Need Help with Blood Transfusion Illustration

by Dissonant15 78 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • BluesBrother

    Interesting thread and a line of argument that I ,just as the O/P ,have found hard to counter. Information is the answer . Lets reply :

    So one is a strict teetotaler on medical advice . You develop cancer and after exhausting all other avenues you conclude that the only hope of saving your life is this.- a Percutaneous Ethanol (Alcohol) Injection of Liver:

    In this technique, sterile, 100% alcohol is injected into liver cancers to killcancer cells. This has worked best against primary liver cancers, but has been tried as well against liver metastases (secondary cancers). The alcohol is injected through the skin (percutaneously) into the tumor using a very thin needle with the help of ultrasound or CT visual guidance.

    Is that the same as drinking at the bar? Of course not. One may not like the idea but in the extreme circumstances both you and the doctor who told you to abstain would say ...go for it !

  • DesirousOfChange

    If your doctor directs you to 'abstain from alcohol' would you be OK to have it injected into your veins rather than drink it? ...Neither should we inject blood into our veins when God directs us to abstain."

    Do JW "abstain" from blood? Ask them to clarify. Do they mean not to come into contact with it? Do they mean to flush it from their bodies? Do they destroy any clothing that comes in contact with blood if they suffer a minor injury (such as a bloody nose)/ Obviously not. The scripture will cross reference the command to "not eat blood" (or drink blood).

    Now use this analogy:

    If they were in a serious accident and they were hemorrhaging and were at risk of dying from lack of blood, would the ER physician suggest that they drink several units of blood? If they did drink several pints of blood, would this save their life from the hemorrhaging? No.

    In this same situation, what would the physician recommend? Transfusion of several units of blood. If they allowed this transfusion, would this likely/possibly save them from bleeding to death? Yes.

    Is eating or drinking the blood the same as receiving a transfusion of blood? No.

    The Bible commands not EATING blood. They have just admitted that transfusion is NOT the same as eating/drinking, thus transfusion is not addressed in this condemnation.


  • Island Man
    Island Man
    Hell, I'm pretty sure that if you injected alcohol into your bloodstream it'd f**king kill you.

    No, actually. If you injected pure alcohol (ethanol) into your bloodstream it would have the same effect on you as if you drank it. The only difference is that you would start feeling the effects more quickly than if you drank it. It would only kill you if you injected a large amount - just as you'd also die of alcohol poisoning if you drank too much alcohol in one bout.

    But don't go injecting yourself with beer or wine! There are other ingredients in alcoholic beverages which might make you sick or kill you if you injected it directly into your veins.

  • TD

    Please, who can provide an intelligent rebuttal to the following illustration? I always thought it was bullet-proof:

    "If your doctor directs you to 'abstain from alcohol' would you be OK to have it injected into your veins rather than drink it? ...Neither should we inject blood into our veins when God directs us to abstain."

    This is a good example of the fallacy of equivocation.

    Alcohol is a simple compound that can be absorbed and metabolized even by inhaling the fumes. Blood is living tissue and a transfusion is essentially the same as an organ transplant. (A fact that JW literature actually acknowledges.)

    I'd also add that M.D.'s are educated people. It is unlikely that one would employ the sloppy, bad grammar of JW's.

  • Scully

    A person can live without alcohol. Abstaining from it would not put a person's life at risk. Alcohol is ingested orally; it is not intended to be infused intravenously.

    A person cannot live without an adequate blood supply. Abstaining from blood needed to maintain bodily function (for example, after a car accident where the individual loses 50% of their blood volume) results in hypovolemic shock and multi-system organ failure and the person dies. Blood can be ingested orally, by which it serves a nutritional value. It does not maintain its capacity to oxygenate the body once in contact with digestive enzymes. When infused intravenously, via blood transfusion, blood has the ability to oxygenate tissues that have been starved of oxygen during the episode of blood loss. It transports glucose and oxygen to the brain to sustain brain function during a critical situation in the person's life.

    When faced with the dilemma of whether it is better to die while Keeping Integrity™ to the WTS or accept a blood transfusion and be considered tainted or be Disfellowshipped™ to save your own life, I like to refer to this scripture:

    There is hope for whoever is among the living, because a live dog is better off than a dead lion. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:4 (NWT)

    Ironically, Ecclesiastes 9:5 is a favorite among JWs and it astonishes me than most of them have never clued in to the context of the previous verse. "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten."

  • Crazyguy
    There is a lot of good illustration here, I like the one about being told by a doctor not to eat meat so that must mean no liver transplant . But really you could just go for the throat and say Jesus our master said at Mark 7:18 nothing entering into a man can defile him and at Matthew chapter 12 hes talking about how the law can and should be broken if it allows for saving a life verse 7or 8 he says "we desire mercy not sacrifice". Then you may ask, Is Jesus not your king and master?
  • OneGenTwoGroups

    If your doctor told you "stay away from alcohol" ...

    1. Would you symbolically drink it once per year?

    2. Would you allow alcohol to be used to sterilize a wound?

    3. Would you avoid any life saving medical procedure involving alcohol?

    4. Would you spend hours upon end rationalizing a possibility to consume fractions of alcohol?

  • Vidiot

    OneGen TwoGroups - "Would you spend hours upon end rationalizing a possibility to consume fractions of alcohol?"


    "Barley, hops, and water are a conscience matter, but anything over 5% is a no-no. Make sure your family liquor store is aware of your stand in this matter."

  • TD

    Sometimes I wonder if it's worth explaining the semantic legerdemain upon which the equivocation rests.

    "Abstain" in English is an intransitive verb. It cannot take a direct object and neither can it transfer action between subject and object.

    It's true that in casual conversation, we might use the word, "abstain" in connection with a physical thing, but we don't do it unless a finite verb is clearly understood from the context.

    Consider these two simple examples:

    "Her obstetrician said, 'Pregnant women should abstain from alcohol.'"

    "His dermatologist said, 'Persons with sensitive skin should abstain from alcohol.'"

    Even though both doctors have told their patients to abstain from alcohol, they are clearly not talking about the same thing. In the context of pregnancy, it would be understood that the obstetrician was referring to alcoholic beverages. In the context of sensitive skin, it would be understood that the dermatologist was referring to topical preparations containing alcohol.

    There is no reason why a person with sensitive skin could not drink an alcoholic beverage and there is no reason why a pregnant women could not apply a perfume or other cosmetic containing alcohol to her skin. The context of the, "Abstain from..." statement clearly determines the scope of the prohibition.

    Similarly, the Apostolic Decree had a very clear context. It was the end result of a debate over whether Gentile converts to Christianity should be compelled to follow the Law. Therefore the eating of blood as forbidden in the Law is the context of the phrase, "Keep abstaining....from blood."

    So there are multiple levels of dishonesty in the JW analogy between blood and alcohol. Not only are they making an invalid comparison, they are invoking a partial predicate (i.e. Abstain...from blood) apart from the context that completes it for the express purpose of misleading the audience into believing that biblical prohibitions against eating blood are stated in terms broad enough to include transfusion.

    They aren't.

  • sir82


    They try to get around that by stating that the Biblical prohibition on "eating blood" really means "sustaining life by means of blood". I.e., the missing part of the predicate is "sustaining life"

    Eating "sustains life".

    Blood transfusions "sustain life".

    Therefore, their point is, "eating blood" is exactly equivalent to "transfusing blood".

    I know, it does not make logical sense, but at the superficial level that most JWs apply to reading, well, anything, but in particular statements made by the "faithful & discreet slave", it seems to make sense.

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