Elder said people "rarely" die from refusing a blood transfusion

by InterestedOne 48 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • brotherdan

    Thanks for that TD! Nicely done!!!

  • undercover
    He said people "rarely" die from refusing a blood transfusion.

    Red Herring. What's the difference between one and a thousand a year? Someone still died because of the doctrine. A doctrine that can be more easily refuted through the Bible than can be backed up by the Bible.

  • HintOfLime

    From Wikipedia:

    (These figures also generally agree with the National Cancer Society's numbers.)

    There are risks associated with receiving a blood transfusion and these must be balanced against the benefit which is expected. The most common adverse reaction to a blood transfusion is a febrile non-hemolytic transfusion reaction, which consists of a fever which resolves on its own and causes no lasting problems or side effects.

    Hemolytic reactions include chills, headache, backache, dyspnea, cyanosis, chest pain, tachycardia and hypotension.

    Blood products can rarely be contaminated with bacteria; the risk of severe bacterial infection and sepsis is estimated, as of 2002, at about 1 in 50,000 platelet transfusions, and 1 in 500,000 red blood cell transfusions.

    There is a risk that a given blood transfusion will transmit a viral infection to its recipient. As of 2006, the risk of acquiring hepatitis B via blood transfusion in the United States is about 1 in 250,000 units transfused, and the risk of acquiring HIV or hepatitis C in the U.S. via a blood transfusion is estimated at 1 in 2,000,000 (2 million) units transfused. These risks were much higher in the past before the advent of second and third generation tests for transfusion transmitted diseases. The implementation of Nucleic Acid Testing or "NAT" in the early 2000s has further reduced risks, and confirmed viral infections by blood transfusion are extremely rare in the developed world.

    Transfusion-associated acute lung injury (TRALI) is an increasingly recognized adverse event associated with blood transfusion. TRALI is a syndrome of acute respiratory distress, often associated with fever, non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, and hypotension, which may occur as often as 1 in 2000 transfusions. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, but most patients recover fully within 96 hours, and the mortality rate from this condition is less than 10%. Although the cause of TRALI is not clear, it has been consistently associated with anti HLA antibodies. Because anti HLA strongly correlate with pregnancy, several transfusion organisations (Blood and Tissues Bank of Cantabria, Spain, National Health Service in Britain) have decided to use only plasma from men for transfusion.

    So basically, there are risks, but these risks (overall around 1:2,000 for any sort of complication, and 1:20,000 for a life threatening complication) are often well exceeded by the risk of not having a transfusion (say a 1:3 risk of death without transfusion).

    A doctor isn't going to recommend a transfusion if there's only a 1:20,000 chance that you'll need it.

    The elder was simply lying.

    - Lime

  • james_woods
    Red Herring. What's the difference between one and a thousand a year? Someone still died because of the doctrine. A doctrine that can be more easily refuted through the Bible than can be backed up by the Bible.

    Thank you, Undercover.

    You know, there is customarily only one bullet in the revolver if you were going to play russian roulette - so by this elder's logic, that would be reasonable odds too.

    But, typically, an uneducated elder thinks he knows more about medicine than a doctor, and feels free to call the doctor a liar.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    During my time with the JWs, I can recall a general attitude amongst them whereby a lot of non-medical people (and generally,poorly educated ones as well) thought they knew more about medicine than any doctor did.

    Did anyone else notice this?

    Throughout its history, the Watchtower Society has regularly denigrated medical science:

    - in Joseph Rutherford's time, they were dead set against vaccinations.

    He is on record as being of the opinion that the "increase in sexual immorality" was due to these filthy particules being let loose in a person's bloodstream. Furthermore, that attitude continued on for many decades after his death. I personally knew more than a few in the congregations who refused to allow their children to be immunised. (I was assured by one brother that the risks of contracting tetanus from the vaccine were greater than the risks of catching the disease if you weren't immunised!)

    Also during Rutherford's time the WTS endorsed a number of what could only be described as "Quack's Cures." One was some sort of radio transmitter that you grabbed by two handles, and had a radio frequency electric current fed through your body - said to be extemely beneficial by its inventor, and recommended by The Editor of the Awake magazine. Sunbathing was also recommended - i.e. giving your skin a good, healthy dose of Ultra Violet radiation (the ideal time for sunbathing was said to be while the UV rays were at their maximum - best time to get skin cancer!). Another highly recommended, WTS endorsed medical therapy of those years was to regularly reverse-flush yourself with the garden hose.

    Then there was the Dr. Linus Pauling thing of 1971.

    He claimed, and the WTS reported it, that daily mega-doses of Vitamin C would prevent a person from ever catching the common cold. Because this was reported in that scientific journal, Awake, many in the congregations interpreted it that the "Society" endorsed these claims about Vitamin C. (As it turned out, Linus Pauling may have been a Nobel Prize winner, but he was off the mark with his claims about this particular vitamin).

    The Watchtower Society's continual bashing of Higher Education makes it easier to slip such nonsense in - including the those remarks about blood transfusion mortality (as quoted in the title of this thread):

    - after all, it has been well established that reading of the Watchtower and Awake magazines gives one at least the equivalent of a medical degree!


  • brotherdan
  • Quando

    From a professionals standpoint, NO you will not die!

    The basic question should be, Are you ready to be Conscious of your decisions? The WBTS really have no clue the depth of this question.

    The bottom line is you are recieving someone else's DNA their life force. The body only replicates the sources it was given.

    At the end of the day I will take someone sick over dead and with today's modern technology we can prolong life and give AWARENESS when needed.

    Sorry I can't explain more :(

  • porfiada


    I understand the issues (and I wouldn't put my money (or life!) on statements 1) or 2). I needed a transfusion (actually I had 4) and I had NO problems. I probably would have died without them as I had been bleeding for hours and my blood prssure got as low as 70 over 40 (half of a normal person).

    I recommend you read the analysis of the blood broachure's statements' article: “Jehovah’s Witnesses, Blood Transfusions, and the Tort of Misrepresentation” Journal of Church and State, September 22, 2005. Author: Louderback-Wood, Kerry

    Written by an attorney who was personally affected by the no-blood policy. It seems longer than what it actually is because of the number of references listed, which give it substance and credibility. The essay exposes the vulnerability of the Watchtower Society to tort claims because of the religion’s misrepresentations of secular writers in the 1990 pamphlet: “How blood can save your life”, published by the Watchtower Society, used to teach Jehovah’s Witnesses the no-blood policy for the last two decades.

    Now the full article is available online for free:

  • moshe

    Do JWs know why Jewish hospitals and Jewish doctors see no religious "issues" with administering a blood transfusion? No, it has never been discussed in the WT before.

  • porfiada

    Good point Moshe

    I especially recommend Jehovah’s Witnesses this interpretation of the Bible's stand on blood issues. It is quite respectable, and you don't have to die for it. http://www.ajwrb.org/bible/index.shtml

    I have made a contribution to another website as "Mrs. Researcher", where I list some useful links:


    I hope all Jws will decide for themselves what is right, as it is their lives that are on the table, not the Governing Body's. When was the last time that a GB member died for lack of an organ transplant (as banned in the early seventies by the GB) or a blood transfusion??

    Good one outlaw, I love your JanitorElder!!

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