Blood Fractions - did this allowance start in 1990??

by insearchoftruth 13 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • insearchoftruth

    Was getting myself prepared for my wife coming home from the book study this week when blood is going to be discussed. I have a copy of reasoning from the scriptures and I noticed that it does not mention fractions at all, but it was published in 1985, updated in 1989. Was thinking if my wife were to get in a discussion on blood where we could now pull out the reasoning book, possibly even the insight book to see what Jehovah says about it, that could at least be a discussion starter on changes in doctrine......even though I know I will get one of two light, or I am still learning, I am sure you could ask the husband of my study sister about this and he would be very interested to talk to you about it.

  • sir82

    The official "you can take any fraction except the 4 'major' components" edict came out in 2000, I think the 6/1 or 6/15 Watchtower.

    Prior to that, streching all the way back to the 1970's, there were Watchtower articles published at irregular intervals saying that this or that particular fraction was allowed or disallowed. You'd need a WT-CD to find them all.

  • insearchoftruth

    thanks sir82, I find it interesting then that the reasoning book does not seem to mention fractions at all, and it was late 80s....

  • sir82

    Yeah, the weird nomenclature ("components" are bad, "fractions" are OK) didn't start until 2000.

    At the time the Reasoning Book was written, there were few "fractions" that were permissible - they probably had a different name (Particles? itsy-bitsy-pieces?) for them back then.

  • blondie

    Strangely in the index from 1930-1985 it does say this:

    *** dx30-85 Blood ***

    blood fractions: w78 6/15 30-1; w74 351-2; g66 6/8 31

    gamma globulin: g82 6/22 25; g76 3/22 12; g54 1/8 23-4

    serums: w78 6/15 30-1; w74 351-2; g65 8/22 18-20; g64 5/8 30; g59 5/22 26

    I remember being asked if I knew the change in using fractions from white blood cells that took place in 1990?

    Other quotes:

    *** w58 9/15 p. 575 Questions From Readers ***

    Are we to consider the injection of serums such as diphtheria toxin antitoxin and blood fractions such as gamma globulin into the blood stream, for the purpose of building up resistance to disease by means of antibodies, the same as the drinking of blood or the taking of blood or blood plasma by means of transfusion?—N. P., United States.*** w61 9/15 p. 557 par. 14 Respect for the Sanctity of Blood ***Disrespect for God’s law is so rampant that whole blood, blood plasma and blood fractions are used freely in numerous products that are sold for food

    *** w61 9/15 p. 557 par. 14 Respect for the Sanctity of Blood ***Disrespect for God’s law is so rampant that whole blood, blood plasma and blood fractions are used freely in numerous products that are sold for food

    *** w61 11/1 p. 669 Questions From Readers ***

    How can one tell if meat purchased from a butcher or in some other market has been properly bled? Also, how can one tell if cold-meat loaves, pastry or preparations sold by druggists contain any blood or blood fractions?—A. R., U.S.A.*** w64 11/15 p. 682 Employment and Your Conscience ***The Society does not endorse any of the modern medical uses of blood, such as the uses of blood in connection with inoculations. Inoculation is, however, a virtually unavoidable circumstance in some segments of society, and so we leave it up to the conscience of the individual to determine whether to submit to inoculation with a serum containing blood fractions for the purpose of building up antibodies to fight against disease. If a person did this, he may derive comfort under the circumstances from the fact that he is not directly eating blood, which is expressly forbidden in God’s Word

    *** w69 11/15 p. 697 Strengthening Ourselves in Jehovah ***"There is no alternative," he stated. Later, in the presence of her husband, the surgeon agreed not to use any blood or blood fractions. Therefore, the couple decided to have the operation performed.—Acts 15:20.

    *** w74 6/1 p. 351 Questions From Readers ***Some Christians, though, have been urged on occasion to accept a serum injection prepared from a small quantity of a blood fraction. In order to evaluate this matter, it is helpful to understand just what serums are and why they are used. It is also helpful to understand how serums differ from vaccines.

    *** w90 6/1 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***

    Questions From Readers

    ? Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept injections of a blood fraction, such as immune globulin or albumin?*** w90 8/15 p. 29 Do You Remember? ***

    Is it proper for a Christian to receive an injection of a blood fraction, such as immune globulin or albumin?Responding to God’s law, Christians do not accept blood transfusions of the major blood components—plasma, red cells, white cells, or platelets. Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, have conscientiously felt able to receive an injection of one of the small protein fractions of the plasma. Interestingly, some of these proteins naturally pass from the bloodstream of a pregnant woman to the separate blood system of her fetus.—6/1, pages 30, 31

    *** g98 12/8 p. 18 Doctors Take a New Look at Bloodless Surgery ***She had contracted the disease from her husband before he died. In turn, her husband, a hemophiliac, had likely got AIDS through a blood fraction

    *** rs p. 71 par. 2 Blood ***Similarly, any food to which whole blood or even some blood fraction has been added should not be eaten.

    *** hb p. 14 Quality Alternatives to Transfusion ***Witnesses do not accept transfusions of whole blood, red cells, white cells, platelets, or blood plasma. As to minor fractions, such as immune globulin, see TheWatchtower of June 1, 1990, pages 30-1.

  • rebel8

    The policy was back and forth for decades. There is a timeline on this subject on

    Also check Crisis of Conscience--read the section about Hemophilia. Very sad.

  • blondie

    I think the 1990 policy regarding white blood fractions finally did not change. I meant I could have a tetanus shot.

  • insearchoftruth
    I meant I could have a tetanus shot

    So prior to 1990 one could not have a tetanus!

  • sir82

    I'm pretty sure I had tetanus shots before 1990....maybe it was a "don't ask don't tell" policy?

    Or maybe it just never occurred to most JWs, like me, that tetanus shots are derived from blood, so they just didn't ask their doctor about it?

  • blondie

    Obviously, I had not done much research, just took my 3rd generation jw family's word for it.

    I found this information from 1974:


    w74 6/1 pp. 351-352 ? Is it proper for a Christian to accept medical treatment involving a serum prepared from blood?—Germany.

    The Bible is plain as to God’s high regard for blood, showing that He views it as representing the soul or life. (Lev. 17:11, 12, 14) Understandably, then, the divine command given to our common ancestor Noah stated: "Only flesh with its soul—its blood—you must not eat." (Gen. 9:4) Noah and his descendants, including all of us, were not to sustain their lives by using blood as food. And this important outlook was even repeated, showing its application to true worshipers today, for Christians were told: "Keep abstaining . . . from blood and from things strangled." (Acts 15:29) For this reason we cannot endorse the many modern medical practices employing blood. And we have repeatedly shown that accepting a blood transfusion would unquestionably be contrary to the Bible’s prohibition on the using or eating of blood to sustain one’s life.

    Some Christians, though, have been urged on occasion to accept a serum injection prepared from a small quantity of a blood fraction. In order to evaluate this matter, it is helpful to understand just what serums are and why they are used. It is also helpful to understand how serums differ from vaccines.

    In the normal course of life humans come in contact with viruses or bacteria that cause disease. For instance, a person may at one time or another be exposed to mumps, measles or tuberculosis. To fight against the assault or attack by viruses or bacteria, the body produces substances called antibodies that attempt to neutralize or reduce the harm done by these invading germs. A person who has these antibodies in his blood for a particular disease is temporarily or permanently safe from contracting this disease.

    To provide advance protection, scientists have developed vaccines (toxoids) or inoculations that stimulate a person’s body to produce antibodies against certain diseases. Smallpox, polio, tetanus, cholera, rabies, typhoid fever and yellow fever are some of the diseases for which vaccines or inoculations have been prepared. These vaccines, designed to make one immune to such diseases, are not produced from blood. (For details, see Awake! of August 22, 1965, pages 18 and 19.) Often vaccinations or inoculations, which are not made from blood, are required when children enter school or when tourists or missionaries travel to foreign countries. The objective is to stimulate the producing of antibodies in advance to prevent a person from contracting a certain disease should he be exposed to it.

    But what if a person has recently been exposed to a disease or has definitely contracted diphtheria, tetanus, viral hepatitis, rabies or some other disease? Before his body has time to produce the needed antibodies, he might become seriously ill. So doctors have devised a way of providing immediately the antibodies that would help one to resist the disease’s assault. Serums or antitoxins are used. These are obtained from the blood of humans or animals that have already developed the antibodies for fighting the disease. Usually the blood is processed and the blood fraction (gamma globulin) containing the antibodies is separated and made into a serum. When this is injected into the patient it gives him temporary passive immunity. This is temporary, for the antibodies do not become a permanent part of his blood; when these pass out of his body he is no longer immune to the disease. It can thus be seen that serums (unlike vaccines) contain a blood fraction, though minute.

  • glenster

    For 1958, I have:

    In 1958, "While God did not intend for man to contaminate his blood stream by
    vaccines, serums or blood fractions, doing so does not seem to be included in
    God's expressed will forbidding blood as food. It would therefore be a matter
    of individual judgment whether one accepted such types of medication or not."
    ("The Watchtower," Sept.15, 1958, p.575)

    I have a list of the JWs leaders' rules about it, which shows how their rules
    changed back and forth, at the next link.

  • jamiebowers
  • TD

    The allowance of IgG (Gamma globulin) started in 1958. In was allowed on the basis that it, "Did not nourish the body." Other plasma fractions were gradually allowed after that on the same basis. By the late 70's every single plasma fraction was allowed. (Gamma globulin, albumin, RhoGAM, etc.)

    In June of 1982, the 1958 rationale for the allowance of fractions was replaced. Blood was divided into "Major" and "Minor" components with the major ones forbidden and the minor ones allowed. The result was similar to what we have today. Plasma fractions were allowed and Whole blood, Red cells, White cells, Plasma and Platelets were forbidden.

    In June of 1990, the 1982 rationale for the allowance of fractions was replaced. The deciding factor in the allowance of fractions now was whether or not they crossed the placenta during gestation. The idea was that these were sanctioned by "Natural consequence" (i.e. Creation itself.) Nothing was changed as far as what was allowed or forbidden.

    In June of 2000, the 1990 rationale for the allowance of fractions was replaced. Blood was now divided into "Primary" and "Secondary" components. This was a significant change. Up until this point, plasma fractions were the only ones that were allowed. Now fractions of "Any primary component" were allowed. This made several new preparations acceptable including any of the hemoglobin based blood substitutes.

    Since then, people have somehow gotten the idea that the allowance of blood fractions started in the year 2000. This is wrong though. Blood fractions have been allowed for 50+ years.

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer


    Do you know Watchtower’s current position allows transfusion of cryoprecipitate AND cryosupernatant?

    Think about that the next time a Witness tells you “We do not accept transfusion of plasma!”

    Marvin Shilmer

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