How Many Witnesses Would Really Take Blood?

by minimus 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • OnTheWayOut

    I believe that most parents that face serious problems on the blood issue with their child are very hopeful that a judge will take the decision away from them, even though they cannot admit it.

  • konceptual99

    OTWO - I recall there is some documentation somewhere that shows the HLC in at least one area (Canada?) will give tacit approval to parents to basically send strong hints to the medical team to make a child a ward of court. It's a simple way out.

    Even if it's not an unwritten instruction it absolutely happens.

  • konceptual99


    Are you wilfully misunderstanding what people post?

    The consensus amongst most critics of the WT blood policy is to a greater or less extent as follows:

    1 - most Witnesses will not willingly accept any procedure/product that is declared unacceptable by the WTS (i.e. whole blood + the four arbitrary components)

    2 - most Witnesses will accept any procedure/product that is declared a conscience matter by the WTS (e.g. cell salvage, fractions etc.)

    3 - most Witnesses will change their view on what is acceptable and not acceptable based on what the WTS say is such

    4 - the WTS has consistently maintained that it is unacceptable to donate blood as shows disrespect to God's law

    5 - the WTS has, over the years, had to respond to medical technology advances and has gone away from a fundamental interpretation and application of scripture to one of woolly and contradictory policy (e.g. donation is unacceptable, using processed blood fractions = acceptable)

    6 - the WTS has deflected criticism that people don't have a choice by making acceptance of a blood transfusion a "DA by actions" matter. They speak from both sides of their mouth and claim Witnesses have no sanctions yet we all know DA is the same result as being DFed.

    7 - the policy is so complex it requires a small army of enforcers to keep people in line and doctors fed with chaff that makes them think Witnesses have a choice

    8 - a Witness can make a choice that is not acceptable one day without knowing if the policy will change the next day or vice-versa.

    9 - many speculate that the WTS would like to drop the policy but since it is one of the core doctrines that has defined Witnesses as different for years and required people to make life and death choices it shies away from dropping it, preferring to dilute it to the complex mess it is now.

    So in answer to the OP...

    How many Witnesses would accept a treatment the WTS defines as unacceptable. A small minority.

    How many Witnesses would accept a treatment the WTS defined as unacceptable yesterday but changes to being acceptable today. An almost total majority.

    Forget the Bible. This is the reality.

  • eyeuse2badub

    I routinely 'give blood' at least 4-5 times a year. It's when I go to my doctor. So do most jw's when they have several vials of blood drawn and sent to some laboratory to be analyzed and checked to determine their health especially when looking for a specific marker in their blood. So it's okay to 'donate' blood when it's going to be used (analyzed in a lab) to help the medical profession determine if a faithful jw has some medical condition that may be treated and prevent their death?

    But if death is staring a faithful jw in the face and administering blood id the only alternative the medical profession has to save their life, blood suddenly becomes sacred?

    just saying!

  • Fisherman

    K99, you are mistaken to proclaim your commentary as reality. Why are you willfully misunderstanding what I post ?

  • freddo

    I agree with K99's commentary.

    It gels with my experience when I was an elder in being asked on several occasions "What am I allowed to have?" by different congregation members.

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    My Son's GF recently graduated as an RN and immediately was hired at a large local hospital. In her training they said there was going to be a segment about how to handle JW's and knowing her boyfriend and family were XJW's she was extra curious because up until recently, she never heard of JW's.

    Long story short, they told the students about JW's and how the Liaison Committee worked etc. The part that stood out to her is that they told the students that once the JW's leave the patients room they must always follow up with the patient privately because more often than not, the patient will consent to blood once the other JW's are gone. They recanted stories about JW's (especially young ones) who while being wheeled into the operating room, begged them not to let them die....they wanted blood if needed and begged them not to tell anyone.

    The patients were reassured that their wishes would be followed and because of HIPPA laws, they required to keep the matter private. My Son's GF was astounded that this went on and that no one really knew about it and then she fully understood the grief, remorse and frustration we had gone through over the (no blood transfusion) death of my father, her boyfriends grandfather who was only studying at the time of his surgery.

  • konceptual99
    K99, you are mistaken to proclaim your commentary as reality. Why are you willfully misunderstanding what I post ?

    Maybe I don't understand what you are saying?

    From what I can see you seem to be missing the point that pretty much everyone would agree with you that most Witnesses would not have a blood transfusion of a product deemed not acceptable by the GB.

    I also think you are missing the point that most people would agree with you that most Witnesses would view it as a Bible command and look to the GB to advise them how the command should be interpreted.

    Where you seem unable to grasp the point is that even taking the above into account, should the GB change their mind on the interpretation of the Bible command then the conscience and decision tree of an individual Witness will change to match the will of the GB. Everybody agrees with you that it's the GB that sets the agenda. You also seem unprepared to agree that the policy is inconsistent with even their own base position (i.e. the donation dichotomy).

    No one here expects the GB to change their minds just because a bunch of malcontents write some posts on an internet forum. We are far more interested in providing input to those JWs lurking here, those who are thinking about inconsistencies in doctrine and helping them evaluate counter arguments to the nonsense they get from JW sources.

    Have I misunderstood you?

  • TD


    It was pointed out in another thread that the base scripture enjoining Christians to 'keep abstaining from blood' needs to be considered. --Call it what you like.

    I'm not sure if I'm understanding....

    Are you dubious about the grammar and context yourself or are you pointing out that the average JW simply doesn't understand it, or as a third possibility, are you suggesting that the Decree should be applied out of context?

    How would any these three possibilities present a valid theological position? (As opposed to an organizational mandate.)


    19 Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 For from ancient times Moses has had in city after city those who preach him, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath.”

    The Greek conjunction "γáρ" is postpositive, so despite how it looks in English, verse 21 is not the start of a new sentence. It is a direct continuation of the previous thought, which makes the context beyond dispute. Literal translations are closer to the original text, but the downfall of literal translations is awkward, incomplete English where details like this are lost.

    However that's not the case when the translator is free to compose complete sentences:

    "abstain from food that has been offered to idols, from tasting blood, from the flesh of animals that have been strangled, and from sexual vice."

    "eat no food that has been offered to idols; eat no blood; eat no animal that has been strangled; and keep yourselves from immorality."
    Today's English Version

    "avoid what has been sacrificed to idols, tasting blood, eating the meat of what has been strangled and sexual immorality."
    Phillip's Modern English

    "You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality."
    New Living Translation

    "abstain from eating food offered to idols and from unbled meat of strangled animals and of course from fornication."
    The Living Bible

    "Do only what is necessary by keeping away from food sacrificed to false gods, from eating bloody meat, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual sins."
    God's Word Bible

    “But you should not eat anything offered to idols. You should not eat any meat that still has the blood in it or any meat of any animal that has been strangled. You must also not commit any terrible sexual sins."
    Contemporary English Version

    "That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from [tasting] blood and from [eating the meat of animals] that have been strangled and from sexual impurity."
    The Amplified Bible

    "You are to keep away from everything that has been given to gods. Do not eat blood or meat from animals that have been killed in ways against the Law. Keep away from sex sins"
    New Life Version

    "You must not eat food that has been given to idols. You must not eat the meat of animals that are killed by choking. You must not taste blood. You must not commit adultery. If you keep away from these things, you will do well"
    The Bible in Worldwide English

    These are the only interpolations that a translator is entitled to make. Anything more than that is outside of the context of the Decree.

    If the JW's have a theological position on the grammar of the Decree, I've not seen it in print. The grammar has been discussed in textbooks and commentaries; The lack of the imperative was questioned on B-Greek in 1999 and Professor Conrad explained it himself.

    The wording of the NWT suggests that they understand all of this, but we both know that's speculative, especially in view of the fact that they don't interpret the phrase in the spirit with which they've translated it.

  • Fisherman
    Where you seem unable to grasp the point is that even taking the above into account, should the GB change their mind on the interpretation of the Bible command then the conscience and decision tree of an individual Witness will change to match the will of the GB.

    JW know that wt doctrine has changed and can change but also believe that gb is the FDS and as such GB decide doctrine and lead JW and JW follow.

    If a JW believes that the gb are only a bunch of men dictating policy as you say, then why should he continue to be a JW?

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