by Burger Time 42 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro
    I thought it was always understood that if there was a court order than you had done what you could?

    Me too. Actually, I've had discussions with a friend a few years ago who has been on a local HLC for several years and he confirmed to me that in cases of young minors, the only thing you can do to prevent a medically necessary blood transfusion is make them get a court order for each pint. He told me it was a no win situation and that as long as a parent tried to talk the doctor out of it, there would be no action taken against them by the congregation.

    Also, I've never seen anything in print that suggests a parent hide their children or refuse to take them to the doctor in an effort to prevent a blood transfusion. Not saying that the WTS hasn't planted the idea that to take a blood transfusion is equilivent to the unforgivable sin, but they've never told people to not take seek medical assistance. The policy is insane and makes no sense and should immediately be revoked.

  • M.J.

    It was interesting how the author compared the whole affair to "elaborate rituals to circumvent religious dogma".

  • Mary

    Perhaps this is yet another small step towards the GB making blood transfusions a "conscience matter" without getting their asses sued off.

    From first hand experience, I think some Witnesses are relieved when someone else makes the decision for them. That way, the family member survives, and they don't have anything on their conscience.

    When my dad nearly died last Fall, I inadvertenly saved him because I thought plasma was one of the things that a Witness could accept. Of course we found out it wasn't but none of my Witness family members seems to hold it against me. I truly feel that both my parents were secretly glad that he was given the plasma even though they've never actually said that. I told my mother "look, it was me who authorized it, so if Jehovah's going to kill anyone, it'll be me, not you, so don't worry about it."

    Maybe someone needs to send that article to Shane Brady------that is, if you can catch him between being a guest on Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver's cooking shows.

  • monophonic

    at least the light gets brighter and we don't have to kill your babies anymore. oopsie.

    thanks for posting the article and for highlighting the good parts. i'm putting it in my research pile.

  • Pioneer Spit...oh, i mean Spirit
  • beginnersmind

    Interesting article although unfortunately it doesn't have a wow factor for me as others have said its nothing new. However I do take your 'think tank' point. Surely the parents 'should' be saying no to blood and forcing the judge to make it a court order not agreeing to a 'deal' although both outcomes would be the same.

  • glenster

    Earlier JWs leaders' literature:

    In 1990, “Contrary to how some today reason, God’s law on blood was not to be
    ignored just because an emergency arose…our Life-Giver never said that his
    standards could be ignored in an emergency.” (How Can Blood Save Your Life?
    1990, p.4)

    "...to force blood on a Christian would be the equivalent of forcible sex--
    rape." ("How Can Blood Save Your Life?" 1990, p.20)

    In 1991, "How strenuously should a Christian resist a blood transfusion that
    has been ordered or authorized by a court? God's law must be obeyed! ...if a
    court-authorized transfusion seemed likely, a Christian might choose to avoid
    being accessible for such a violation of God's law.... If a Christian did put
    forth very strenuous efforts to avoid a violation of God's law on blood, author-
    ities might consider him a lawbreaker or make him liable to prosecution. If
    punishment did result, the Christian could view it as suffering for the sake of
    righteousness." ("The Watchtower," June 15, 1991, p.31)

    There are a couple of points I'd want to be clear about the boston.com article
    before I'm sure this is a new exception--that collaborating on a court authori-
    zation that allows doctors to administer a transfusion for a child relinquishes
    the JWs parents of any responsibility of breaking the JWs leaders' blood rules
    and puts the "blame" solely on the doctors.

    The previous JWs leaders' stance included that JWs parents should refuse a
    blood transfusion for their child and disobey man's rules when they conflict
    with what the JWs leaders' allege are God's rules. (They could go to a JW mid-
    wife instead of a hospital, too.) But they could remain JWs parents if the
    transfusion was administered out of thir hands or if they had a moment of weak-
    ness by agreeing to a transfusion (if there was time before the child died) then
    acted repentant about it afterward.

    The new info:

    "On occasion...medical personnel have sought court backing to give blood. Of
    course, Christians agree with laws or court action to prevent child abuse or
    neglect." "Christians" is a broad term. The JWs leaders are only given as
    agreeing generally with court orders that prevent child abuse or neglect. It
    isn't specified that their stance is that refusing a transfusion for a child is
    child abuse or neglect--it isn't their stance.

    "Pellechia, the spokesman, says, "Under pressure, if a person caved in and
    made a decision that others would not have made, I believe there would be an
    understanding [and] empathy shown."

    This only needs to refer to an earlier press release issued in response to an
    article in a June 14, 2000, issue of a British newspaper:

    "If one of Jehovah's Witnesses accepts a blood transfusion in a moment of
    weakness and then later regrets the action, this would be considered a serious
    matter. Spiritual assistance would be offered to help the person regain spirit-
    ual strength. This position has not changed."

    "A letter reportedly sent by the Society to all the local branches allegedly
    dictates that Witnesses who receive transfusions should not serve in any '"priv-
    ileged capacity", such as an elder, ministerial servant or pioneer.'” (“Breaking
    News” [Online])

    If it's believed that the JW who accepted a transfusion was repentant, they
    could remain a JW (reportedly except they couldn't be an elder, etc.).

    And the issue of the JWs leaders using freedom of speech to concoct an exclu-
    siveness that's as cooked-up as Popoff's radio transmitter gimmick, including in
    the way the JWs leaders teach about blood and the medical use of it, and that
    it's not a sincere religious belief on the part of the leaders the followers may
    sincerely believe and let their kids die for, wasn't brought up.

    If the new exception has it that the JW parent can purposely collaborate with
    the judge to allow (not order) the doctors to administer the transfusion then
    the JW can act like it was all the doctor's "fault"--it was done out of their
    hands, it would add to the ironies of the forced points the JWs leaders already
    show in their stances on the issue, and further show how uninspired it is.

  • Hope4Others

    Thanks for your post, I will print out the 7 pages for the next discussion with an in-law.


  • Borgia

    It is a very nice written article, very well showing the moral conundrum the jw stance puts medical staff, parents who wish to adhere to an untenable position, the consequences for the child in question, and the call upon the expensive and overstretched judicial system....

    I have discussed this issue with my fil who is the chiefpriest here in our cong. I flatly explained to him that although a grown person may hold certain values, how debatable and dangerous they may be, is basically their choice in life. However in the case of the child the WT is basically speaking out of two and 3 corners of their mouth. One way is the way in this article. When the government does interfere they go to court (sextuplets an vancouver case or the governmental denial of permission to adopt due to the blood stance). He sat there quite unsettled on his chair but had to admit this was so. From a moral point of view he could see where this was going but he said he had to adhere to organisational rules. To which I inquired: what would Jesus during his earthly ministry have said about such a proceeding...........And now to something completely different...



  • BluesBrother

    The couple of parents here do not seem to be committed in their stand against blood. It seems that they wanted it really. The dub grandmother begged the Judge to "save my grandson"...The parents had the surgeon over for dinner afterwards, they look upon him as kid's saviour , which he is.

    But the dubs that I know do not refuse blood because of not being allowed to accept it. They refuse because of a visceral conviction that blood is tantamount to getting a dose of AIDS, that it is all infected and poison - and furthermore that God hates it..so they hate it too. Have you ever heard the expression that having it forced on you is like being raped? That is not just a line from the WT, they really believe it.. Some parents have spirited their kids away in hiding to avoid enforcement.

    It is true that a Court Order is not on the parents head, but I guess the tone of this article will not go down well with the Congregation.

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