Did you know: some states will force blood transfusions on your child

by joe_from_kokomo 18 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • joe_from_kokomo

    One of my children is facing surgery, and when we went in for pre-op discussions and tests, we met with the anesthesiologist's assistant. Of course, we told her we were JWs, and noted that on the questionaire form, but she was quick to inform me that in my state, blood transfusions can be administered to minor children in spite of the parent's objections, even if they are JWs. State law precedent has been set in this matter, and they will get a court order if needed.

    I was a little irritated by this, but then thought better of it, as I feel that our blood policy is ridiculous. So, I bit my tongue. The assistant went on to explain that an adult can make any decision they want about their medical treatment in my state, but in the case of minor children, the state takes over and can force the issue. How about that? Did an of you ever hear this mentioned at the kingdom hall? I listened attentively at the recent meeting on the blood issue, and I can assure you it never came up at our hall...

    So, in my state, there is no point in worrying about the blood issue for your minor children- the state will protect you from the Governing Body's antiquated, overzealous, Luddite, life-threatening, and confusing rules over blood transfusions. Think about it.

    By the way, I researched this on the Internet and the case in my state was won in May, 2002. The Nurse Practitioner was right about the law, too. The state can overrule in cases of a medical emergency.

    And, it's actually worse. If you push the issue, and your child dies, you can be charged with criminal negligence. How about that for punishment for being overly-theocratic? The state sees you as a criminal parent if you refuse blood to your child in his/her moment of life-threatening need. I say they should go arrest the local elders and the GB members, but that's just my opinion. They're the ones to blame for this whole d#@& mess.

    Now, please tell me if any of you were aware of these legal points? Also, have you checked to see if this is the law in your state? Don't you wonder why the elders in my state are not informing the congregations what the real facts are with regard to the blood issue and minor children? Isn't it odd that the hospital nurse had to set me straight on this? Please add your two cents...

  • Sam Beli
    Sam Beli

    There was a time when this policy was also true in the case of adults (that hospitals got court orders for necessary blood). Some of us are alive today only because of caring state provisions. Our JW families would have let us bleed to death.

  • AlanF

    I've been aware of this for some time, Joe, but I'm not your average ex-JW who knows little about the legalities you've discovered.

    I have no doubt that the Watchtower Society is well aware of these legalities, and so is now attempting to hide behind them. JW elders, Hospital Liason Committee members, and the Governing Body itself, are well aware that whenever a conflict about blood transfusions arises these days, legal precedent means that the Society always loses. This means that no matter what parents or the minor says, at least in the U.S., it's easy for doctors to obtain a court order to transfuse. The Society has pretty much given up to "Caesar" on this issue. In this way, the Society has put off responsibility for "violating God's laws" on poor old "Caesar". They really have no choice. So in recent years, HLC's have not challenged the courts, and have meekly gone along with whatever they say. Thus, in a certain way the Society takes advantage of "Caesar's laws" to protect JW children in spite of the ridiculously stupid GB "laws".


  • Phil

    Kokomo is in Indiana as it says in the song is it?

    Is there a source where we can find out which states have such laws. If my daughter who is a JW were to get in an accident and arrive unconcience and her husband is not present couls I sign for her and allow the transfusion?

    By the way, you seem to be a JW at the present. I thought the governing body does not permit you associating with people like us on such a web site.


    Many of you may have already heard about that young woman (teenager) in western Canada who ended up being administered a blood transfusion.

    This was in the province of Alberta. The mother I believe, was a JW, but the father was not. Sadly, the girl passed away.

    The blood transfusion was given after a court order was secured. The girl did not want it, but because of her age (14 - I believe) her wishes were over ruled.

    I believe that in some Canadian provinces, like some U.S. states, similar laws have been enacted to prevent such problems.

    Not certain about here in Ontario, but it wouldn't surprise me if it would be similar to Alberta's.

  • BeautifulGarbage

    Though not a JW at the time, when my daughter was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, I asked the hospital social worker what would they do if I refused transfusions of blood products for her. I was curious because I had JW family and JW co-workers. It was stated to me the matter would be taken to court and an order to give the transfusions would be granted whether I approved or not.

    Another little side note: People are rarely given whole blood. Generally, it's fractions. Red blood cells, platets, etc.

    Of course, there's that little matter of infants getting their Mother's white blood cells from breastmilk.....

  • rocketman

    This was something that I was not really aware of, even as an elder. State laws were never explained to us in any real detail as far as I can recall.

  • Stephanus

    I'd prefer the state to stay out of a person's private deliberations on what medical treatment they will and won't have, but the meddling of the GB in this area has actually resulted in this breach of civil liberties. The paradox is that the Tower removes the right to make a personal decision from the Dub, dictating the terms of what the Dub's "conscience" should want to the very letter, that the state is forced, in order to protect its minor citizens, to wrest that right out of the GB's hands into state control. IOW, if the Tower hadn't been so heavy handed and merciless on this issue, the Government wouldn't need to be. They've sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

  • hawkaw

    Every state and Province have Child protection laws and they have Children authorities to enforce them.

    When a life of a child (usually defined as either the age of 16 or 18 depending on where you live) is threatened, the State has a duty to over from the parents because the child does not have the skills to protect itself. Usually a court will get involved and issue an order for whatever the Children authority requires.

    This is nothing new and in fact has been around for a long long time. Most parents don't know about the laws because most parents always take care of the child and thus, authorities have no need to worry about about them.

    Hospital Liason Committee members and legal dude like David Gnam (WTS counsel) try to get involved especially where the child is a teenager. They try to argue that the teenager is old enough to make their ow decisions. A New Brunswick court actually agreed some years back but for the rest of North America, Judges and Children's Aid noted the following when they put a detector up to legal counsel such as Mr. Gnam



  • wannaexit


    Regarding the Hugh's case of Alberta, the father was a JW. I think he was disfellowshipped. He stopped supporting the blood doctrine and ordered blood to be given to his daughter.

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