U.K. NHS Attitude to Blood Transfusion and its Safety

by BluesBrother 42 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • konceptual99

    I wonder as well what the blood policy would look like if being started from scratch now.

    If the GB came up with a ban on blood transfusions based on Genesis now then would it be anywhere near as convoluted as it is? Would they even try to do it?

  • smiddy3

    My understanding of the Blood issue when I was was in over 25 years ago 1960-1993 ,was that blood was not to be used for anything ,in fact it was to be poured out on the ground .

    It was not even permissible for a Jehovah`s Witness to use Blood & Bone fertilizer on their gardens .

    Without their being sanctioned.

    And it was most definitely not meant to be taken from a living human body ,then stored in a laboratory ,processed into various fractions ,then transfused into Jehovah`s Witness patients when needed with the approval of the Governing Body of Jehovah`s Witnesses and no sanctions applied.

  • freddo

    FMan: "... the direction coming from the FDS at this time on blood is what it is."

    Err ... who tells us who the FDS are? (Faithful and Discreet Slave)

    The GB of course.

    And there's me thinking it was a parable attributed to Jesus and then hi-jacked by the leadership of JW's and their predecessors.

    Silly me.

  • TD

    Jehovah's Witnesses don't seem to pay much attention to this teaching unless and until they are personally affected by it and therefore don't always understand it even after they've left. (I'm not trying to be rude here; that's just human nature)

    The allowance of fractions is nothing new. Plasma fractions were first allowed in the year 1958 based on a contextual understanding of the Apostolic Decree:

    “Each time the prohibition of blood is mentioned in the Scriptures it is in connection with taking it as food, and so it is as a nutrient that we are concerned with in its being forbidden. Thus when mankind for the first time was permitted to eat the flesh of animals, at the time of the restatement of the procreation mandate to the Deluge survivors, blood was specifically forbidden. (Gen. 9:3, 4) In the law of Moses blood was forbidden as food, and therefore we repeatedly find it linked with fat as things not to be eaten. (Lev. 3:17; 7:22-27) And so also in the days of the apostles; it was in connection with eating meat sacrificed to idols that the eating of strangled animals and blood was forbidden.—Acts 15:20, 29.” (The Watchtower, September 15, 1958 p. 575 emphasis mine)

    The QFR went on to explain that since fractions did not 'nourish' the body as blood allegedly did, then they would not fall under the prohibition against eating blood.

    This is therefore not a case of Lee Elder's interpretation vs. that of JW leaders and policy makers, as the acknowledgement that the phrase, "keep abstaining...from blood" is a direct reference to the eating of blood as forbidden in the Law is an intrinsic part of the argument that the Decree carries the force of law for Christians

    “The decision of that governing body did list as “necessary things” certain prohibitions that were in harmony with that Law, but these were based on the Bible record concerning events that predated the Law.” (United in Worship of the Only True God p. 149)

    “But those who respect the Creator's wishes do not treat it that way. 'You must not eat blood' was God's command to Noah and his descendants—all mankind. (Genesis 9:4) Eight centuries later He put that command in his Law to the Israelites. Fifteen centuries later he reaffirmed it once again to the Christian congregation: 'Abstain from blood.'—Acts 15:20.” (Awake! October 22, 1990 p.15 emphasis mine)

    This acknowledgement is also apparent in the scholarly sources that JW's have chosen to appeal to in support of the above position:

    “The early Christians upheld that divine prohibition. Commenting thereon, British scholar Joseph Benson said: "This prohibition of eating blood, given to Noah and all his posterity, and repeated to the Israelites . . . has never been revoked, but, on the contrary, has been confirmed under the New Testament, Acts xv.; and thereby made of perpetual obligation." (The Watchtower, June 15, 1991 p. 9 emphasis mine)

    I could go on, but hopefully this sampling of quotes is sufficient. Jehovah's Witnesses often invoke the phrase, "Abstain from Blood!" as a simple and direct command against transfusion, but the argument is and always has been one of equivalency.

  • Fisherman
    This is therefore not a case of Lee Elder's interpretation vs. that of JW leaders and policy makers,

    "Jehovah’s Witnesses hold that accepting whole blood or any of those four primary components violates God’s law. " WT 2004 QFR

  • TD

    To recap:

    Lee Elder: Sure, but context is very clear that it is the "eating of blood" under discussion.

    Fisherman: Well, that's what you think. JW leadership says different.

    JW literature acknowledges the context of the Decree and interprets the resultant injunction against eating blood as applicable to transfusion.

    The inability of JW leaders to establish the equivalency that this interpretation demands is another matter altogether.

    I can think of all sorts of colorful names for that....

  • konceptual99

    The blood prohibition only remains because the WTS cannot give it up completely without looking like a bunch of idiots and, more to the point, risking opening up a host of legal claims for compensation. Ultimately EVERYTHING in the WTS comes back to money.

    They have created a maze of logical nonsense to give Witnesses as many options to take blood as possible to try and minimise the risk of deaths and the associated bad publicity.

    They have got caught trying to water down an edict that really they can only interpret with a fundamental bias that they are not prepared to stand by.

    Sure they stick to Biblical texts as the basis for the prohibition (which is more than they do for the generation explanation) but it would be naive to think the continued arbitrary position on whole blood and the four so called primary components is any thing other than a compromise to suit organisational policy goals.

    They have the similar issues with 1914 and the generation interpretation.

  • Fisherman
    WTS cannot give it up completely without looking like a bunch of idiots

    Well, a lot of people had that view before the AIDS epidemic. But after, just about everyone that ever had a BT in their life was walking around frantic and worried. --At least at that time WT health concerns about BT did not prove to be idiotic. Your referring to lawsuits and all seem to be implying that wt has different motives for their direction on blood at this time, again challenging wt leadership.

  • problemaddict 2
    problemaddict 2

    This doctrine is close to my heart for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was the catalyst to me being able to think for myself. I spent a lot of time defending this doctrine. Even went to far as to argue that the "good health to you" closing of the apostolic decree was a sort of prescription from Luke! That Jehovah knew this would be "better" for us, and tipped his hat a bit to us with that phrase.

    But after pouring in and out of various components, and understanding the policy I was met with 2 things that i could not shake.

    1) If someone according to JW policy was to refuse something, and later that was changed (like organs), who was responsible for the blood of that person? Was the blood guilt communal?

    2) Who was deciding what was approved and what was not, but more importantly, what was the CRITERIA they were using to make this decision on behalf of 8 Million JW's? ( nobody could answer the "criteria" part of this question)

    I have been able to use these same 2 points to undo most arguments for blood. And yes TD is right......most of the time i just hear "I couldn't care less about the blood doctrine.......its like the resurrection doesn't even matter to you." Most JW's can't be bothered with the import of this, and in the end....Jehovah will resurrect you to pet lions, never die, and wear nursing scrubs over your smooth parts?

    I had a weeks long conversation with a CO friend over this. Very thoughtful, and studious man whom I respect. In the end his arguments were that the FDS is chosen, so you have to listen to that direction, and that since growth has continued to occur.....Jehovah is still blessing the work! At that point, we respectfully bowed out of the conversation. I have not heard from him since.

  • konceptual99
    At least at that time WT health concerns about BT did not prove to be idiotic

    According to you, it's all about the Bible command and health is irrelevant. Which is also what the WTS has stated in print. Not only that, the blood supply in most Western lands has been safe for decades. The figures back that up. Of course it can't be 100% safe but the majority of issues with blood transfusions are due to mistakes in the use rather than a problem with the blood itself. I had a conversation with a current HLC member who said EXACTLY this in the past 6 weeks.

    The WTS would not look idiotic for any reasons associated with health. They would look stupid for reversing a core piece of doctrine. They could release Witnesses from the illogical nonsense but refuse to do so and just introduce more twists in logic to try and make the illogical appear logical.

    Your referring to lawsuits and all seem to be implying that wt has different motives for their direction on blood at this time

    Yes. Their refusal to drop it is not out of love for their interpretation of some Bible verses. That's probably 3rd or 4th on list.

    again challenging wt leadership.
    You confuse me with someone that cares

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