An elder, Chief MD in Honolulu clinic goes door to door. Testimony given at JW convention
- I had a friend who was a JW nurse (general ward) and she did the same thing this Dr guy did, she requested other nurses set up transfusions because of religious grounds. Another who was a theatre nurse who also did this.
I went to nursing school while a witness. Did the mental gymnastics around the blood issue. Didn't go to the Red Cross to learn about blood donations (got excused because of religious beliefs) 😱 Reasoned that I didnt ordered blood and would've interfere with the doctor/patient relationship but I would usually ask other nurses to hang the blood for me.
I held to this policy of mine while even a nurse-practitioner (Certified Nurse-Midwife) until I left the JWs. I was truly free and relieved that I could practice on scientific principles instead of men's mumbo-jumbo.
There is a lot of mental gymnastics that goes on between scientific principles and fundamental religions.
I picture the scene with this doctor's cognitive dissonance.
"You need a blood transfusion right away. Doctor Smith, please sign this."
"Hee hee, I got away with it again. Jehovah must love me."
Big difference in my opinion.
Higher education is "discouraged" more than forbidden. Some are not allowed to serve, but it is considered a danger, not a sin. Blood on the other hand is one of the BIG sins. You know the JW big sins. Taking blood, celebrating a birthday or holiday, talking to disfellowshipped people and going to a different religions ceremony.
So yes he went to college, but that wasn't a sin.
My thoughts revolve around how this works in real time in the hospital. He sees someone in need of blood. He makes the call that it may be neccesary, and then asks someone else to order it? Is that really the process? So he makes the decision, the diagnosis, the recommendation.....but doesn't place the order......and its all good?
It also strikes me as odd that he wants other doctors to order the blood transfusions for him.
What's the difference who signs the paper? The end result is the same. The patient under your care is receiving a blood transfusion, thus you are de facto condoning that course of treatment.
I.e., you are condoning a treatment that, according to the JW religion, makes the recipient guilty of a sin deserving of everlasting death.
How do you reconcile going "door to door" trying to impart "lifegiving waters of truth" on a Saturday, then on the following Monday you are condoning a medical treatment that your God putatively condemns?
"I can't impose my religious beliefs on my patients..."
Shame the SABM doesn't seem to value that stance.
His ordering blood for them would not conflict with JW teaching about abstaining. It's not going in HIS body.
The mental gymnastics seem stupid. JWs hold that not only are transfusions are morally wrong to obtain, they teach that they are totally avoidable-so, if he really believed the best medical practices forbid it, he would have no such conflicts.
There was a Question From Readers several years ago that dealt with whether a JW doctor could administer blood transfusions. I think it was in the 90s but I can't find the quote. The WT stated, of course, that it was up to the doctor's conscience but basically they said it was okay.
(I will keep looking for it...)
Ah...here we go. As usual it seems like there has been some flipflopping on this issue. In 1964, the WT appeared to say it was okay for a doctor to transfuse someone who wasn't a JW, but it doesn't seem to be accepted later:
w64 11/15 682-3 Employment and Your Conscience
Christians in the medical profession are individually responsible for employment decisions. They must bear the consequences of decisions made, in keeping with the principle at Galatians 6:5. Some doctors who are Jehovah's witnesses have administered blood transfusions to persons of the world upon request. However, they do not do so in the case of one of Jehovah's dedicated witnesses. In harmony with Deuteronomy 14:21, the administering of blood upon request to worldly persons is left to the Christian doctor's own conscience. This is similar to the situation facing a Christian butcher or grocer who must decide whether he can conscientiously sell blood sausage to a worldly person.
*** w75 4/1 215-6 Are You Guided by a Sensitive Christian Conscience? ***
This Christian gave careful thought to the matter. It could be seen that it would not be right for a Christian to work exclusively for a blood bank, where everything was devoted to an end that was in violation of God's law. But that was not his situation; he ran tests of many kinds. Also, if one were a doctor responsible for the decision, one could not order a blood transfusion for a patient, any more than a Christian store owner could order and stock idols or cigarettes. However, this technician realized that in connection with blood he was merely running a test, even as a nurse might have taken the sample, a messenger might have delivered it to the laboratory and someone else might administer a transfusion or other medication on a doctor's orders. He reflected on the principle at Deuteronomy 14:21. According to that text a Jew finding a carcass of an animal that died of itself could clear it away by selling it to a foreigner who was not under the Law's restrictions about animal flesh not drained of its blood. So the technician's conscience at that time allowed him to run blood tests, including those of blood for transfusions to patients who did not care about God's law
*** w99 4/15 29 Questions From Readers ***
Some Christians working in hospitals have had to consider this factor of authority. A physician might have authority to order medications for or medical procedures on a patient. Even if a patient did not mind, how could a Christian doctor in authority order a blood transfusion or perform an abortion, knowing what the Bible says on such matters?
- I was appointed servant and later elder while attending university. Couple of years ago, another one was appointed elder while taking specialized advanced courses following his university degree. So it differs from country to country.