Blood - current JW thinking...

by dozy 26 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • thetrueone

    Balsam : Well if that is the case why has not this been implicated in the situation with the sextuplets up here in Vancouver

    the WTS. have brought in their top blood lawer ?

  • PEC

    Hundreds if not thousands of dubs have died needlessly and will not return.

    6 million+ dubs, 2% would 120,000, I would say hundreds of thousands.


  • Axelspeed
    Legally , HIS are confident that Jws have covered their asses.

    From a source I have spoken to (fwiw), I get that same feeling. They are confident and feel that legally - public perception aside - they are covered. Also there is confidence that because of the WT legal restructuring, the assets (ie money) are safe. It was a confidence many here might find disheartening.

    They have a non-spoken policy in place to allow minors to be transfused (the days of kidnapping kids from hospitals are long over).Any other liability is satisfied by the policy of Jws being told constantly that it is a conscience matter & the absolute right of a competent adult in most countries to decide his / her medical treatment.

    The following is just my observations on how this looks to play out:

    Because of the above the blood policy may be becoming a moot point already. The WT has gone to great lengths lately to put in writing that it is a JW's personal decision. In fact I think it used that exact phrase or something very similar in the last km on blood, and then stressed the personal decision aspect throughout. So from this point on I think they will lay the decision totally on the individual. Advances in medicine will meet them half way and bail them out. They will never publicly renounce the blood doctrine, so for those who died in the past...oh well and good luck trying to find the assets if you try to sue.

    We know the how this actually plays out in practice, but as we speak legally they are establishing a document trail that lays it at the feet of the individual for future would-be cases.

    I also find it interesting that the lawyers are now arguing not so much in defense of the doctrine itself, but instead on the right and in defense of the adult JWs and parents to make a personal decision, thusmitigating the legal backlash should the patient or parent wake up from the WT fog one day and try to sue. In other words, "Hey it was always your personal decision".

    I have to wonder about the conscience of those behind this.


  • TD
    I have to wonder about the conscience of those behind this.

    I suspect that those behind this have no conscience for us to wonder about.

    The doctrine is completely indefensible and the JW parent organization has never answered a knowledgeable questioner, EVER

  • BluesBrother

    My dealings with dubs and discussions with HLC members bears out dozy's original post entirely.

    Your average dub still views blood as a sure way to contact aids and they are firmly resolved not to touch it . They are resolute in the belief that it is "Gods will"

    As you say , the medical profession has largely come to the rescue with cell savers, better substitutes etc . They also have a viewpoint these days to be more accommodating to a patients wishes, however bizarre they may be. Many patients today lay down what they want rather than following 'doctors orders'

    The HLC fondly believe they are respected and valued by the medical community . I doubt that, but they at least have some contact and a rapport with the local surgeons , which helps.

  • greendawn

    PEC, 120 000 I don't think there were that many victims of the JW blood policy it's not likely to be 2% that come to need blood transfusions. My guestimate is that throughout those 50 years 10 000 died at most, still a large number. Axelspeed I really admire the way in which they make all this manouvres with words. At the end of the day those people died without any shadow of doubt due to the influence of the WTS, to put it differently if the WTS didn't exist they would still be alive. But of course they restructured so that the GB the moral authority of the WTS and therein responsible for those deaths, has no other power in the corporation and its daughters except moral ie they have no money to rule over and pay out in case they lose a court case.

  • happilyout

    Personally, if I could, I would steer clear of blood...whole blood, if I could. I was lucky to not need it in my two surgeries.

    But my primary focus would be to get the best medical treatment with the best medical technology that was available at the time. Many different treatments have blood and its derivatives at their foundations, and progress with these developments would guide my decision (assuming I had the time to make it in an elective situation.) I'm not against storing blood for future use, too.

    I understand that this was almost allowed among the Witnesses with a blood card that was revoked, by a last minute dissenting Governing Body vote that tipped the balance under the two-thirds majority vote required to approve the change. What bat squeeze.


  • truthsetsonefree

    Interesting. This would seem to bear out things that a buddy of mine says. He works with HLC, though he is not on the Committee yet. He says that WT will never let go of this teaching. Of course we know how "light " can "flash up" seemingly overnight. But he does insist that WT feels it has gone too far already in allowing fractions and regrets that. They would never go even further.


  • Clam

    Dozy - once again many thanks and very enlightening.

    Clam Not a "No,no" at all. Rh immunoprophylaxis is a "conscience matter."

    TD thanks for that. My wife is a midwife and those particular health professionals take a more leading role in obstetrics here in the UK than they do in the US. She has been curios as to the JW's attitude towards anti-D of late, and interestingly this would potentially be a good area for them to beat the drum, in so far as she advises that the injection (which she is responsible for administering), is not subject to screening for HIV, vCJD etc.


  • dozy

    Thanks for your replies. There is certainly a difference in culture between the UK & USA , probably because the USA health professionals are more “customer focused” and keen to meet the needs and requirements of patients whereas Britain has a centrally organised , publicly owned and funded NHS system which is more intent on protecting the vested interests of healthcare workers.

    The Canadian situation wouldn’t happen in Britain. In the UK , the protection of children was strengthened following the Victoria Climbie case (where a child was abused and eventually killed by her parents without intervention from social services or other agencies) - enshrined in the Childrens Act (2004). This provides an absolute right for surgeons to intervene and transfuse without requiring a court order (which can delay the process for several hours) - though this must be applied for following the procedure and the presumption under the Act is that the court will retrospectively uphold the decision without sanctions , providing at least 2 consultants agree.

    (In practice , HLCs tell the parents not to insist on non-blood management , so I am not aware of any recent case where this has been required.)

    As some posters have noted , there is a dynamic within the WTS that feels that the WTS have gone too far in allowing Haemoglobin (which is 97% of RBC and not a fraction by any definition - the recent Awake reference clearly reflected unease at this admission) but not far enough in allowing storage of blood. HIS tend to be much more liberal in their attitudes (as they are on the front line) that GB / WTS leaders who are mainly elderly , childless and institutionalised.

    I understand that this was almost allowed among the Witnesses with a blood card that was revoked, by a last minute dissenting Governing Body vote that tipped the balance under the two-thirds majority vote required to approve the change.

    My sources confirm this and indicate intense disquiet amongst HIS that the GB , on what was by all indications a knife edge vote , vetoed a change allowing Jws to store their blood - allowing a continuation of the undefendable and illogical position that Jws can use fractions made from other peoples stored blood but not their own and can store blood during an operation but not before or afterward. Notably the WTS rarely makes any reference nowadays to the idea that “blood must be poured out” and HIS expects a revision to the storage policy when new younger members of the GB are appointed shortly.

Share this