by Lee Elder 16 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • blondie

    That's what it is, mizpah. Making the word of God invalid (at least their own version of it).

    It ends up with elders telling the sheep that they cannot understand the Bible without their help.


    Update: Article on Hemoglobin-based products and JWs


    Sometimes the committee informs doctors when a pharmaceutical company is working on a new product -- such as an artificial hemoglobin in the third stage of clinical trials, Edling says.
    In the case of the hemoglobin, it can be made available on a compassionate basis even though it is not yet approved for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration.

    Complete article follows:

    Bloodless surgery option for Jehovah's Witnesses

    Of The Post and Courier Staff

    There were times when Julius Strong could exert as much energy as any other 50-some-year-old with no problem. But there also were times when Strong became so winded after exerting himself that it frightened him.

    Those were times that sent him to the doctor for a heart checkup.

    The doctor recommended catheterization to determine the extent of Strong's cardiac problems, and the patient agreed.

    Twenty years before that, another doctor told Strong he probably had two bad heart valves. That was during Strong's hospitalization for a brain aneurysm. But Strong had not focused on the issue since.

    He decided that if his valves didn't bother him, he wouldn't bother them.

    Now, however, things were different.

    The doctor who had just performed Strong's catheterization found one bad valve, not two. But he was telling him he needed cardiac surgery to replace the valve very soon. He also was telling him there was room on the next day's surgery schedule.

    Something else was different, too.

    In the two decades since Strong's previous surgery, he had become a Jehovah's Witness and could not have a blood transfusion, a procedure considered normal in the type of surgery he needed. Those who are members of the faith base their belief on Scripture that it is wrong to do so (Leviticus 7:26-27, 17:10-14; Deuteronomy 12:23-25, 15:23; Acts 15:20, 28, 29, 21:25).

    Luckily, Brother John Gaston, his minister, had told him about the bloodless medicine program at Roper Hospital. So Strong already knew he wouldn't have to enter into a stressful discussion with doctors on the issue of refusing to receive blood.

    His decision would be only about the surgery.

    The doctors, he says, explained to him they could take steps to minimize the loss of blood. They explained that Strong's own blood would be collected, cleaned and re-turned to him during surgery, a procedure called cell saver.

    An increasing number of patients are choosing not to accept blood or blood products as part of their medical treatments, says Loretta Humes, coordinator of the bloodless medicine and surgery program at Roper.

    "We started the program in September 1995," says Humes. "The Jehovah's Witnesses (members of the hospital liaison committee) approached Roper Hospital about treating them without using blood transfusions."

    It was just a matter of getting a cooperative doctor to act as director. Dr. Stanley Wilson has been in that role since the program started.

    "Last year, we served about 300 people," Humes says. "That's about average. We get people from Georgia, North Carolina that come to Roper because of the bloodless medicine. The number has increased gradually over the years."

    Since Roper started its program, McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence and Spartanburg Regional Medical Center also have instituted bloodless medicine programs.

    Procedures done under the program range from same-day outpatient to open-heart surgery, mitral-valve replacement and colon treatments, says Humes, a nurse by training who has been with the program for five years.

    About 25 to 30 of the people who choose to have procedures done under the bloodless medicine program do so for safety reasons," Humes says. "They are concerned about infection issues. They are not really identifying any specific disease, they are just scared."

    Some Roper doctors choose not to perform bloodless medical and surgical procedures, but most will, she says.

    One of the functions of the Jehovah's Witnesses' hospital liaison committee is to help witnesses better explain their need for bloodless procedures to doctors, says Ron Edling, the committee's spokesman. Programs had been established in other parts of the country when the committee decided to ask all of the local hospitals about establishing a program here, Edling says.

    The committee met with Jim Rogers, former president and CEO of Roper Hospital, and the institution embraced the idea.

    The committee's goal in requesting that a bloodless medicine and surgery program be established was to ensure that doctors would not force blood transfusions on Jehovah's Witnesses, Edling says. In turn, the committee would provide doctors with up-to-date information on bloodless medicine and surgery from its church's database at the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in New York.

    Sometimes the committee informs doctors when a pharmaceutical company is working on a new product -- such as an artificial hemoglobin in the third stage of clinical trials, Edling says.

    In the case of the hemoglobin, it can be made available on a compassionate basis even though it is not yet approved for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration.

    For a Jehovah's Witness who needs major surgery, the need for bloodless medicine is great, Edling says. "We use to have difficulty with doctors not doing certain types of surgery, or doctors getting court orders," Edling says. "One judge thought it was kind of a right-to-die issue. We explained that ... we would not be seeking out the best of medical treatments if we had a death wish."

    Witnesses who have been served by the Roper program are pleased when they realize the caliber of doctors who are willing to accommodate them, Edling says.

    "The doctors who say 'yes' are very good doctors, who are self-confident and have very good skills. Consequently, we do get excellent treatment and very good results.

    "At Roper, there are 120 to 125 doctors who have said they would be willing to treat witnesses without transfusions."

    There is a preference for not giving a patient someone else's blood, says Dr. David Ellison, a hematologist who participates in the bloodless medicine program at Roper. He says it is good general practice to look for ways to reduce the need for transfusion but that the risks of transfusion are very small.

    "The bloodless medicine program is something that really is designed for the Jehovah's Witness community because you do not have the opportunity for transfusion. There are many people who don't want blood, but they won't refuse to take it at the risk of death. They (Jehovah's Witnesses) do die because of that religious preference. We give people who are getting elective surgery by using erythropoietin (trade name Procrit) to boost the starting level of red blood cells. The more you have before surgery starts, the more you can lose before you get down to a level where you need a transfusion."

    The goal is: "Make more blood, lose less blood and save what you can," Ellison says.


    Some techniques used by doctors to eliminate or reduce the need for blood transfusions include:

    ARGON BEAM COAGULATOR: Clots blood during surgery to minimize blood loss.

    CELL SAVER: A device that recycles a patient's own blood that is lost during surgery, collects it, cleans it and returns it to the patient.

    ELECTRO CAUTERY: Uses heat to stop vessels from bleeding.

    ERYTHROPOIETIN: A drug that stimulates the patient's bone marrow to make more red blood cells before surgery.

    HARMONIC SCALPEL: A scalpel that employs vibration and friction to cut and cause blood clotting at virtually the same time.

    HYPERBARIC CHAMBER: Distributes high concentrations of oxygen into blood prior to surgery so that patients better withstand surgical procedures.

    VOLUME EXPANDERS AND HEMODILUTION: Enhances the circulation of a patient's own blood through intravenous fluids.

    Source: New Jersey Institute for the Advancement of Bloodless Medicine & Surgery

    Click here to return to story:

  • blondie


  • gcc2k

    Thanks for the bump Blondie. Other than the document at dirtclod, I have not seen any official word from Brooklyn that this product is allowed (same for Polyheme). If anyone has additional information, please share.

  • Jourles

    These are the only other news articles that I have ever seen on the hemoglobin substitutes:

    http://www.sbsun.com/Stories/0,1413,208~12588~1230815,00.html -- L.C. Cotton of the HIS is quoted as saying:

    "When blood is fractionated beyond those primary components and other blood derivatives, we feel that it is an individual decision,” he said. "If an individual's conscience will allow him to accept the product, then that would be up to that individual. That is between himself and his God."

    The "product" mentioned above is referring to Polyheme.

    In this article - http://classic.sacbee.com/news/news/old/local08_20000924.html - Gregory Brown of the HLC is quoted as saying about Hemopure:

    "Medicine has found ways of breaking down the components into many tiny pieces," he said. "We are saying, that becomes a matter of conscience because the Bible doesn't really address that."

    These two articles and the one Blondie posted are the best examples that we in JWland have on hemoglobin. The WTS still has yet to reply to my letter to them and this is one of the topics that I address in my letter, hemoglobin use.
  • Jourles

    gcc2k is referring to this page -- http://www.dirtclod.com/blood.html where it says that Hemoglobin-based blood substitutes are considered a "Personal Decision."

  • gcc2k
    gcc2k is referring to this page -- http://www.dirtclod.com/blood.html where it says that Hemoglobin-based blood substitutes are considered a "Personal Decision."

    Correct, thanks for the link. Can you explain the origin and/or authoring of this document? Is it an official HLC document, identified with a special WT code like NB-411 or something like that? I've seen the media reports, but because they are from a secular source, many JWs will not accept them as authentic or authoritative.

  • ninecharger

    Ain't Jesus right??


    Recently a Witless buddy of mine said "WE don't say you can't take blood -it is your conscience." - Yeah..... you decide what to do but if it isn't what WE say, you'll get shot through the effing brain.

    Those dust farting reptiles in NY should just die - ASAP


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