as their lawyer showed up to appeal against the custody order, the court suddenly reversed its decision and handed the babies back. That was three weeks ago but still almost nothing more is known about the babies’ condition other than that they are “progressing”. The parents may again have custody but they are now preparing to take the provincial government to court over their failure to let them put evidence to a court before allowing the transfusions to proceed. Yesterday the supreme court of British Columbia postponed the hearing until April so that lawyers could study a weight of documentary evidence. Legal experts expect the government to argue that the babies’ lives were in immediate danger and they had no option but to act immediately. The case has shocked largely secular Canada, a country not famed for religious extremism. Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have urged the public and media not to make “stereotypical assumptions” about their faith based on the case. Canada’s constitution enshrines the right to freedom of religion. But prominent ethicists argue that this cannot apply to children too young to hold beliefs, never mind to express them. “While the parents are at liberty to make martyrs of themselves, their children are not,” Eike-Henner Kluge, a bioethi-cist at the University of Victoria told the Globe and Mail. The hearing in April will decide on the legal matter of whether the parents were denied their moment in court and not on their religious rights. Whatever the outcome, the life-saving transfusions cannot now be reversed. The biblical line ‘And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people’ Leviticus 17:10 Comment box at link add yours
  • DannyHaszard

    http://community.statesmanjournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7388 post your comment here takimoff@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6750 send letter to reporter Doctors take recycling to heart
    Statesman Journal, OR - 2 4 minutes ago
    "Our position on blood is basically non-negotiable," said Bradley Dean, a minister and member of the hospital liaison committee for Jehovah's Witnesses. ... Doctors take recycling to heart Device recycles patient's blood during surgery BY TIMOTHY ALEX AKIMOFF
    Statesman Journal March 9, 2007 Out of the box it looks like a small plastic bag one might fill with water on a camping trip. But for eight minutes during open-heart surgery, the deceptively simple-looking Hemobag is an instrument as vital as the surgeon's own hands. After it is filled with blood so red it looks like a candied apple, the Hemobag is hung at the top of the heart lung machine. Small tubes running to a hemo concentrator -- which acts like a kidney -- take the whole blood, run it through the filter where it loses liquids such as IV fluids, before returning it to the Hemobag in a concentrated form. It is now perfect for the patient who is about to have their chest stitched back together and sent to the Intensive Care Unit to recover. Best of all, it's the patient's own blood. "I'm not really excited about getting blood from an unknown source," said Ken Hector, of Silverton , who recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery at Salem Hospital. Hector, like 499 other people who have had heart surgery in Salem since the cardiac team started using Hemobag 2 1/2-years-ago, didn't realize what the unobtrusive little bag was doing for him. But then heart surgery patients often have a lot on their mind before surgery. "Technology is so fantastic," Hector said. "It is so great to be able to do that. Tainted blood has always been a problem, but I think they've overcome most of that. This takes any additional risks away." The benefits of Hemobag are most easily seen by surgeons and nurses in the "golden hour," that crucial period of time just after surgery. "I used to have to sit with the patient for 45 minutes or an hour after surgery until they stabilized," said Dr. William Shely a cardiothoracic surgeon at Salem Hospital. "This reduces the need for transfusion and blood exposure risks. It makes the patient more stable, easier to take care of." While several studies have attempted to prove Hemobag's ability to improve coagulation and blood conservation during the golden hour just after surgery, other long-term benefits are harder to see. "It's been hard to prove whether it's decreased the length of time a patient spends in the hospital after surgery," Shely said. Before the cardiac surgery team at Salem Hospital began using Hemobag, the best way to capture human blood during surgery was a device called a cell saver, or cell washer. The blood was collected and washed of many of the parts that can most aid in recovery. Things like platelets, essential blood proteins and clotting factors, entire elements of whole blood were washed away. "The Hemobag does in less than 10 minutes what it would take the kidneys hours to do," said Scott Beckmann, a perfusionist with the cardiovascular surgery department. In a crowded open-heart surgery, someone calls Beckmann and another perfusionist blood shepherds. And that is what they are, managing the patient's blood throughout the hours-long surgery. The perfusionists stand behind the heart lung machine monitoring screens with constantly changing numbers. During the 8-minute Hemobag procedure they move like martial artists, deftly moving between tubes of crimson blood, massaging the Hemobag to achieve a well-mixed concentrated blood to give back to the patient. An average of one liter of concentrated blood is usually given back to a patient, according to Beckmann. Three times that amount are usually given when it comes to using other blood. The cardiac surgery team at Salem Hospital is the only one using Hemobag in the Northwest. And the sheer number of surgeries performed using Hemobag make the team a nationally recognized leader in using the technology, according to a spokesman for Global Blood Resources LLC, the company that manufactures Hemobag. Despite the new technology and it's effect on heart-surgery patients, there is still a tremendous need for blood donations. Aside from significantly improving recovery times for heart-surgery patients, Hemobag may have an even bigger impact on an entire community. " Our position on blood is basically non-negotiable," said Bradley Dean, a minister and member of the hospital liaison committee for Jehovah's Witnesses. "The Bible says no eating of blood." And taking blood products is analogous to eating blood, Dean said. Jehovah's Witnesses also do not take their own blood if it has been out of the body for a long time. The principle comes from the Bible, where it is stated that shed blood should only be poured on the ground. Surgical procedures for Jehovah's Witnesses can involve a complicated process whereby they must travel to medical centers that perform surgeries without using bloodbank blood or pre-donated blood. The Hemobag offers a solution that may appeal to Jehovah's Witnesses, though Dean said it is an intensely personal decision for the individual. "Basically the Bible does not comment on the machines," Dean said. "We have a theological description of blood that governs the use of any machine or technology." Dean said many conversations have taken place between the liaison committee for Jehovah's Witnesses and physicians at Salem Hospital about Hemobag. "But I'm not aware of any Jehovah's Witnesses who have had a surgery utilizing the Hemobag yet," Dean said. For 500 people who have had their chests opened up, their breathing and heart functions run by a machine at Salem Hospital, physicians say Hemobag has given them a better chance at recovery simply because they get their own blood. "When you're not using blood from another source it allows the body more time to repair itself," Beckmann said. "When you give your own blood back there is no inflammatory response, and that benefits a person for a lifetime." takimoff@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6750

  • DannyHaszard

    BIG & BAD Top rank on the news wire

    Care conflict over BC sextuplets sparks
    National Review of Medicine, Canada - 38 minutes ago
    By Owen Dyer. It is written in the Book of Leviticus: "As for any man who eats any sort of blood, I shall certainly set my face against the soul that is ...
    Doctors take recycling to heartStatesman Journal
    all 3 news articles »

    Care conflict over BC sextuplets sparks
    National Review of Medicine, Canada - 2 2 minutes ago
    But to Jehovah's Witnesses, it has become a central tenet of their faith — one that many are quite literally prepared to die for.

    Care conflict over BC sextuplets sparks
    bloody row
    By Owen Dyer
    It is written in the Book of Leviticus: "As for any man who eats any sort of blood, I shall certainly set my face against the soul that is eating the blood, and I shall indeed cut him off from among his people." An injunction against cannibalism, perhaps? To most practising Christians, this is probably one of the lines in the Bible that is best skimmed over without too much analysis. But to Jehovah's Witnesses, it has become a central tenet of their faith — one that many are quite literally prepared to die for. Or perhaps to let others die for. Coping with the unwillingness of Jehovah's Witnesses to accept blood transfusion has become an accepted feature of the doctor's job. In all western countries, the patient's right to refuse transfusion has been upheld again and again in the courts. But there remains the thorny problem of treating the children of Jehovah's Witnesses, especially premature neonates, who are very likely to need transfusion. This quandary has landed on the doorstep of British Columbia's government in a big way, with the arrival of Canada's first known sextuplets, born prematurely to a family of Jehovah's Witnesses. Before the birth, the parents had refused selective reduction, which would have terminated some fetuses to improve the chances of the others. All four boys and two girls were born weighing less than two pounds. Within a week two had died. Doctors at BC Children's and Women's hospitals insisted that the surviving infants needed transfusion, but the parents refused. The hospital then appealed to the provincial government to take the babies into protective custody, which it did. Two received transfusions. Almost nothing is known about their progress since, except that all four are still alive. They are all now again in the legal custody of their parents, but the legal wrangle continues, with the anonymous parents accusing the government of not letting them present evidence to a court before going ahead with the transfusions. "We have been stripped of our parental rights and been labelled unfit," they say in their filing with the BC Supreme Court. Under a provision of the BC Child, Family and Community Service Act, the government may act before a scheduled hearing takes place, if it has reasonable grounds to believe a child's health is in danger. Needless to say, the case generated a fine media storm, and put the church organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in Canada on the defensive. "It is important for the media and others to avoid making stereotypical assumptions regarding Jehovah's Witnesses," they said in a statement. IT'S IN THE BLOOD Jehovah's Witnesses are often painted as medical Luddites, but in fact they have no issues with most modern medical treatment — their objections are very tightly focused on blood products. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, based in Brooklyn, is the Jehovah's Witnesses' equivalent of the Vatican. It actually monitors medical developments rather closely, always on the lookout for ways to improve treatment of its members without breaching this fundamental ordinance. The society has kept abreast of technologies like intraoperative blood salvage and isovolaemic haemodilution with autotransfusion, which recycle the patient's blood during surgery. As long as it remains in contact with their circulation, it's deemed acceptable. They've also moved to accept new minor blood fractions and substitutes as they've appeared. They also permit members to use vaccines, even though these are often made with albumin. There's even a modern hospital which specializes in "blood avoidance" medicine for the children of Jehovah's Witnesses: Schneider Children's Hospital in New York. In fact Schneider provided the escape route last time British Columbia ran into a sticky ethics case. A 14-year-old Jehovah's Witness girl was required to undergo transfusion with her cancer therapy, and her refusal was overruled by the BC Supreme Court because she was a minor (see "BC teen ordered to get treatment despite religious objections" May 30, 2005 , Vol 2, No 10). (A similar case, involving a 15-year-old Winnipeg girl with Crohn's disease, has just concluded with the girl being forced to undergo transfusions.) The BC teen fled to Ontario, and was eventually treated at Schneider after that province negotiated a deal with her family. Crossing the continent was evidently not feasible for four fragile neonates in incubators, however. What's more, the substitute therapies favoured by the church, such as recombinant human erythropoietin, are usually poorly suited to neonatal treatment. They often take time to work, and are usually treatments instituted when a patient has time to prepare for elective surgery. This time, the doctors were insistent: transfusion was the only option. Under BC law, they had a duty to inform child protection workers if parents refused therapy they deemed essential to a child's health. The basic assumptions of medical ethics as practised in Canada undoubtedly support the hospital's decision. University of Victoria bioethicist Eike-Henner Kluge summed up the position succinctly to the Globe and Mail: "While the parents are at liberty to make martyrs of themselves, their children are not." But what about the parents? Jehovah's Witnesses are clearly willing to assume risk. Indeed, this is a church with 6.5 million "witnessing" members and perhaps another 10 million who attend services, yet whose doctrine preaches that only 144,000 elect will ascend to Heaven. It's possible that the problem will go away on its own. The church is open to blood replacements, so a technical fix may be over the horizon. And the Watchtower Society may be softening its position. In 2000 it abandoned its long-held policy of "disfellowshipping" any member found to have accepted a blood transfusion. This essentially meant excommunication, and followed a formal investigation. There were even disturbing anecdotal reports of other Jehovah's Witnesses visiting hospital patients to check they were not transgressing. Today, a Jehovah's Witness who accepts blood is held to have "disassociated" himself from the congregation. There is no investigative process, so if medical confidentiality is upheld, the patient can sneak a blood transfusion without being punished. The 2000 directive also made it clear that a member must take the blood "wilfully and without regret" to have broken a core tenet of the faith. That would seem to leave the BC kids in the clear. It would also potentially open the door to transfusing unconscious adults. A 2003 survey of European doctors in the Postgraduate Medical Journal found that two-thirds would transfuse an unconscious Jehovah's Witness who was losing blood, and 41% said they would not tell the patient on awakening. God may see all our sins, but the Watchtower Society evidently does not. The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily the views of the National Review of Medicine.

    editors@nationalreviewofmedicine.com send letter to editor

Share this