If Your JW Relative Needed Blood, Would You Force It On Them?
Gamaliel, in all the cases you mention: If they'd personally made known to me that they didn't want a blood transfusion (or medical treatment of any kind), there was no legal impediment to respecting that decision, and I had no reason to think that their decision was made without due consideration, then I would not over-ride their choice.
It reminds me of a case I read about some years ago. A social worker was making the monthly rounds of her clients; one of them was living in a rat-infested hole, and her lower legs were virtually encompassed with open lesions. The social worker made every effort to convince this lady to go to the doctor, to no avail (the lady had a morbid fear of doctors, for whatever reason.). A series of "psych" questions made it clear that the lady was not mentally deranged (legally speaking). The social worker was compelled to walk away and leave the lady in that squalid condition.
As deplorable as it was, it was still her choice.
To clarify: If I didn't know from personal conversation that a JW had made such a decision, or if I detected ambivalence in that decision, then I'd defer to the medical opinion, in a flash.
This issue isn't quite as black and white as it seems at first is it?
Personally, I think it's as black-and-white as it gets. And I do think I've moved way beyond the b/w JW mentality. One of the issues at play here, imho, is: The WTS has enforced it's personal opinions on so many of us for so many years, it's possible for us, in reverse, to display the same mentality, as a compensation reaction. To whatever extent that's true, we fall into the same trap we just escaped from.
Just because I feel I know better about a matter than another, it doesn't mean that I have the right to force my viewpoint upon such a one. If MY child was of legal age and maturity, I believe that I would not force blood or any other treatment on her that she would not want. Whether we feel that we really do know better, it's immaterial........In a totally different case, if I saw a person killing themselves with drugs or alcohol, I cannot force or should not try to force an individual to stop their harmful behavior......"FORCE" is the key word here.
I would for a child or an adult...they might hate me, but they would still be alive. Besides, after 17 years of imposed JWland, I figure they can put up with a little imposed common sense to save thier life...
they can put up with a little imposed common sense to save their life...
My dear friend, I couldn't disagree more strongly. Why in holy hell would I celebrate my new-found freedom from somebody else imposing their "common sense" on me, only to engage in similarly imposing my "common sense" on others?
That just doesn't make sense.
I suspect you have a lower threshold for what constitutes "due consideration" than I do, onacruse.
Six, while I've obviously got a very strong opinion about this issue, I'm more than open to alternative perspectives.
Would you care to elaborate on how you define "due consideration?"
Stan Conroy: I think your argument assumes that the JW in question wants to die. That is usually not the case. They would rather live, but if they absolutely have to die, they are willing to. They are definitely willing to take other means to survive, which is not the case with your OD example, or your jumper example.
Stan, I would go along with this except that Witnesses are poorly informed (read deceived) about the consequences. We cannot then say they are making an informed decision. The blood video makes it sound like modern technology is eliminating the need for blood transfusions at all, and the witness will likely live anyways. While in fact, there is no substitute for whole blood in emergency situations. If the video had stuck to scriptural/religious reasons alone, and made it clear that the consequence of refusing a blood transfusion could very well lead to death, fine. Instead, they have muddied the waters with pseudo-science and reassuring men in white lab coats.
Wednesday: That is exactly the conversation I had with my honey. I will not have his blood on my hands. I told if it were for scheduled surgery, I will respect his wishes. However, if he were in an accident and unconscious and needed an emergency blood transfusion to live, I would keep my mouth shut until after the life-saving transfusion was administered.
I stand by what i said. If my husband needs a transfusion to save his life, and he can't answer for himself-i have already told him, i will OK one. I will not let JWS kill my husband, even if he would. If he is awake and can make his own decison, i'll try and talk him out of it, but in the end, he will make the decision. But i'm not letting him go without a fight. Thank goodness both my kids are not jws. My bro is a jw. Now if i were the only one to make a decison for him-unlikely b/c he has a wife, i probably would respect his wishes, b/c i know he is staunch jw and would hate me forever if i OK blood. I think he is crazy anyhow, so if he wants to die for this, it's his life.But my husband and kids-different story.
as country girl said-da*n straight i would.
I'm running out the door right now so I can't elaborate too much, but I will say that I know that even as an adult JW, I had never givin the matter due consideration. You have to remember that to give the issue "due consideration" the JW has to basically do something they consider an afront to God and makes them the worst of the worst, an apostate. They have to consider that the F&DS are not so F&D. They are brainwashed (yes, brainwashed) not to do so, on fear of death and alienation from their loved ones, their community, and their God.
When I gave the matter due consideration, I immediately left the religion. I think the fact that virtually everyone else on the planet* sees it differently than the JW religion does, is pretty strong proof that most all JW's would see the matter differently givin "due consideration".
*six billion plus people, most of whom have a very sincere belief in God
While in fact, there is no substitute for whole blood in emergency situations.
I, for one (blame it on ignorance, if you will) have never seen any statistics that can verify that claim. Admittedly, there are many cases where this is true, but I seriously doubt that there's any objective evidence to prove that's it's unequivocally and universally the case. After all, how in the world can anyone definitively say "He's alive today only because he took a transfusion"?
If the video had stuck to scriptural/religious reasons alone, and made it clear that the consequence of refusing a blood transfusion could very well lead to death, fine.
They've said that, openly, with the caveat that future everlasting life was thereby preserved. Thus, many (a few years ago I would have said "most," but that appears to be changing) JWs would therefore have rejected transfusion.
Instead, they have muddied the waters with pseudo-science and reassuring men in white lab coats.
A good number of the "white lab coat" professionals, and thousands of operations, have confirmed that non-blood treatment is not pseudo-science at all.
So, how then do we define brainwashing? And how do we implement anti-brainwashing decisions? What standards do we use to categorically state "This person is brainwashed, and needs protection" vs. "This person is eccentric, and should be accommodated"? If, as I suggested above, we use the typical channels of social definition via laws and religion, then allowing an adult JW to die instead of taking a transfusion is entirely within "normal" human interaction.