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

by BluesBrother 41 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    Interesting conversation going here. Two things that jump out for me:

    1. The WT's argument that "Jehovah's Witnesses" don't accept blood transfusions can only be interpreted a couple of ways. The first is that each Jehovah's Witness has carefully studied the matter, and independently reached a conclusion that happens to mirror the bizarre policy currently in place. The second is that there is no independent analysis happening, and that the policy is an organizational one all Jehovah's Witnesses must adopt and maintain.

    This is a very important point from the the standpoint of medical ethics, as well as the law which requires the presence of informed consent. The problem the organization has is they want to have their cake and eat it too. Of course that is not possible, but they try nonetheless.

    Oddly enough, from this perspective, their policy on blood fractions actually works because it allows individual Jehovah's Witnesses to reach different conclusions, and does not insist on the presence of "unity". However, the whole thing teeters and falls apart when the so called "formed elements" are involved. Here there clearly is "organizational policy" in place. There is no room for individual conscience, or informed consent. Why? Because the organization tries to enforce compliance via undue influence, i.e. coercion, manipulation, implanting of phobias, publishing of old and misleading data, shunning, etc, etc.

    2. The notion that the blood transfusion ban somehow gave Jehovah's Witnesses special protection from AIDS is beyond ridiculous. The vast majority of AIDS transmission occurred via plasma derivatives, particularly the clotting factors. They are derived from very large pools of plasma donations, and expose the average hemophiliac the blood of hundreds or thousands of different donors every year. Plasma derivatives have had the Governing Body's blessing since the mid 70's.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman
    According to you, it's all about the Bible command and health is irrelevant. -K99

    But your post that I reply to refers to wt direction on BT as idiotic -not on doctrinal grounds.

  • konceptual99
    konceptual99

    It's idiotic because it makes no logical sense. They have put tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, forced people to make life or death choices - all on the basis of a doctrine they clearly don't believe in enough to stick to a fundamental interpretation. Their woolly, arbitrary policy, made up of an evolution of compromises, requires a team of enforcers to keep the R&F in line and medical practitioners hoodwinked into thinking it's a reasonable religious position.

    The fact that people did catch illnesses through transfusion in the past makes no difference to the validity of the policy. They don't maintain the policy for sensible doctrinal reasons. They don't even maintain it in order to improve medical technology. They do it because they have put some much into it - not least the lives of thousands - they cannot back down without seriously undermining their own authority and risking opening the floodgates of litigation.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman
    The notion that the blood transfusion ban somehow gave Jehovah's Witnesses special protection from AIDS is beyond ridiculous. -Lee

    I have already explained that a JW facing death instead of a BT is not being protected from AIDS.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman
    The WT's argument that "Jehovah's Witnesses" don't accept blood transfusions can only be interpreted a couple of ways.

    JW don't believe in the Trinity, Hell Fire,...., and they don't accept blood transfusions. If you do, you are not a JW. --It's up to each person what he wants to believe or do, mind you.

    1. The WT's argument that "Jehovah's Witnesses" don't accept blood transfusions can only be interpreted a couple of ways. The first is that each Jehovah's Witness has carefully studied the matter, and independently reached a conclusion that happens to mirror the bizarre policy currently in place. The second is that there is no independent analysis happening, and that the policy is an organizational one all Jehovah's Witnesses must adopt and maintain.This is a very important point from the the standpoint of medical ethics, as well as the law which requires the presence of informed consent.

    You should know by now that doctrinal decisions are made by the GB, not by individual JW.

  • konceptual99
    konceptual99
    and they don't accept blood transfusions.

    They don't accept transfusions of whole blood or of four other components of blood. They accept a whole host of other components and products derived from blood.

    They do not allow the donation of blood even for storage and use by the same person. They say the blood removed should be destroyed. Yet they willingly accept many products derived from donate blood.

    If everyone in the world was a Witness there would be no donated blood. The blood policy is a mish mash of compromise and obfuscation. The blood policy stands in good company with lots of other WTS doctrine in it's level of illogicality but surpasses all others for it's hypocrisy, danger and selfishness.

  • TD
    TD

    Yes.

    Under current policy, a patient voluntarily connected by IV to an inverted 500ml bag of plasma has broken God's law, whereas a patient voluntarily connected by IV to an inverted 500ml bag of 5% albumin solution or gamma globulin has exercised their conscience in a gray area.

    All three procedures are transfusions.

  • dozy
    dozy

    The ban on blood transfusions is the last remnant from Rutherford , Woodworth and Fred Franz's bizarre medical hang-ups from the 40's. I've often suspected that the Society would love now for it have interpreted it as a conscience matter ( or even ignored it right away ) , similar to their stance on matters like contraception. I'm sure they occasionally must wonder whether they have it right ( just as Knorr once said about 1914 ).

    But too many people have died and to now abolish the ban on blood transfusions would be too painful and cause complete turmoil - another "1975" situation would be inevitable with hundreds of thousands leaving. The Society's only hope has been to hope that modern medical breakthroughs largely overcome the need for blood transfusions. People die now because of the stupidity of old men 70 years ago and cowardice of 7 foolish men today.

  • Lee Elder
    Lee Elder

    Fisherman wrote: "You should know by now that doctrinal decisions are made by the GB, not by individual JW".

    Of course I know that. This fact, however, creates a paradox for the Watchtower because they do not want to give up control of anything they are not forced to give up. At the same time, they must endeavor to hide this fact from the medical and legal community. To some extent they have been successful in this regard. A large part of our focus is to help the medical and legal community understand that their is no free choice or informed consent present or even possible for a Jehovah's Witness. That there are "controls and sanctions" if a JW chooses to conscientiously accept a blood product the governing body haven't approved.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman

    Lee:

    Fact: Medical authorities and government know that wt decides doctrine on blood not individual JW. What in the world do they need to learn from you about that? You are entitled to believe your commentary about "control", etc., but that is all it is and it is also a different subject. WT leaders also keep abstaining from blood. What are you directing the GB to do?

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