New Research at AJWRB

by Lee Elder 94 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Ruby456
    Ruby456

    this thread has gone very quiet.

    the thing that Muramoto was aiming for was to eliminate JW deaths over the doctrine of refusing blood and blood transfusions. His collaboration with you Lee Elder opened his eyes to the possibility of varieties of responses within the JW org to the blood ban and to how dissenters like yourself were accepting blood. That was in 1998 -2001. So down the line has loss of life from refusing blood gone up or down?

    the problem with saying that deaths are still high obscures how the medical community have been working hard to reduce deaths and to find a way through the webs created by Jehovah,s witnesses. As my link above shows some European countries have counter measures in place and these measures are saving JW lives. Also we don't know how many lives are saved through the new focus on confidentiality to give JWS space to take blood in emergencies (since 1998-2001 till now). This space was campaigned for by a collaboration between Muramoto and you Lee Elder and the aim was to reduce JW deaths. so is it working? I think that jw lives are being saved and far fewer are dying. this would be something positive to focus on and would highlight the work that was done and is being done by you and others

  • Vidiot
    Vidiot
    "...their ends are that they are alleviating the sorrows and difficulties of people who are suffering, therefore what harm does it do if they use material dishonestly? spiritual warfare strategy..."

    Once again, for the newbies, lurkers, and trolls...

    ...if you have to cheat to defend your beliefs, your beliefs don't deserve to be defended.

  • OrphanCrow
    OrphanCrow
    Ruby456: I think that jw lives are being saved and far fewer are dying.

    Please support your statement.

    Why do you think that? Where do you get your information from (and what is that information) that you base your conclusion on?

  • steve2
    steve2

    A further complicating factor is that in many Western countries, babies with serious congenital conditions born to JW parents become state wards when medical professionals deem surgery is needed, including blood transfusions. It is thus rare nowadays to hear of infants/children dying because of their JW parents' blood refusals because legislation grants medical custody to the treating medical team.

    Whilst no figures are on hand, most of us older adults raised as JWs can look back on a time when JW parents could successfully refuse blood for their newborns and death was often the outcome. Rarely does this now happen in countries such as New Zealand (my homeland), Australia and (I presume) Canada.

    But I cannot be sure how widespread the child wellbeing, welfare and protection laws are in other Western countries.

  • OrphanCrow
    OrphanCrow
    steve2: A further complicating factor is that in many Western countries, babies with serious congenital conditions born to JW parents become state wards when medical professionals deem surgery is needed, including blood transfusions.

    That is true. However, the number of infants/children that have succumbed to a no blood position are not included in any of the estimates that have been done on JW blood deaths. The retrospective studies that have been done, on which the estimates have extrapolated from, have only included the adult population.

    And yes, sometimes a medical team will apply for transfusion rights for a child. This usually only happens when all other alternatives have either been tried or the noblood treatment does not have the evidence to back up its effectiveness.

    For an idea of how many Jehovah's Witness children are subjected to no blood treatment, check out the results of a google scholar search that brings up several medical cases involving Jehovah's Witness children where the medical teams have went ahead with no blood procedures. And then, add in the indeterminate number of children who expire before their case becomes something to make its way into medical journals.

    https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?hl=en&q=pediatric+jehovah&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=&oq=pediatric

  • darkspilver
    darkspilver
    The retrospective studies that have been done, on which the estimates have extrapolated from, have only included the adult population.

    Sorry, I'm still confused

    The "Dr. Osamu Muramoto" number is extrapolated using the "American Association of Blood Banks reported that approximately 4 million patients" line - where is the indication that the "patients" here only includes adults?

    The "Marvin Shilmer" number is extrapolated using the "the average number of publishers during the 2016 service year was 8,132,358" line - where is the indication that the "publishers" here only includes adults?

  • OrphanCrow
    OrphanCrow

    I am speaking of the retrospective studies that have been done comparing the JW population to the population that consents to blood transfusions.


    Mortality risk stratification in severely anaemic Jehovah’s

    Witness patients

    - A. M. Beliaev,1 R. J. Marshall,3 W. Smith2 and J. A. Windsor4

    Mortality and morbidity in patients with very low postoperative Hb levels who decline blood transfusion.

    - Carson JL1, Noveck H, Berlin JA, Gould SA.

    Are transfusions overrated? Surgical outcome of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    - Kitchens CS.

    Surgery in Jehovah’s Witnesses

    - David H. W. WongLeonard C. Jenkins

    What can we learn about the need for transfusion from patients

    who refuse blood? The experience with Jehovah’s Witnesses

    - Viele, Weiskoff

    *edit to add - and then, of course, all the maternal mortality studies that have been done on JW women have been the adult pop

    And then, there are the flawed retrospective studies which I have posted about before in this forum. And those only considered adult populations.

    Dr. Muramto's estimate proceeds from a retrospective study that only uses adults. And likewise, all estimates that have been done in addition to that one do not include the pediatric population. To consider the JW population as being entirely consisting of adults actually skews the death numbers in favor of less JWs dying, not more. The pediatric population in general has a higher mortality risks than does the adult population.

  • darkspilver
    darkspilver

    Dr. Muramto's estimate proceeds from a retrospective study that only uses adults.

    yes, the actual study might, but the multiplier that is used (number of 'patients' requiring blood) appears to include children?

    Likewise the WT's 'publisher' number that Marvin Shilmer used as a multiplier would appear to include children?

    To consider the JW population as being entirely consisting of adults actually skews the death numbers in favor of less JWs dying, not more.

    Why skew it - if the figure should be higher then it should be higher - why would you try to lower it?

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    There are inherent limitations when developing an estimate of something as complex as the Watchtower's partial blood transfusion ban. Of course it would be ideal if we had better data that would permit us to be more exact than we have been. There are both known limitations, and unknown limitations. With respects to Dr. Muramoto's method, here are his written comments to me:

    "This kind of extrapolation is used all the time in various advertisements in medical field. Drug A can prevent heart attack 1% better than drug B. Then using other statistics, the drug company of drug A advertises that drug A can save X thousand of lives every year. This advertisement is not necessarily false, but critics are ready to say that it is misleading because those statistics are taken from different contexts, and the advertisement suggests that drug A actually saves X thousand of lives, which is not. So, our campaign is not false as a campaign, but is also rightly criticized as misleading for the same reasons."

    With respect to the estimate prepared by Marvin Shilmer, we have fewer limitations. Belieav's data covers a much wider scope than Kitchens which only considered surgery. Belieav's data is related to anemia. Anemia is the great killer of JW's in our experience. The aim of the study was to develop a mortality risk stratification instrument for severely anemic JW patients so as to predict mortality. The JW patients were self identified, and seeking medical care without blood. A total of 10,786 admissions among 3529 JW patients was identified. Of these 108 met eligibility criteria. Their average age was 58.6. 70% of the cases involved surgery. None of the cases involved pediatrics or JW adolescents. It is a reasonable assumption that the study did not include JW women giving birth.

    The data is drawn from four major public hospitals in New Zealand from 1998 - 2007. So we are looking at a very high standard of care. We're dealing with JW patients with access to a wide range of high tech alternative therapies that significantly reduce mortality and morbidity in the JW population. It is a given that this standard of care is not available in developing countries, hence it can reasonably assumed that actual mortality and morbidity are significantly higher among the overall JW population.

    This is not a perfect study either. It has limitations. It is, however, the best study presently available. If and when better studies become available, we will use those. Even then, however, we will always be making assumptions that can be criticized. I think a good comparison would be with respects to evolution. There are many assumptions made that sometimes turn out to be false. Watchtower and other Creationists can rightly criticize these failure and limitations. None of that, however, alters the fact the evolution is the mechanism by which life forms change, adapt and gradually become other forms of life.

    Likewise with our estimate of deaths related to the Watchtower blood policy. We are making assumptions, some of which could be wrong. A host of known and unknown factors could either increase or decrease the true morbidity rate. We suspect that ultimately these factors will tend to increase the estimated annual morbidity of 0.015% - it may be significantly higher. There is a low probability that the unknown factors could decrease the morbidity, but the probability remains.It is our sincere belief that the estimates of Dr. Muramoto, and Marvin Shilmer are reasonably accurate and conservative. We will use and defend them, and if a better study or estimate can be done in the future, we will use it.



  • steve2
    steve2

    OrphanCrow thanks for the additional information.

    I would respond by saying that in countries such as NZ and Australia there is virtually an automatic legal process in which the parents' guardianship is suspended when medical teams see no alternatives to blood and they can get Court approval in hours. Interestingly, no JWs have challenged this to date and there is a sense that the parents are relieved that the ultimate decision is taken out of their hands so they (the parents) cannot be accused of compromising their beliefs).

    There is little, if any, publically available data on outcomes in terms of comparing overall JW child mortality rates before the legislation was in force to after.

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