BLOOD FRACTIONS - what if all JWs knew they are a Matter of Conscience???

by insearchoftruth 14 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • insearchoftruth

    If each and every JW were to accept fractions as a matter of conscience, how many of the senseless deaths could be prevented.

    I have no idea on what is normally given to a person in a transfusion, but from some of the reading I have done, whole blood transfusions, which are strictly forbidden, are very rare. Really how dangerous is the current blood policy...IF ALL JEHOVAHS WITNESSES WERE MADE AWARE OF WHAT IS ACTUALLY ALLOWED AND ACCEPTED THE FRACTIONS ALLOWED?

  • insearchoftruth

    Someone has to have some thoughts on this....bttt

  • blondie

    Actually, the WTS has published in 2000 and 2004 information saying that blood fractions are a conscience matter. The problem lies in that many jws have no idea what a blood fraction is; the old timers are flying on hold still from old information, and newer ones find it hard to understand the convoluted explanation and wording of the WTS. They don't even know the policy is that a jw takes blood tranfusion is da'ing themselves and not df'd. (unless you were an elder who heard the non-letter read to the BOE by the CO)

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Apart from the fact that they're playing God with such hair-splitting over fractions that totally vitiates the meaning of ``abstain", it's appalling that the WT leaders haven't spelled out CLEARLY and in BOLD LETTERS what is and is not considered a matter of conscience to their guileless drones, and speaks volumes about their lack of concern over the welfare of their flock.

    As has been pointed out, transfusions of whole blood are quite rare, and only in the case of traumatic blood loss. Actually, the verbal scuttlebut being passed along among elders is ``psst if anyone who takes blood grovels and apologizes, let the matter drop.'' Overall, it appears that the WT is in effect tiptoeing away from its once rigid policy without making a formal ``new light" change which would bury them under an avalanche of lawsuits.

  • insearchoftruth

    I guess that is the question I am asking......the policy restricting any sort of transfusion is going to be dangerous to at least some folks, but does anyone here know or have any sources that reveal just what percent of transfusions are the kind that are still specifically restricted.

    The splitting hairs is amazing. On one hand they tell the followers that blood must not be stored, but poured out on the ground, but then fractions, which are derived from stored blood are a matter of conscience...

  • insearchoftruth


    What is forbidden?

    This is a complex question. As you may know the WTS still prohibits whole blood and certain blood components namely, red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. But here is the key: they allow everything inside of these components to be used.

    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.

    Here is an analogy: It's like saying, "see that truck over there, it's stolen and you can't buy it but if someone dismantles it, it's not a truck anymore, it's truck parts and you can buy what you want. However, the engine, the transmission, the radio and the disc brakes are special. They are the 'primary' components of the truck (i.e. the red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma). You can't have these 'primary' components unless you first completely dismantle them. If you do that you can buy them too."

    Just how accurate is this analogy? Consider this: Red blood cells are prohibited by the Watchtower Society. What is a red blood cell? Nothing more than a donut shaped miniature bag of hemoglobin. Broken down by dry weight, the red cell is 97% hemoglobin and 3% bag (membrane). To permit hemoglobin and ban red cells is the equivalent of saying to someone, "see those bags of groceries over there? You can take the food from the bags, but I will report you to the police if you actually take the groceries with the bags."

    The Watchtower Society's blood policy has swiftly mutated into a deadly shell game. The policy aims to permit artificial blood (hemoglobin solutions like HemoPure and PolyHeme). While the leadership waits for the new blood products to hit the market, members continue to reject medically necessary transfusions of red cells and discontinue their chemotherapy treatments when platelet transfusions are needed even though platelets comprise less than 1/5 of 1% of blood volume. The average Jehovah's Witness has no realization of what is taking place.

  • leavingwt

    I once read somewhere (perhaps, here) that one of the main purposes of the HLCs is to convince sick JWs to take "acceptable" fractions, so as to avoid death and thereby prevent negative publicity for Watchtower.

    Frankly, however, many JWs are scared of any decision labeled as a "conscience matter", because their view of God is one of a tyrant, watching every move you make, to see if you'll screw up. Therefore, they consider rejecting ALL blood products the only safe route.

    In other words, in their minds, a list of acceptable fractions doesn't really exist. Rather, what they believe is there is a list of fractions that the Society is NOT SURE about. The next logical step in this chain of thought is as follows: "If the Society cannot categorically tell me that hemoglobin (or another acceptable fraction) is OK with God, I'll steer clear of it, even if it means I may die. At least I'll get resurrected into a Paradise."

    It's quite disgusting.

  • insearchoftruth

    Thanks leaving wt,

    I guess MOC really has no meaning then. I know that one of the attractions subliminally to the WTS is the absolute views on things, there is no thought involved.....and in a situation given a MOC, there is thought required.....

  • AwSnap

    Question: is the ONLY way to get these fractions from stored blood? Meaning: there is NO OTHER WAY to get these fractions without taking them from stored blood. Correct? And articles from the WTB$ strictly forbid using stored blood, correct?

    I just looked up an old kingdUm Ministry from November 06 (pg 3):


    are bloodfractions, and why is theiruse a matter for each Christian to


    Blood fractions are elements from blood that are extracted through a process called fractionation. For example, plasma, one of the four major components of blood, can be divided into the following substances: water, about 91 percent; proteins, such as albumins, globulins, and fibrinogen, about 7 percent; and other substances, such as nutrients, hormones, gases, vitamins, waste products, and electrolytes, about 1.5 percent.

    Are fractions also covered by the command to abstain from blood? We cannot say. The Bible does not give specific direction on the subject of fractions. Of course, many fractions are derived from blood that has been donated for medical purposes. Each Christian should make a conscientious decision as to whether he or she will accept or will reject the medical use of these substances.

    When making such decisions, consider the following questions: Am I aware that refusing all blood fractions means that I will not accept some medications, such as certain ones that fight viruses and diseases or that help blood to clot in order to stop bleeding? Could I explain to a physician why I reject or accept the use of certain blood fractions?


    are some procedures involving the medical use of my own blood a personal


    Although Christians do not donate or store their own blood for transfusion purposes, some procedures or tests involving an individual’s blood are not so clearly in conflict with Bible principles. Therefore, each individual should make a conscientious decision as to whether to accept or to reject some types of medical procedures involving the use of his or her own blood.

    When making such decisions, ask yourself the following questions: If some of my blood will be diverted outside my body and the flow might even be interrupted for a time, will my conscience allow me to view this blood as still part of me, thus not requiring that it be ‘poured out on the ground’? (Deut. 12:23, 24) Would my Bible-trained conscience be troubled if during a medical procedure some of my own blood was withdrawn, modified, and directed back into my body? Am I aware that refusing all medical procedures involving the use of my own blood means that I refuse treatments such as dialysis or the use of a heart-lung machine? Have I prayerfully considered this matter before making a decision?




    Consider the two work sheets on the following pages. WorkSheet1 lists some of the fractions extracted from blood and how they are commonly used in medicine. Fill in your personal choice as to whether you will accept or will reject the use of each of these fractions. WorkSheet2 lists some common medical procedures involving your own blood. Fill in your personal choice as to whether you will accept or will reject these procedures. These work sheets are not legal documents, but you may use your answers on these work sheets to help you to complete your DPA (durable power of attorney) card.

    Your decisions should be your own and should not be based on someone else’s conscience. Likewise, no one should criticize another Christian’s decisions. In these matters, “each one will carry his own load” of responsibility.—Gal. 6:4, 5.


    Helpful information on this subject is found in the June 15, 2004, issue of TheWatchtower, pages 29-31.

    Helpful information on this subject is found in the October 15, 2000, issue of TheWatchtower, pages 30-1, and the TransfusionAlternatives—DocumentarySeries—OnDVD.





















    A protein extracted from

    plasma. Types of albumin

    are found also in plants,

    in foods such as milk and

    eggs, and in the milk of

    a nursing mother. Albumin

    from blood is sometimes ………… I accept albumin

    used in volume expanders or

    to treat shock and severe ………… I refuse albumin

    burns. These preparations

    may contain up to

    25 percent albumin. Minute

    amounts are used in the

    formulation of many other

    medicines, including some

    formulations of

    erythropoietin (EPO).



    Protein fractions that may

    be used in some medicines

    that fight viruses and

    diseases, such as ………… I accept

    diphtheria, tetanus, viral immunoglobulins

    hepatitis, and rabies. or

    They may also be used to ………… I refuse

    guard against some medical immunoglobulins

    conditions that threaten

    the life of a developing

    baby and to counteract

    the effects of snake

    or spider venom.



    There are various

    proteins that help blood

    to clot in order to stop ………… I accept

    bleeding. Some are given blood-derived

    to patients who tend to clotting factors

    bleed easily. They are or

    also used in medical ………… I refuse

    glues to seal wounds blood-derived

    and to stop bleeding clotting factors

    after surgery. One

    combination of clotting

    factors is known as


    Note: Some clotting

    factors are now made

    from nonblood sources.




    A protein that transports

    oxygen throughout the body

    and carbon dioxide to the ………… I accept

    lungs. Products being hemoglobin

    developed from human or or

    animal hemoglobin could be ………… I refuse

    used to treat patients with hemoglobin

    acute anemia or massive

    blood loss.



    An enzyme inhibitor

    derived from hemoglobin

    that is used to treat a ………… I accept hemin

    group of rare genetic or

    blood disorders (known ………… I refuse hemin

    as porphyria) that affect

    the digestive, nervous,

    and circulatory systems.





    Proteins that fight

    certain viral infections ………… I accept

    and cancers. Most blood-derived

    interferons are not interferons

    derived from blood. or

    Some are made from ………… I refuse

    fractions of human blood-derived

    white blood cells. interferons


    At present, no fractions

    from platelets are being

    isolated for direct use

    in medical treatment.














    (You might want to

    speak to your

    physician before

    accepting or

    refusing any of

    these procedures.)




    Blood is recovered

    during surgery from ………… I accept

    a wound or body cavity. ………… I might accept*

    It is washed or filtered ………… I refuse

    and then, perhaps in a

    continuous process,

    returned to the patient.




    During surgery, blood is

    diverted to bags and

    replaced with a nonblood

    volume expander. Thus ………… I accept

    the blood remaining in ………… I might accept*

    the patient during surgery ………… I refuse

    is diluted, containing

    fewer red blood cells.

    During or at the end of

    surgery, the diverted

    blood is returned to the






    Blood is diverted to an

    artificial heart-lung ………… I accept

    machine where it is ………… I might accept*

    oxygenated and directed ………… I refuse

    back into the patient.




    In hemodialysis, blood

    circulates through a ………… I accept

    machine that filters and ………… I might accept*

    cleans it before returning ………… I refuse

    it to the patient.





    A small amount of the

    patient’s own blood is

    injected into the ………… I accept

    membrane surrounding the ………… I might accept*

    spinal cord. It is used to ………… I refuse

    seal a puncture site

    that is leaking spinal





    Blood is withdrawn and

    filtered to remove plasma.

    A plasma substitute is

    added, and the blood is

    returned to the patient. ………… I accept

    Some physicians may want ………… I might accept*

    to use plasma from another ………… I refuse

    person to replace that

    from the patient’s blood.

    If so, this option would

    be unacceptable to a






    Some blood is withdrawn,

    mixed with medicine, and ………… I accept

    returned to the patient. ………… I might accept*

    The length of time one’s ………… I refuse

    blood is outside the body

    may vary.







    “MADE Some blood is withdrawn


    YOUROWN and concentrated into


    a solution rich in

    platelets and white cells. ………… I accept

    This solution is applied on ………… I might accept*

    surgical sites or wounds. ………… I refuse

    Note: In some formulations,

    a clotting factor taken

    from cow’s blood is used.

  • TD
    Question: is the ONLY way to get these fractions from stored blood?

    A few of the most common human proteins can be produced recombinantly, (Insulin, EPO, Factor VIII, etc.) but the majority of blood fractions administered medically come from stored blood.

    Additionally the processes themselves that are involved in the production and administration of recombinant products involve blood fractions. For example, synthetic EPO is still administered in a solution containing human albumin as an adjuvant.

    Also, even though recombinant products are available, they are not all as effective as the real thing. Recombinant Factor VIII is not an option for all hemophiliacs.

    So if the JW stance on stored blood strikes you as hypocritical, it's for good reason

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