I don't really know why but the JW take the Blood issue way more seriously than any other teaching from the WT. I have seen not few cases of people who were disfellowshipped or inactive who didn't take blood. - Ray Frankz
I've thought a lot about the blood issue and there is a conversation that is always missing when this topic comes up. Everyone talks about the whole idea in terms of teachings and policies. But, I was born into the cult... so what I learned wasn't always about teachings and policies. And I don't think that you have to have been born into the cult to have some of the more subtle understandings of what we were taught about blood.
It isn't just a religious stance. It isn't just an ethical choice because people are being loyal to their religion. We were taught in no uncertain terms that blood is DIRTY! and BAD! When I had been out of the cult for about/almost 10 years I gave blood for the first time. I paid attention to everything. I asked questions. But as I was sitting there watching the blood bag move and fill with my blood I was confused to realize that my relationship with blood isn't just about some policy that I was flouting. It wasn't just about the fear that God would smite me for disobeying him on something really important. I could see the blood and it was just a red liquid. But the thought of getting blood on me squicks me out because it is so dirty. Like dirt and evil combined in a really gross way... not so much a scary way. The way that I feel about blood is really confusing. The thought of having someone else's gross blood in me, mingling with my gross blood is so disgusting. I have a visceral reaction just to the thought of it.
I know people who enjoy playing with blood. I don't get it so don't ask me why. Logically and technically I know that there is nothing inherently wrong with blood. But I can't watch them play with it. And it has nothing to do with thinking about blood-born pathogens or diseases. In my mind, blood is inherently dirty. It is just like really watery red mud.
I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about blood. I also know I am one of the few people who took the time to analyse their feelings about blood to this extent. But this idea is never talked about when the issue of blood transfusions comes up. We weren't just taught that it was morally wrong. We were taught that blood is dirty in a really wrong way and that definitely has an effect on some peoples' choice to take, or not to take, a blood transfusion.