This father contacted us a few months ago about his experience with the Watchtower's blood policy, and how his daughter nearly died as a result of it. Hopefully, other JW parents can learn from this before the WT policy claims the life of their child. The WTS has very few meaningful interventions or "non blood alternatives" for anemia. No blood equals no life, because without blood, the body is deprived of oxygen, and death follows.
A JW Father Learns about Blood
An excellent article, Lee. Thanks for posting.
This article really brings out the blindness of so many JWs - how they blindly follow the WT directive and have faith that their best interests are being looked after. And then, when the chips are down...they find out that they have not been given adequate medical information.
For all those years that I had filled out and signed the medical directive** on blood for JWs, I did it without anyone telling me about anemia or other conditions that require blood. I just assumed Watchtower had all the answers, and doctors used blood transfusions because they were not aware of the benefits of not using blood. Or they were careless surgeons who could not perform a surgery without blood. But still, I figured Jehovah God would find a way to restore Tracy’s good health.
Thank goodness the hospital got a court order
I felt both anger and relief. But as I observed how obviously aware the elders were of the situation, nonchalantly accepting the reality of a court order, I was enraged. Why? The elders could have forewarned me, telling me that if push came to shove, Tracy would get the needed transfusion. But, no, they let it play out like it was theatre.
The turning point for Tracy was getting the transfusion. After that, she was given EPO shots, a Watchtower-approved blood product that acts as a catalyst to stimulate red cell production. Watchtower reports on this procedure in its blood brochure, but not how long it takes to work. The EPO treatment takes over a week to start working, sometimes longer. However, unless Tracy accepted a transfusion, the EPO shot was practically worthless, and it is not without its own risks.
My best guess in that 99% of all JWs believe there is some special alternative that the HLC can tell the doctors about to save the patient’s life in the event of blood loss or anemia. In reality, with the exception of preplanned surgery, there are few viable options to prevent loss of life in the event of blood loss caused by serious anemia or the sudden loss of massive amounts of blood, as can happen in a car accident or during childbirth.
Watchtower’s literature and videos inform JWs about the positives of bloodless surgery, but little to nothing is said about its limitations or risks. In fact, the blood brochure has not been updated since the 1980's, and it was useless for me during Tracy’s crisis.
There is the option of taking blood fractions, which is up to the conscience of each JW. But the fact is that fractions are worthless in many cases. Oddly enough, Watchtower permits very large fractions of blood like albumin and hemoglobin, but forbid the extremely tiny platelet that Tracy needed. Why? Does the Bible make this distinction about which parts of blood are acceptable for a Christian, and which parts are not? The answer, of course, is that it does not. It is an organizational policy that is enforced with a clear threat of severe sanction by the Watchtower and local congregation, and undue influence at its worst.
The father has volunteered to speak with other JW parents who have questions or need assistance. We'll have a contact up for him shortly.
Thank you Lee, for sharing this article and thank you to this courageous father.
"...Oddly enough, Watchtower permits very large fractions of blood like albumin and hemoglobin, but forbid the extremely tiny platelet that Tracy needed. Why?"
Ten bucks says that certain companies dealing in medical technology which focus on albumin and hemoglobin (but not platelets) have Watchtower connections.
Posted by mistake ....sorry all.
WT sick and discusting this blood issue was the final staw for me, researched it myself after my wife almost needed a C section and what the hotpital liaison committee told me was quite startling !
Crazyguy - have you posted your story somewhere?
Crazyguy: WT sick and discusting this blood issue was the final staw for me, researched it myself after my wife almost needed a C section and what the hotpital liaison committee told me was quite startling !
The WT noblood propaganda is quite different than reality, isn't it?
And the WT wants the world to believe that the JW noblood choice "is a conscience matter". Pffft...sure it is. A conscience that has been fed a bunch of lies and half-truths
Good article. Thank you for sharing.