by Mary 24 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Mary

    We got more bad news regarding my brother in law. For those of you who don't know, he has Myelodysplastic Syndrome. That's not the worst of it. Two weeks ago, they said there is now cancer in his blood and yesterday the doctors told him that if he doesn't do something NOW, he won't be alive by Thanksgiving. And that the Canadian Thanksgiving that's in October.

    The doctor said he needs a bone marrow transplant, not a stem cell transplant, yet when I looked on the John Hopkins Cancer website, they say "stem cell transplant", so I don't know what to believe. The problem now is that someone in another congregation said that JW's cannot take a bone marrow transplant as it involves blood transfusions.

    Does anyone know if this is true? The doctors were frustrated yesterday when they were told that my B-I-L has a fraternal twin who's a JW. While it's not a guarantee that he'd be a match, there's a damn good chance that he would be.

    I absolutely despise this religion for this bullshit about blood transfusions. They know full well it's a crock of shit yet they continue to let people die rather than admit they were wrong.

    If anyone's got any information about this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

  • dozy

    Society allow it - say it is a conscience matter.

    w845/15p.31 QuestionsFromReaders

    Could a Christian accept a bone -marrow transplant ,since blood is made in the marrow?

    Doctors perform most bone-marrow transplants by withdrawing some marrow from a donor (often a near relative) and then injecting or transfusing it into the sick patient. They hope that the marrow graft will reach the patient’s marrow cavities and later function normally. Usually this procedure is considered only in critical cases (such as aplastic anemia or acute leukemia) for there are acknowledged hazards in preparing a person for a marrow graft and in treating him afterward.

    As the question itself notes, red blood cells are formed in the marrow of certain bones such as the ribs, sternum and pelvic bones. Hence, it is understandable why, in the light of the Bible’s prohibition on blood, the question arises whether a Christian could accept a graft of human bone marrow.

    The Bible states clearly that God’s servants must ‘abstain from blood.’ (Acts 15:28, 29; Deuteronomy 12:15, 16) But, since red cells originate in the red bone marrow, do the Scriptures class marrow with blood? No. In fact, animal marrow is spoken of like any other flesh that could be eaten. Isaiah 25:6 says that God will prepare for his people a banquet that includes “well-oiled dishes filled with marrow.” Normal slaughtering and drainage procedures never drain all blood cells from the marrow. Yet once a carcass is drained, then any of the tissue may be eaten, including the marrow.

    Of course, marrow used in human marrow transplants is from live donors, and the withdrawn marrow may have some blood with it. Hence, the Christian would have to resolve for himself whether—to him—the bone-marrow graft would amount to simple flesh or would be unbled tissue. Additionally, since a marrow graft is a form of transplant, the Scriptural aspects of human organ transplants should be considered. See “Questions From Readers” in our issue of March 15, 1980. Finally, writing in Harrison’sPrinciplesofInternalMedicine (Update I, 1981, page 138), Dr. D. E. Thomas observes that “virtually all marrow transplant recipients will require platelet transfusions” and many are given “packed red blood cells.” So the Christian should consider what additional issues he would have to face if he submitted to a marrow transplant.—Proverbs 22:3.

    Though a personal decision has to be made on this matter, the Bible’s comments about blood and marrow should help the individual to decide.

  • Mary

    Thank you so much dozy.....I'm going to send this to my sister right now. Because she is under the impression that Witnesses cannot accept a bone marrow transplant.

  • mindmelda

    Bone marrow is not blood. It's a bodily tissue that produces red blood cells, but not blood itself. It's actually a form of protein and therefore like any other organ transplant.

  • coffee_black

    It' an awful religion. With my 10 year old granddaughter in the hospital here in Virginia for the past 11 days after her serious (who is not a jw, and neither is her mother, my daughter) my x husband, her jw grandfather attempted to get the jw hospital liason committee involved. He's in the Phillipines, not even here. They didn't get anywhere, thankfully. Can you imagine? He would expect her to die for his beliefs.


  • hubert

    That is so sick, Coffee. I would have been livid.

    How is your granddaughter doing?

    Is she still improving and coming home soon?


  • cantleave

    No problem with Marrow - it is not one the 4 main components of Blood.

  • JeffT

    The "D. E. Thomas" (actually E. D. Thomas) quoted in the Watchtower article is my father. While bone marrow is not blood, it is almost impossible to do a transplant without subsequent transfusions. However, the technology has advanced a lot over the years. Most of the time they're doing stem cell transplants instead of bone marrow. I think that is still going to involve a lot of blood in one way or another. You might have the doctors contact the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle ( they give a lot of advice, although I don't think they deal with JW issues much.

    PM me if you want some help. Dad is retired and ill, but we still have a number of good contacts, I'll see what I can do.

  • hamsterbait

    MARY -

    I cannot say anything except how much I feel for you at this time.

    And I could WEEP that your family is being put through this by a bunch of ignorant old men using a stone age dietary taboo.

    My hopes are with you.



  • Mary
    You might have the doctors contact the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle ( they give a lot of advice, although I don't think they deal with JW issues much.

    Jeff, thank you so much for linking to this, as my sister is considering that hospital. They seem to work alot with Myelodysplastic Syndrome. The doctor she talked to the other day here in Toronto said he needs a bone marrow transplant, not a stem cell transplant, but from everything I've read, they have better success with the stem cell transplant.

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