by skeeter1 61 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Stealth453

    I think we have all missed the point....

    What they "say" and what they "do" are two very seperate and distinct things.

  • Gill

    Stealth - Maybe there is no 'They' anymore. The JWs no longer move in a united way when it comes to Blood and Blood Products. In cases in the public eye, there remains the 'No Blood and No Blood Products' stand and 'because it says so in the Bible' is touted. However, in private cases, JWs can choose blood products as long as no one finds out about it.

    A dying JW relative of ours was given a blood transfusion despite her wishes during major surgery as she almost bled out 18 months ago. It saved her life and none of the family complained. No one knows except for immeadiate family.

    JWs are in a severe conundrum now with the blood issue. They no longer know what to do or what the official stance is so they are making their own minds up and jumping one way or another as the issue comes up.

  • AllTimeJeff

    To be sure, it is near impossible to document who does and doesn't get fractions. I think it is more importnat to examine the doctrine anyway. The fact that they are allowing fractions now has caused much uprorar on a very sensitive subject, esp to ex JW's, who have had to deal with this thinking for many years....

    The fact that medicine is derived from blood, which should be poured out according to JW dogma, creates a theological problem for JW. One could intepret it many ways. But what would their most practical reason be for promoting such a near unexplainable position on fractions, considering their traditional teaching on blood?

    The 6 newest and youngest GB members have inherited quite the list of weird beliefs from the old timers, the Knorrites. They obviously were dated and don't stand up to scrutiny. To admit that "we were wrong" on blood is most certainly not an option at this point, because they will get their asses sued. In addition, I am sure that they newer GB are more concerned about the preserving of life then previous generations, just my opinion on that.

    So, what to do? Again, please note that the teaching of fractions was heavily promoted after Splane, Lett, Herd and Pierce came on board. They, along with Jackson and Morris most recently, sat in on GB meetings prior to joining, knew what was said, etc. This liberalization of "blood as medicine" is their way of lessening the controversy and trying to save more lives.

    Because they can't come out and change the blood teaching for fear of crippling lawsuits, they are splitting hairs on this issue...... The fact that fractions contradict their own interpretation of the blood teaching imo doesn't concern them at all. They are trying to contain a massive forrest fire that the old Knorrite GB started and fanned....

    I would hesitate to look for logic where it never existed in the first place. Better to try and understand the reasons behind the decisions and teachings.....

  • hawkaw

    February 5, 2007

    Dear Ms. Jacobs and the Editor:

    As an advocate for many a JWs who have been hurt by this organization, I just wish to say your article and comments in the Edmonton Sun were great.

    You may also be interested in reading the press release by the Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood (www.ajwrb.org ) - http://www.ajwrb.org/Press_Release_070202.pdf

    A lot of people do not realize that JWs can take one hundred (100) percent of human or animal blood as long as it is in their leadership's defined fractionated form or under their leadership's approved medical procedures (www.ajwrb.org ). In fact, if whole donated blood was 100 percent fractionated and then transfused completely back to the patient at the same time in its separate forms, the JW leadership would accept the procedure. Unfortunately the technique has not been mastered in the medical world to save Witness lives. On page 22 of the June 15, 2004 Watchtower magazine (official publication for the Witnesses), the leadership actually provides a chart of what is and what is not acceptable.

    Oddly, the leadership also allows Witnesses to take in white blood cells from another human during the course of a baby breast feeding from the mother but bans certain life saving white blood cell transfusions from the donated blood supply. The JW leadership does not discuss allowing white blood cell transfers during breast feeding while banning white blood cell transfers through transfusion therapy. You may wish to quiz the JW leadership or spokesperson on the issue.

    This leadership has been changing their doctrine many times (http://www.ajwrb.org/history/index.shtml#modern ). In fact the leadership supported blood therapy before 1940.

    Today, the leadership bases their interpretation on certain science and medicine literature. In support of its logic, the leadership sites the breakdown of blood in "Emergency Care" (a textbook for emergency medical technician students). The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood (www.ajwrb.org ) indicate that scientifically, the breakdown is neither authoritative nor definitive. Alternatively, consider the list of major blood components as listed in Modern Blood Banking and Transfusion Practices (pages 237-248, 1999) by Denise M. Harmening, Ph.D. "Red blood cells, RBC Aliquots, Leukocyte-reduced red blood cells, frozen - deglycerolized red blood cells, platelet concentrate, single donor plasma, cryoprecipitated antihemophilic factor, granulocyte concentrates, factor VIII concentrate, porcine factor VIII, factor IX concentrate (Prothrombin Complex), immune serum globulin, normal serum albumin, plasma protein fraction, Rho(D) immunoglobulin, antithrombin III concentrate". It is noteworthy that of the sixteen major blood components listed in this definitive and widely respected textbook on transfusion medicine, nine are definitely permitted by Jehovah's Witnesses policy.

    Just think about haemoglobin for a second. Ninety seven (97) percent by weight of a red blood cell (ie. haemoglobin) is allowed to be used by a JW in a medical procedure but add just three (3) more percent (ie. a membrane) and the product is banned.

    You may wish to ask the leadership where in the Bible does it state red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets or plasma are not approved blood therapies but haemoglobin, albumin and the many other blood therapy products or blood transfusion therapies such as Intraoperative Autotransfusion (http://www.ajwrb.org/basics/what.shtml ) are allowed?

    No one wants blood therapy if it can be avoided. But, there are times when this procedure helps to sustain life and prevent premature death as any medical doctor will tell you. Since the leadership is asking their members to make a life sacrifice or face harmful shunning by families and friends, it is important for the leadership to be honest and transparent on what they teach.

    A lot of times the lawyers for the JW family (which in reality are from the Watchtower's Georgetown Ontario complex) will comment about how blood is very dangerous or that it is not medically necessary. A lot of people buy into the argument and I am glad you called them on it in your report. A lot of times people including the press miss the point that blood transfusions are life saving therapies that save thousands of lives every year and that the past stored blood crisis was not caused by the blood itself but by certain individuals who decided not to properly test the blood.

    Hell, there is even horseshoe crab blood in our life saving Intravenous (IV) solutions (http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/16/109245/1.ashx ) but you don't hear the JW leadership freaking over the use of Intravenous (IV) Solutions!

    If you would like to speak to a lawyer knowledgeable on the subject please contact Kerry Louderback-Wood at xxx. She has already provided information in a recent CP story and published a lengthy legal report on the issue in the United States of America.

    Take care and feel free to contact me if you need something further

  • Vinny

    Gill said:..."Vinny! Gary is talking sense. It is still a matter of 'degree' of what 'fractions' JWs will take but MANY especially of the older ones will take NO blood products no matter what the WTBTS. I can only go by experience of our JW relatives and their friends. They find it very easy to tick all the boxes that say NO on the NO BLOOD forms."

    ****Who, what, where said that ALL JW's take fractions??? Now YOU are making no sense here. Where did anybody on this thread suggest that "ALL" JW's take anything?

    Here is what Gary said, I'll paste it for you:

    "Do you have any proof that Witnesses are taking fractions? I don't. I AM seeing them refusing all blood treatment including the use of fractions. I recently heard of one Witness I personally know refuse dialysis. If you have proof that Witnesses are taking fractions, please publish the proof so we all can make use of it. Making a claim without backing doesn't help my credibility nor does it help the case."


    "o, I'm supposed to go on record saying I am quoting an anonymous poster called "Skeeter" on an Internet bulletin board who has the proof but isn't willing to disclose it?"


    "Where is your proof the Jehovah's Witness people take blood fractions? Do you have any? Or is it just your opinion they take blood? Because I don't have any proof at all that they willingly do in fact take blood fractions. I'm aware of the Watch Tower produced articles that say fractions are a conscience item, and I have no problem quoting these articles. But I do have a problem saying Witness people do accept the blood fractions, because I have seen no proof that the Witness aggregate willingly receives blood treatment. None! I am personally aware of Witness people refusing such treatment as well as refusing dialysis after the conscience articles came out."


    "Do you have proof that Witnesses are taking blood fractions? Or are you guessing they are, based on the chocolate milk proof? " (say what??)....

    and this real winner

    "I'm not aware of any Witnesses willingly taking blood fraction treatment. I can say they may, and they can, but I can't say they "do".

    **** So perhaps now you can see the real issues here Gill, rather than putting your own spin/interpretation on something that was never stated nor even implied. Gary, finds it "irresponsible" to make the statement that JW's DO accept blood fractions solely because he had never heard of one taking them. This is some out in left field kind of weird stuff here.

    I don't "personally" know of ANYBODY that has ever bought a pair of AIR Jordan's $250 shoes. Nor have I ever seen a pair in my life on somebody else. Guess Nike hasn't sold one single pair of them darn things... eh?

    Fractions have been allowed since hemophiliacs needed them well back in the 70s and even before then.

    6.5 million JW's have the option to accept certain kinds of blood fractions today and for decades now. The GB allows it.

    But Gary thinks it "irresponsible" to make the statement that JW's DO accept fractions since he does not "personally" know of any JW's that have accepted them.

    Say what?

  • Jourles

    Forget about the "fractions." Why not attack them on the banned component front? Almost every child born to jw mothers today feed upon her colostrum which contains a healthy amount of leukocytes, or white blood cells. This is also known as the baby's first immunization. The WTS has always used the reasoning of allowing certain components/fractions by way of what is passed naturally from mother to fetus in utero. What they do not acknowledge is that this natural setting of transference of WBC's during breastfeeding is also part of God's way of doing things. If God were to allow a mother to pass WBC's to her baby in a natural setting -- letting her baby intentionally feed upon WBC's!! -- then why would God have a problem with transfusing WBC's?

    The WTS will never address WBC's in this setting. Never.

  • skeeter1

    They obviously were dated and don't stand up to scrutiny. To admit that "we were wrong" on blood is most certainly not an option at this point, because they will get their asses sued

    Actually, I do not think they will get their butts sued for just changing a belief. No one can sue anyone over a mere belief, especially a religious belief. It's when the belief turns into an action (such as lying in court or lying to followers), that they can be even begin to be sued.

    I think the Society does not change becuase of it's self-pride and # of publishers. This would be worse than 1975. It would be a true blood-letting.

    Plus, changes after the fact are hard to get into court. The Federal Rules of Evidence (which many states follow, albeit with variations) dictate what evidence can be brought into a court. Rule 407 deals with "Subsequent Remedical Measures." Subsequent Remedial Measures are steps taken to correct a problem (e.g. fixing a broken sidewalk after an accident). As a general rule, these "post accident fix-ups" are not allowed to be brought into court to prove that the wrongdoer agrees to the problem that existed at the time of the accident. However, subsequent remedial measures are allowed into the court room to prove ownership, control, or feasibility of precautionary measures. The reason behind this rule is public policy. We want companies/people/institutions to implement the needed changes while the current lawsuit is being brought. Otherwise, more people could be hurt.

    Rule 407. Subsequent Remedial Measures

    When, after an injury or harm allegedly caused by an event, measures are taken that, if taken previously, would have made the injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove negligence, culpable conduct, a defect in a product, a defect in a product's design, or a need for a warning or instruction. This rule does not require the exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures when offered for another purpose, such as proving ownership, control or feasibility of precautionary measures, if controverted, or impeachment."


  • hawkaw

    You know Jourles, I brought up the white blood cell issue (among others) in the comment section of the Globe and Mail Newspaper Sextuplets story the other day.

    Some unique individual (who hid his/her identity by calling him/herself - anon) posted on the Globe and Mail comment section. In response to my comments he/she indicated that the white blood cell transfer in breast feeding natural but the white blood transfusion transfer was not natural. He/She also made some other lame statements about my factual comments without references. Of course I plastered my comments with references and URL links for all to see (snicker).

    Seems this individual missed the 1999 WT article on the natural transfer of albumin from mother to fetus as the reason why they accept abumin and other blood products via a transfusion.

    Unfortunately I could not respond back with this fact as I was away for a few days and of course the Globe and Mail has now closed the comment section on the Sextuple story for more posts.


  • mouthy

    But Hawkaw what a great letter. Keep up the good work

  • rebel8
    Fractions have been allowed since hemophiliacs needed them well back in the 70s and even before then.

    Yes and no.

    Yes, in that secretly the wts allowed hemophiliacs to take one dose of clotting factor one time in their life. Anything beyond one dose was referred to as "feeding on blood" and not allowed. Now I don't know anyone with moderate or severe hemophilia who would not die without taking a lot more clotting factor than just one dose in their whole life.

    Just so you know...one dose alone doesn't even treat anything but a tiny blood loss. So why would a hemophiliac even bother to waste their once in a lifetime dose on a small bleed? I imagine they'd want to save it for a bigger bleed. Of course, that would be dumb too, because taking one dose to treat massive blood loss would be like taking a baby aspirin to treat a migraine--makes you wonder what would be the point. So thanks a million wts, for letting them have the baby aspirin--but only once.

    No, in that the rule allowing clotting factor was not published. It was only a verbal concession given to hemophiliacs who either called wt headquarters to complain, or those personally acquainted with wts representatives who called them to notify them of the change in rule. The rest of us (people with bleeding disorders), as documented in Crisis of Conscience, were unknown to headquarters--and because the rule wasn't published or told to the local bodies of elders, we were unaware we were allowed the fractions. Hemophiliacs definitely died because of this, because it would be impossible for them not to. I have a less severe condition than that, and I fought away the Grim Reaper plenty of times.

    The experience undoubtedly varied from place to place, but I can tell ya, here in the home state of the witchtower, that's how it went down in the '70s.

    /medical records available upon request

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