"Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses onto something?" - re: blood transfusions - Montreal Gazette

by Incognito 15 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Incognito

    I haven't seen anything posted about this but here is a link to a July 12/13 Montreal Gazette article entitled:

    Too much blood: Researchers fear the ‘gift of life’ may sometimes endanger it

    The title of this thread was taken directly from the article.


  • garyneal
    In cases of massive “bleed outs” from trauma or hemorrhage, or for patients with leukemia or other cancers, blood transfusions can be lifesaving.
    At the same time, experts say there is remarkably little evidence to show which patients — short of those suddenly losing large amounts of blood — actually benefit from blood transfusions.

    These are the points that doctors do not agree with witnesses on and where I would have to draw the line myself. I'm all for any medical advances that allow for less blood to be used during surgery but if a large sudden loss were to occur, there is no substitute for a transfusion. Yes, true, I've heard of blood expanders but they miss the key ingredient that carries oxygen.

    Now, some contradictions in their doctrine. Blood fractions are fine but no witness is allowed to give blood so that its fractions can be used for other recipients. Blood recapturing is fine but autologous blood transfusions are not (it must be poured on to the ground).

  • cofty

    The reason JWs refuse blood is NOT medical.

    Never let them away with muddying the waters. Its all about a muddled understanding of the bible, nothing else.

  • Splash

    You are banned from transfusing the major component 'white cells' (leukocytes), but a breast fed baby eats white cells in the mothers colostrum.

    This is something I have never understood.

    Why aren't the leukocyte donors (the mothers) disfellowshipped the same as any other donor?


  • Richard_I

    Some quotes from the article regarding JWs:

    When doctors at a New Jersey hospital pioneered a “bloodless” surgery program for patients who refused blood transfusions on religious grounds, they discovered something totally unexpected: Jehovah’s Witnesses, who would choose death over a transfusion, recovered just as well as transfused patients — and in many cases, even better.

    They suffered fewer post-surgery complications, spent less time on mechanical breathing machines and had shorter stays in intensive care.

    Recently, doctors from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused blood transfusions while undergoing cardiac surgery were significantly less likely to need another operation for bleeding compared with non-Witnesses who were transfused. They were also less likely to suffer a post-op heart attack or kidney failure.

    Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses onto something?


    While Jehovah’s Witnesses have taught doctors that the body can compensate for extraordinarily low levels of hemoglobin, levels that are too low mean the cells and tissues in the brain and other vital organs become starved of oxygen.

    Hebert has watched Jehovah’s Witnesses die for refusing to be transfused, an experience that leaves the medical team feeling helpless. “But you can’t force your values on someone else,” he says.

    Hebert says more research and education is needed to help doctors decide how long they can safely wait before ordering blood, how much blood they should give and when to hold off giving any blood at all.

    “The problem is that we don’t have the data,” Hebert said. “In many cases, we just don’t know.”

    It's a very long article, but an interesting read. They also include a diagram of a few statistics on blood transfusions in Canada.

  • MrFreeze

    Any benefits are purely coincidental.

  • mamochan13

    ACtually, the article is fascinating. There's a lot of validity in the research. For a long time transfusions have been used as therapy without a lot of investigation being done into the negative effects. I don't agree with JWs willingness to let someone die, but I also think it's okay to question a treatment. This is the first time I've read such in-depth information about the negatives of blood transfusion.

    I think JWs may have made some docs and researchers rethink how they use the therapy, but they have done a lot of harm by being wiling to die for a belief that has no basis.

    When I was still a JW I always said that even if I was not a JW, I would question blood as a treatment and actively look for alternatives. I haven't changed that opinion, and this article seems to lend weight to that thinking.

  • prologos

    The head nurse in one of the Montreal teaching hospital a ( jewish lady) said to me she would never take a blood transfusion.

    It is an added burden to a struggling organism, if it is not really needed.

    related to the blood doping in athletic competitions.

    Wt is wrong on many, most things.

    Caution against this invasive procedure is not one of them.

    this might turn out like 1914, a lucky shot

    they can parade out without having been truly right for the right reasons.

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    Shame on the Montreal Gazette.

  • prologos

    not just the Gazette,

    Wt featured one prominent Montreal doctor, a Gynacologist or Obstretian, who retired 15 years ago, in in their "Anti-Blood-Use" video.

    I think one point in the article was the danger of over use of blood.

    The body doe not like any intrusion (almost).

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