Blood and the Hospital Liaison Committee

by BathroomServant1 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • BathroomServant1

    Before I ask the question I have, I'll present some background information.

    My Story: When I was 16, I was hospitalized with bone marrow cancer for an extended period of time. Of course, the blood issue came up as doctors noticed that I may quickly need one. At the time being fully "in", I refused one, but being a minor the doctors pushed the issue to the court system. I received a visit from a member of the Hospital Liaison Committee, a much older brother who was well known throughout the circuit for his work in helping JW's in hospitals.

    After meeting with me and encouraging me to hold firm to my beliefs, he was about to leave... but then almost perfectly timed he said, "Oh, and by the way... when you talk to the judge about the blood issue, don't say that you'll be disfellowshipped if you take a transfusion." That was perhaps my first red flag that went up in my head that he made it a point to tell me that.

    So, I guess the question I have is this: Does anyone have an experience working on the Hospital Liaison Committee or know if the instructions are to enforce this point with the patient? Of course it's a total CYA move for the Society, but I was wondering if this is standard practice or not.

  • Snoozy

    When hubby was dying they came to visit and made sure all the paper work was in order and they even said a prayer after I forced them too.... They strutted around like peacocks that ruled the roost. After many promises to come and visit him at home they left..sadly they never followed through on the visits as they were all busy remodeling the assembly hall for the CO..he lasted for 5 months and he had two visits from them. one guy was so deaf he couldn't hear what hubby was saying..and hubby was too weak to repeat it.

    No subject of disfellowshipping was mentioned. On the other hand I remember no studies about why you should or shouldn't take a transfusion. Hubby nor his Mom had any idea why they shouldn't take blood other than "The bible says not to eat blood"..quoting from the JW teachings but they would never dream of taking blood..

    I had to look up all the info and fill out the papers for hubby. He appointed me his guardian even tho I told him I didn't know what I would do if they said he needed blood. He still chose me over his Mom. I think he secretly wanted to live no matter what.

    I was amazed at how many witnesses could offer no good argument of why they shouldn't take blood other than saying what they were told to say by the WTBTS. It's against the Bible!

    I even had to look up all the alternatives..what he could take if necessary. I remember when his dad also a JW was dying of bone cancer..he had some shot that was supposed to build up his blood, it cost them $1,000. a shot. Insurance wouldn't cover it since Blood was readily available so they paid for it out of pocket.

    Sorry I didn't have your answer but I know there are some on here that do have the answer..looking forward to their replies...

    Snoozy...who left in 1975

  • Snoozy

    I also wanted to say that I am sorry that you had to go through that so young..I still have mixed feelings about blood transfusions. I think I would have to be pretty bad before I would take them. And I keep remembering that if they only want to give you one or two that you can probably do without them.
    I feel a lot of things can be passed on through the blood that they don't even know about yet or have any way to test.

    I think I would only take them in an extreme emergency.

    This is a personal feeling and has nothing to do with the JW teaching.


  • Mary

    Bathroom Servant, I would be greatly interested to know how you survived your bone marrow cancer. My brother in law is dying from it and we're grasping at straws to try and save him so any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


  • BathroomServant1


    Thank you for your response, part of the healing process is talking and relating with others. I'm so sorry about your husband, that is never an easy thing to go through and never fully heals. It's a shame too that they stopped showing an interest in him, you know the religion that practices "Christian love"?

    I needed a blood transfusion, plain and simple. I should be dead right now, but some how I pulled through. I know that blood isn't always an easy clear cut decision to take when you never know what may be undetectable in it. I'm sure that in this day and age though that it is a lot safer than ever before. If my life depended on it, I most certainly would accept one now.

    Besides, I think that's why it was ever in the Bible in the first place. It was unsafe to eat let alone medicine of that day and age. This is 2009...What happened to respect for life?

  • BathroomServant1

    Mary, I'm truly sorry to hear that your brother-in-law is no doubt suffering immensely. It is a disease that I wouldn't wish on even a member of the Governing Body. ( And that's a strong statement from what I've read so far on this forum)

    Fortunately for me, the cancer only effected the white cells when I was diagnosed. They were able to start heavy chemo at an early enough stage that I was able to pull through. I've been in remission for 7 years now. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do in this situation, but there are so many variants when dealing with any cancer in general. Do you know what type exactly he has?

  • no more kool aid
    no more kool aid

    Wow, how scary that must have been for a sixteen year old kid, sounds like HLC treatment was one of the things that woke you up. We needed them for a serious illness my husband had, as a nurse I realised very soon that they were totally useless. I did my research on my own (pre Internet) he ended up being OK with the help of an excellent medical center in or area. The main bother in our city on the HLC is a complete imbecile. He literally is a pioneer window washer, that doesn't even have health insurance himself, so as he is speaking to a physician on a dying brothers behalf he also asking about his wife's rash. He's a total embarrassment. The rank and file don't understand this and rely on him to speak on their behalf before a complicated surgery. One sister was on the gurney being prepped for surgery, thinking Brother HLC had met with him, when she referred to bloodless surgery the doctor said "what? we can't do this without blood". That's my experience with them. NMKA

  • bluecanary

    My post disappeared!

    Welcome to the forum BathroomServant1

    I know there's at least one former HLC member on the forum but I can't remember who. Hopefully he'll find your thread.

  • BathroomServant1

    Anyone know the answer to the question originally posed?

    So, I guess the question I have is this: Does anyone have an experience working on the Hospital Liaison Committee or know if the instructions are to enforce this point with the patient? Of course it's a total CYA move for the Society, but I was wondering if this is standard practice or not.

  • AllTimeJeff

    Hey, I just read this thread. Glad to see you are out of that sickness.

    YES! The HLC has a vague letter, vaguely worded, where they are to vaguely remind all JW's that they will not be disfellowshipped if you take blood.

    Of course, thats crap. You will be disassociated.

    I can tell you that how the elder presented it was half ass. They can't enforce it. But it is very mafia like, or better yet, the scene in Goodfellas where DeNiro tells Liota's character that 'friends don't rat on each other.'

    The letter has language (I saw it once in passing) that goes something like "help the hospitallized bro/sis to appreciate the test of faith before them, and how Jehovah views the medical situation should blood transfusions come up."

    Something like that.

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