Nurse friend of mine needs help ... Has a research project on ... drums please ... JWs

by What-A-Coincidence 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • What-A-Coincidence

    She is askn the following...can you guys pitch in? Thanks!

    I have to do a project on JW’s for my nursing class.

    The only thing I know is that they don’t believe in getting blood or blood products. What other “medical” things don’t they believe in?

    Do they get vaccines?

    Also, if a person is on their death bed are there certain spiritual rituals, healings, blessings that we should accommodate for?

    Do they believe in life support?

    Do they have any specific dietary regulations?

    When it comes to clothing I don’t believe that they dress any different than your average person, but in the hospital or other places do they have specific “modesty” or clothing beliefs?

    I know they believe in celibacy until marriage…can you tell me anything else about this?

    Do they believe in birth control?

    Are there specific types of music they may not believe in or believe in?

    Do they believe in herbs or holistic remedies.

    Can they watch TV or read books?

    If you can think of anything else I missed or you want to add I would greatly appreciate it!!!

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I may have a friend who can take this project up

  • asilentone

    let us do this together, who wants to answer the first question?

  • asilentone

    after someone answer the 1st question, have someone else answer the 2nd question, etc.....

  • insearchoftruth

    I think it would be important to mention the changes in allowing organ transplants....and I know it is well known here, but the hypocrisy of allowing blood fractions which come from donated/stored blood in the blood bank, but not allowing one to donate or store blood.

  • Mickey mouse
    Mickey mouse

    Worth mentioning the old prohibition on vaccinations too.

  • blondie

    Do they get vaccines?

    Yes since the early 1950's

    *** w78 6/15 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***

    Are serum injections compatible with Christian belief?

    In our issue of June 1, 1974, we presented in this column a detailed consideration of the use of vaccines (which do not contain blood) and of serums that are made from blood. For such details, please see that presentation on pages 351, 352.

    It acknowledged that the medical profession is increasingly turning from the use of whole blood transfusions. Instead, human blood is being separated into primary components that can be transfused—red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. On this we said: “We believe that the use of blood as a [life-sustaining] transfusion, or the use of a blood component to accomplish a similar purpose, is obviously in conflict with the Scriptural command to ‘abstain . . . from blood.’ (Acts 15:20)”

    What, however, about accepting serum injections to fight against disease, such as are employed for diphtheria, tetanus, viral hepatitis, rabies, hemophilia and Rh incompatibility? This seems to fall into a ‘gray area.’ Some Christians believe that accepting a small amount of a blood derivative for such a purpose would not be a manifestation of disrespect for God’s law; their conscience would permit such. (Compare Luke 6:1-5.) Others, though, feel conscientiously obliged to refuse serums because these contain blood, though only a tiny amount. Hence, we have taken the position that this question must be resolved by each individual on a personal basis. We urge each one to strive to have a clear conscience and to be responsive to God’s guidance found in His Word.—Ps. 119:105.

    *** g93 8/8 p. 25 Should My Family Be Immunized? ***

    Blood in the Production of Vaccines

    This raises an important point for Christians, who are concerned with the Bible’s prohibition on misuse of blood. (Acts 15:28, 29) Are any other vaccines made from blood?

    As a general rule, with the exception of Heptavax-B, active immunizations are not produced from blood. This includes all baby shots, for example.

    The opposite is true of passive immunization. One can assume that when one is advised to have a shot after likely exposure, such as after stepping on a rusty nail or after being bitten by a dog, the shots (unless they are just routine boosters) are hyperimmune serum and have been made using blood. This is also true of Rh immune globulin (Rhogam), which is often recommended for Rh-negative mothers who for some reason are exposed to Rh-positive blood, as at the birth of an Rh-positive baby.

    Since these passive immunizations are those of concern regarding the issue of blood, what stand would be taken by the conscientious Christian? Previous articles in this journal and its companion, The Watchtower, have presented a consistent position: It would be up to the Bible-trained conscience of the individual Christian as to whether he would accept this treatment for himself and his family.


    g93 8/8 p. 25 Should My Family Be Immunized?
    See The Watchtower, June 15, 1978, pages 30-1.

    *** w90 6/1 pp. 30-31 Questions From Readers ***

    Questions From Readers

    ? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept injections of a blood fraction, such as immune globulin or albumin?

    Some do, believing that the Scriptures do not clearly rule out accepting an injection of a small fraction, or component, taken from blood.

    The Creator first laid upon all mankind the obligation to avoid taking in blood: “Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you . . . Only flesh with its soul—its blood—you must not eat.” (Genesis 9:3, 4) Blood was sacred and so could be used only in sacrifice. If not used in that way, it was to be disposed of on the ground.—Leviticus 17:13, 14; Deuteronomy 12:15, 16.

    This was no mere temporary restriction for Jews. The need to abstain from blood was restated for Christians. (Acts 21:25) Around them in the Roman Empire, God’s law was commonly broken, since people ate food made with blood. It was also broken for “medical” reasons; Tertullian reports that some men took in blood thinking that it could cure epilepsy. ‘They quaffed with greedy thirst the blood of criminals slain in the arena.’ He added: “Blush for your vile ways before the Christians, who have not even the blood of animals at their meals.” Jehovah’s Witnesses today are just as determined not to violate God’s law, no matter how common it is for others to eat food made with blood. In the 1940’s, blood transfusions came into widespread use, and the Witnesses saw that obeying God required that they also avoid blood transfusions, even if doctors urged these.

    At first, most transfusions were of whole blood. Later, researchers began to separate blood into its primary components, for doctors concluded that a certain patient might not need all major parts of blood. If they gave him only one component, it would be less risky for him, and the doctors could get more use out of the blood available.

    Human blood can be separated into dark cellular material and a yellowish fluid (plasma, or serum). The cellular part (45 percent by volume) is made up of what are commonly called red cells, white cells, and platelets. The other 55 percent is the plasma. This is 90 percent water, but it carries small amounts of many proteins, hormones, salts, and enzymes. Today, much of the donated blood is separated into the primary components. One patient may be given a transfusion of plasma (perhaps FFP, fresh frozen plasma) to treat shock. But an anemic patient might be given packed red cells, that is, red cells that had been stored and then put in a fluid and transfused. Platelets and white cells are also transfused but less commonly.

    In Bible times men had not devised such techniques for using these components. God simply commanded: ‘Abstain from blood.’ (Acts 15:28, 29) But why should anyone think that it would make a difference whether the blood was whole or had been separated into these components? Though some men drank blood, Christians refused even if it meant death. Do you think that they would have responded differently if someone had collected blood, allowed it to separate, and then offered them just the plasma or just the clotted part, perhaps in blood sausage? No, indeed! Hence, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept transfusions of whole blood or of its primary components (red cells, white cells, platelets, or plasma) used to accomplish a similar purpose.

    As the question suggests, though, scientists have learned about specialized blood fractions and how to employ such. A common issue involves the plasma proteins—globulins, albumin, and fibrinogen. Likely, the most widespread therapeutic use of such is injecting immune globulin. Why is that done?

    Your body can produce antibodies against certain diseases, giving you active immunity. This is the basis for advance inoculation with a vaccine (toxoid) against polio, mumps, rubella (measles), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, and typhoid fever. However, if someone has recently been exposed to certain serious diseases, physicians may recommend an injection of a serum (antitoxin) to give him immediate passive immunity. Until recently such injections have been made by extracting immune globulin, which contains antibodies, from a person already immune. The passive immunity gained from the injection is not permanent, for the injected antibodies pass out of his system in time.

    In view of the command to ‘abstain from blood,’ some Christians have felt that they should not accept an immune globulin (protein) injection, even though it was only a blood fraction. Their stand is clear and simple—no blood component in any form or amount.

    Others have felt that a serum (antitoxin), such as immune globulin, containing only a tiny fraction of a donor’s blood plasma and used to bolster their defense against disease, is not the same as a life-sustaining blood transfusion. So their consciences may not forbid them to take immune globulin or similar fractions. They may conclude that for them the decision will rest primarily on whether they are willing to accept any health risks involved in an injection made from others’ blood.

    It is significant that the blood system of a pregnant woman is separate from that of the fetus in her womb; their blood types are often different. The mother does not pass her blood into the fetus. Formed elements (cells) from the mother’s blood do not cross the placental barrier into the fetus’ blood, nor does the plasma as such. In fact, if by some injury the mother’s and the fetus’ blood mingle, health problems can later develop (Rh or ABO incompatibility). However, some substances from the plasma cross into the fetus’ circulation. Do plasma proteins, such as immune globulin and albumin? Yes, some do.

    A pregnant woman has an active mechanism by which some immune globulin moves from the mother’s blood to the fetus’. Because this natural movement of antibodies into the fetus occurs in all pregnancies, babies are born with a degree of normal protective immunity to certain infections.

    It is similar with albumin, which doctors may prescribe as a treatment for shock or certain other conditions. Researchers have proved that albumin from the plasma is also transported, though less efficiently, across the placenta from a mother into her fetus.

    That some protein fractions from the plasma do move naturally into the blood system of another individual (the fetus) may be another consideration when a Christian is deciding whether he will accept immune globulin, albumin, or similar injections of plasma fractions. One person may feel that he in good conscience can; another may conclude that he cannot. Each must resolve the matter personally before God.


    With recombinant DNA, or genetic-engineering, techniques, scientists are developing similar products that are not made from blood.

    One example is Rh immune globulin, which doctors may recommend when there is Rh incompatibility between a woman and her fetus. Another is Factor VIII, which is given to hemophiliacs.

    Evidence shows that nonblood volume replacement fluids (such as hetastarch [HES]) can be used effectively to treat shock and other conditions for which an albumin solution might have been used previously.

    *** g94 12/8 pp. 23-27 The Rh Factor and You ***

    The Rh Factor and You

    THE proud father looks down happily at his newborn baby sleeping quietly in its mother’s arms. It was a long night in the delivery room, but now all of that is in the past. In comes the doctor to check on his patients and to congratulate all. “There’s just one thing, routine really,” he says.

    The mother’s blood is Rh-negative, and a check showed that the baby’s is Rh-positive, so the mother will need to be given an immunizing shot. “It’s just a small injection made up of human antibodies but quite important,” the doctor assures them, “for preventing complications with future pregnancies.”

    Though the doctor may consider the shot routine, the mention of it and possible “complications” brings up a set of questions in the minds of the concerned parents. What does this shot actually do? How necessary is it? What would happen if the parents did not want it? For the Christian another question emerges. Since the Bible says, ‘Keep abstaining from blood,’ can the Christian accept the shot in good conscience if it contains human antibodies from someone else’s blood?—Acts 15:20, 29.

    History of the Rh Problem

    Decades ago scientists discovered that human blood contains many factors, or antigens, that make each person’s blood unique. In time they learned that two antigen systems in the red blood cells caused most of the medical problems if one person’s blood was put in contact with another person’s. One of these antigens is termed “ABO”; the other is termed “Rh.” A brief review of the Rh system will help us answer the important questions these concerned parents have and that you too may have wondered about.

    In 1939, doctors published the puzzling case of a 25-year-old woman whose second baby died during pregnancy. Following the delivery of the dead baby, the woman was given blood transfusions and developed severe reactions even though the blood was from her husband and apparently compatible with her own as respects ABO antigens. Doctors later surmised that some unknown factor from the blood of her first baby had mixed with her blood and had “sensitized” her blood, leading both to her reaction to her husband’s blood and to the loss of her second baby.

    This unknown factor was later identified through experiments involving rhesus monkeys, so it was termed “Rh factor.” This blood factor was the subject of intense medical interest through the 1960’s because it was discovered to be the cause of a somewhat common and often tragic illness of babies called erythroblastosis fetalis. As doctors studied the Rh factor and the disease, a fascinating medical story unfolded.

    Rh, Genetics, and Sick Babies

    Most people are touched when a newborn baby is seriously ill or dies. Merely seeing an infant sick or in distress is hard on many, and doctors are no different. Two other reasons made this baby-killing Rh factor of especial concern to physicians.

    The first was that doctors began to see a pattern with the disease and to understand how the Rh factor was involved in sickness and death. Rh factor is present in the red blood cells of about 85 to 95 percent of people, both men and women. They are termed “Rh-positive.” The 5 to 15 percent without it are labeled “Rh-negative.” If an Rh-negative person is exposed to the blood of an Rh-positive person, he or she may form molecules called antibodies that destroy Rh-positive blood.

    This is really a common, normal response of the body’s immune system as it fights off foreign invaders. The problem is, an Rh-negative mother may have a baby who inherits Rh-positive blood from its father. This presents no problem when the placenta works perfectly and the baby’s blood is kept separate from the mother’s. (Compare Psalm 139:13.) But because our bodies are imperfect, a small amount of the baby’s blood may sometimes leak through and come into contact with the mother’s. Occasionally, this happens because of some medical procedure, such as an amniocentesis (drawing a sample of the fluid in the birth sac surrounding the developing baby). Or some of the baby’s blood may intermingle with the mother’s during delivery. Whatever the cause, the mother may become sensitized and make antibodies against the Rh-positive blood.

    Picture the problem: Once the mother develops such antibodies, all succeeding babies are at risk if they should inherit Rh-positive blood from the father. This is because the mother now has antibodies to Rh-positive blood.

    You see, certain antibodies pass the placenta normally. This is a good thing, causing all babies to be born with a degree of temporary natural immunity by way of their mothers. With Rh disease, however, the sensitized mother’s Rh antibodies pass the placenta and attack the Rh-positive baby’s blood. This rarely affects the first baby, being more common with any succeeding babies. It causes sickness, called Rh hemolytic disease of the newborn (erythroblastosis fetalis if the damage is severe).

    There are many ways to manage this disease, though often with limited success, as we will see. Let us now focus on one medical aspect of the problem—a possible means of prevention.

    A Breakthrough in Prevention

    You may recall that there were two reasons this disease became so exciting to doctors. The first was that the mechanism of illness became known and understandable. What was the second reason?

    It showed up in 1968. After years of research and frustrating attempts by doctors to treat these very sick babies, which met with limited success, an immunization was developed that was effective in preventing the problem of “Rh babies.” This was good news. But how did it work?

    Recall that the Rh problem (for the second and succeeding Rh-positive babies) developed when blood from the first Rh-positive baby “leaked” into the Rh-negative mother’s bloodstream and caused her to produce antibodies. Could there be a way to snatch up the baby’s red blood cells in the mother’s system before they had a chance to sensitize her?

    The method devised was an immunizing shot for the mother called Rh immune globulin, or RhIG, known in some countries by brand names, such as RhoGAM and Rhesonativ. It is composed of antibodies against the Rh-positive antigen. Exactly how it works is complex, and even unclear, but it basically seems to work the following way.

    When an Rh-negative mother is suspected of having been exposed to Rh-positive blood, such as after the delivery of an Rh-positive baby, the mother is given an RhIG shot. These antibodies quickly attack any leaked Rh-positive red blood cells from the baby and destroy them before they sensitize the mother. This effectively eliminates the danger to the next baby, since no antibodies against Rh-positive blood are produced by the mother. The real advantage that doctors see in this is that it serves to prevent disease rather than treat it after it develops.

    This sounds good in theory, yet has it worked? Apparently, yes. In one country, the United States, the incidence of Rh hemolytic disease dropped 65 percent during the 1970’s. Though many things could have contributed to this, 60 to 70 percent of this drop was attributable to the use of RhIG. In one Canadian province, the number of babies dying from Rh hemolytic disease decreased from 29 in 1964 to 1 between 1974 and 1975. The medical community saw this as verification of the principle that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With this basic background, we can consider some specific questions that often arise concerning Rh disease.

    What are the risks of having a problem with Rh disease during my pregnancy?

    A simple blood test can determine the Rh blood types of mother and father; roughly 1 in 7 marriages is of an Rh-negative woman to an Rh-positive man. Aspects of the father’s genetic makeup bring the overall risk down to about 10 percent.

    Those are overall population statistics, however. If you are an Rh-negative woman married to an Rh-positive man, your chances are either 50 percent or 100 percent of having an Rh-positive baby, depending on the genetic makeup of your husband. (There is no sure way to determine the genetics of the husband, just as there is yet no simple way to determine whether a baby in the womb is Rh-positive.)

    For the Rh-negative mother carrying an Rh-positive baby, there is a 16-percent chance with each pregnancy that she will be sensitized, thus putting future pregnancies at risk. Of course, that is merely an average. Barring prior blood transfusion or other exposure of the mother to blood, the first baby of a marriage is usually free from the risk of Rh disease. After that first baby, the risk is actually somewhat difficult to predict in any given case. One woman may be sensitized with her very first Rh-positive baby. Another may have five or more Rh-positive babies and never be sensitized. If a mother becomes sensitized, the risk of death to each succeeding Rh-positive fetus is 30 percent, and this is not altered by the interval between pregnancies. So this is not to be taken lightly.

    Can laboratory testing tell me if my developing baby is at risk?

    Yes, to an extent. Antibody levels in the mother’s blood can be measured during pregnancy to tell if she is producing antibodies against the baby’s blood. Also, amniocentesis can help tell if the baby’s blood is being destroyed and the baby is in danger. Yet, amniocentesis sometimes presents its own complications, and so there ought to be caution about undergoing it.

    Does the RhIG shot have side effects?

    There is still some controversy about its use during pregnancy because of possible immunologic damage to the developing embryo. Yet, most experts conclude that the immunization is relatively safe both for the mother and for the developing baby inside her.

    According to doctors, how often should I take the shot?

    Authorities say that the shot should be given soon after any event that may have caused Rh-positive blood to enter the bloodstream of an Rh-negative woman. Thus, current recommendations are that the shot be given within 72 hours of delivery of the baby if the baby’s blood is found to be Rh-positive. The same recommendation holds for an amniocentesis or a miscarriage.

    Furthermore, since studies have shown that a small amount of the baby’s blood may enter the mother’s bloodstream during normal pregnancy, some doctors recommend that the shot be given at 28 weeks into the pregnancy to prevent sensitization. In that case the shot would still be recommended again after the baby is born.

    Is there any treatment for a baby once it gets Rh disease?

    Yes. Though hemolytic disease of the newborn is a serious illness, there is good evidence supporting treatments that do not involve exchange blood transfusions for the baby. The most feared complication of this disease involves the buildup of a chemical called bilirubin, which results from the breakdown of red blood cells. This produces jaundice and can in some instances cause damage to the baby’s organs. (Incidentally, a mild jaundice may be caused when there is an ABO incompatibility between the mother’s blood and the baby’s blood, but this is usually not as serious.)

    For some years doctors thought that a specific level of jaundice was indication for exchange blood transfusion in these babies, but further research has revealed various alternative treatments. Early delivery or cesarean section, phototherapy (blue light), and medications such as phenobarbital, activated charcoal, and other treatments have proved helpful and have dramatically decreased the push to resort to transfusion. In fact, some recent reports have highlighted the futility and even the danger of exchange transfusions in babies with Rh disease.—See box, page 26.

    Nevertheless, there are extreme cases when doctors still insist that exchange transfusion is the only acceptable treatment. Therefore, some parents feel that it is better to avoid the whole problem with a shot that will prevent the disease and thus the jaundice.

    Is the RhIG shot made from blood?

    Yes. The antibodies that make up the shot are harvested from the blood of individuals who have become immunized or sensitized to the Rh factor. Genetically-engineered RhIG not derived from blood may become available in the future.

    Can the Christian conscientiously take RhIG?

    The issue involved is the possible misuse of blood. The Scriptures quite emphatically prohibit the eating or other misuse of blood. (Leviticus 17:11, 12; Acts 15:28, 29) Since RhIG is produced from blood, would it be in violation of the Bible command to abstain from blood if a Christian woman were to accept the shot?

    This journal and its companion, The Watchtower, have commented consistently on the matter. We have noted that in all pregnancies antibodies freely pass the placenta between mother and baby. Hence some Christians have concluded that to them it does not seem a violation of Bible law to take a shot consisting of antibodies, like RhIG, since the process is essentially like what happens naturally.

    The decision whether to take RhIG remains finally, though, a matter for each Christian couple to decide conscientiously. However, if a husband and wife facing the Rh issue decide not to take the RhIG when medically indicated, they need to be willing to accept the risk of having a future child seriously affected by an illness that could possibly have been prevented. In this situation they might even decide that the course of wisdom is to take extra precautions so they do not have more children and expose themselves to the possibility of such a tragedy. Concerned Christian parents should prayerfully consider all aspects before making such weighty decisions.


    These statistics vary with different races. In most whites the incidence of Rh-negativity is 15 percent; American blacks, 7 to 8 percent; Indo-Eurasians, about 2 percent; Asiatic Chinese and Japanese, almost zero.—Transfusion Medicine Reviews, September 1988, page 130.

    Some women in this situation have had a number of babies, and all turned out to be Rh-negative, so the mother did not become sensitized. But in other cases, the very first child was Rh-positive, and the mother became sensitized.

    See The Watchtower of June 1, 1990, pages 30, 31; June 15, 1978, pages 30, 31; and How Can Blood Save Your Life?, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.

    [Box on page 26]

    Elevated Bilirubin—Reason for Transfusion?

    Doctors have long been fearful of the consequences of elevated bilirubin in babies, so much so that when the bilirubin begins to rise—especially toward the number 20 mg/100 ml—doctors often insist on exchange transfusion “to prevent brain damage” (kernicterus). Is their fear, and the value of blood transfusion, justified?

    Notes Dr. Anthony Dixon: “Several studies of such infants have been unable to detect any consequences, whether short or longterm, of bilirubin levels between 18 mg-51 mg per 100 ml.” Dr. Dixon goes on to discuss “vigintiphobia: the fear of 20.” Though no advantage has been proved from treating these elevated bilirubin levels, Dr. Dixon concludes: “The dilemma is clear. Aggressive treatment of elevated serum bilirubin levels is now standard practice. Standard practice should not be challenged until it has been proved to be wrong, yet any attempt to demonstrate that it is wrong is unethical!”—Canadian Family Physician, October 1984, page 1981.

    On the other hand, an Italian authority, Dr. Ersilia Garbagnati, has written about a protective role of bilirubin and the “potential unexpected dangers from inappropriately low serum bilirubin levels.” (Italics ours.) (Pediatrics, March 1990, page 380) Going a step further, Dr. Joan Hodgman writes in Western Journal of Medicine: “Exchange transfusion will not prevent bilirubin staining of the brain at low levels of bilirubin and, in view of the experimental work quoted above, may actually be harmful.”—June 1984, page 933.

    *** w94 10/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***

    Questions From Readers

    Would it be proper to accept a vaccination or some other medical injection containing albumin derived from human blood?

    Frankly, each Christian must personally decide on this.

    God’s servants rightly want to obey the directive found at Acts 15:28, 29, to abstain from blood. Accordingly, Christians will not eat unbled meat or products such as blood sausage. But God’s law also applies in the medical area. Jehovah’s Witnesses carry a document stating that they refuse ‘blood transfusions, whole blood, red cells, white cells, platelets, or blood plasma.’ What, though, about serum injections containing a tiny amount of a blood protein?

    Witnesses have long realized that this is a matter for private decision in accord with each one’s Bible-trained conscience. This was pointed out in “Questions From Readers” of The Watchtower of June 1, 1990, which discussed serum injections that a physician may recommend if one is exposed to certain diseases. The active components of such injections are not blood plasma per se but antibodies from the blood plasma of those who have developed resistance. Some Christians who feel that they can in good conscience accept such injections have noted that antibodies from the blood of a pregnant woman cross into the blood of the baby in her womb. “Questions From Readers” mentioned this, as well as the fact that some albumin passes from a pregnant woman to her baby.

    Many find this noteworthy, since some vaccines that are not prepared from blood may contain a relatively small amount of plasma albumin that was used or added to stabilize the ingredients in the preparation. Currently a small amount of albumin is also used in injections of the synthetic hormone EPO (erythropoietin). Some Witnesses have accepted injections of EPO because it can hasten red blood cell production and so may relieve a physician of a feeling that a blood transfusion might be needed.

    Other medical preparations may come into use in the future that involve a comparatively small amount of albumin, since pharmaceutical companies develop new products or change the formulas of existing ones. Christians may thus want to consider whether albumin is part of a vaccination or other injection that a doctor recommends. If they have doubts or have reason to believe that albumin is a component, they can inquire of their physician.

    As noted, many Witnesses have not objected to accepting an injection that contains a small quantity of albumin. Still, anyone wanting to study the matter more thoroughly before making a personal decision should review the information presented in “Questions From Readers” of The Watchtower of June 1, 1990.

    Also, if a person is on their death bed are there certain spiritual rituals, healings, blessings that we should accommodate for?

    Nothing official but prayers may be said with the dying jw.

    Do they believe in life support?

    It's a personal decision; the current healthcare proxies have several detailed questions about such procedures so that the jw can inform their family as to their wishes.

    *** g91 10/22 pp. 8-9 The Best Help Is Available! ***

    Christian Guidelines

    What guidelines could the Christian apply in a situation where a loved one is in a terminal state?

    First, we must acknowledge that each situation involving a terminal illness is different, tragically different, and there are no universal rules. Furthermore, the Christian should be careful to consider the laws of the land in such cases. (Matthew 22:21) Keep in mind, too, that no loving Christian would advocate medical neglect.

    Only when there is undeniably terminal disease (where the situation has been clearly determined to be hopeless) should consideration be given to asking that life-support technology be discontinued. In such cases there is no Scriptural reason to insist on medical technology that would simply prolong a dying process that is far advanced.

    These often are very difficult situations and may involve agonizing decisions. How is one to know, for example, when a situation is hopeless? Though no one can be absolutely certain, reason needs to be exercised along with careful counsel. One medical paper advising doctors comments:

    “If there is disagreement concerning the diagnosis or prognosis or both, the life-sustaining approach should be continued until reasonable agreement is reached. However, insistence on certainty beyond a reasonable point can handicap the physician dealing with treatment options in apparently hopeless cases. The rare report of a patient with a similar condition who survived is not an overriding reason to continue aggressive treatment. Such negligible statistical possibilities do not outweigh the reasonable expectations of outcome that will guide treatment decisions.”

    In such a predicament, the Christian, whether patient or relative, would rightfully expect some help from his physician. This medical paper concludes: “In any case, it is unfair simply to provide a mass of medical facts and options and leave the patient adrift without any further guidance on the alternative courses of action and inaction.”

    Local Christian elders, being mature ministers, can also be of great value. Of course, the patient and his immediate family must make their own balanced decision in this very emotional situation.

    Finally, reflect on these points. Christians very much want to stay alive so that they can enjoy serving God. They realize, though, that in the present system, all of us are dying; in this sense all of us are terminally ill. It is only through the ransoming blood of Jesus Christ that we have any hope of reversing that situation.—Ephesians 1:7.

    Do they have any specific dietary regulations?

    Just not to eat anything with blood in it. jws are not subject to the Jewish dietary laws except for that one.

    When it comes to clothing I don’t believe that they dress any different than your average person, but in the hospital or other places do they have specific “modesty” or clothing beliefs?

    Officially, not that I have ever heard of; of course individual jws may have certain feelings as their comfort level.

    I know they believe in celibacy until marriage…can you tell me anything else about this?

    Do you mean what is celibacy specifically, as opposed to "uncleanness" etc.

    Do they believe in birth control?

    This is a personal decision EXCEPT if the procedure aborts a fertilized egg or sterilization (which wavers back and forth).

    Are there specific types of music they may not believe in or believe in?

    Technically, the WTS makes any music choice a personal one although they make SUGGESTIONS and jws with "privileges" can be removed as pioneers, Bethelites, ministerial servants, elders, etc., for possessing heavy metal, rap, hiphop, or music with swear words in it.

    Do they believe in herbs or holistic remedies.

    Individual jws do but it is not an official organizational thing (since 1950).

    Can they watch TV or read books?

    Again it is a personal thing but the WTS makes SUGGESTIONS as to what is proper (see music).

  • Tired of the Hypocrisy
    Tired of the Hypocrisy

    The dirty old bastards in Brooklyn enjoy several High Colonics every week.

  • What-A-Coincidence

    Blondie! Your awesome!!! Thank u!!!

  • Scully

    Another question that the person in the OP might be interested in, is the WTS position on surrogate pregnancy.

    In a nutshell, JWs are forbidden from "hiring" a surrogate or in being a surrogate for another couple. It is believed that this is a violation of the command in Hebrews 13:1-6 to keep the marriage bed clean and undefiled.

    They are also forbidden from utilizing sperm and/or egg donors to achieve a pregnancy, claiming that it constitutes "adultery".

    This is from the March 15, 1993 Watchtower article entitled Surrogate Motherhood - Is it for Christians? (I'd C&P it myself, but my WT Library CD is MIA).

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