Another Blood Question

by Cold Steel 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel
    Village Idiot » By the way, [one's wife] can be disfellowshipped for allowing her child to have a transfusion.

    Just a side question here, but what if the husband allows a child to receive a transfusion over the objection of the wife?

    Let's say the wife joins the JWs but the husband doesn't? Then, nine years later the husband allows their child to receive the transfusion. And let's say the child is being raised a JW?

    Or let's say they were both JWs but the husband left? Would she face any repercussions for not divorcing him before this became an issue?

    Now here's another hypothetical. Both are JW converts, but their son is 15 and doesn't want any part of the religion. If they decided he was old enough to make his own decision, and they let him, could either be DFed? What if either had a parent who wasn't a JW, but needed a transfusion. Would the parent not being a JW be a mitigating factor?

    I've been told that in situations involving blood transfusions, the KHs send people to the hospitals very quickly to take control of situations in which one or both parents may weaken in their resolve. I've always wondered how often that happens, that parents weaken. If they do, can they be forgiven? Does it normally take the decision of both parents to deny a child blood? And would it be possible to allow the transfusion and just not tell the elders? (For example, if a member simply disagreed with the policy.)

    I imagine it would be tough to watch a child die by withholding blood, and especially if you did so and later figured out that the religion wasn't all it cracked up to be.

  • DesirousOfChange

    In most situations involving a minor, the Courts will take control and allow doctors/hospitals to administer a blood transfusion if a child's life is at risk. JW HQ is aware of this and actually encourages parents to submit to the Court with a clear conscience since THEY did not allow the transfusion -- Caesar (the Gov't/Judge) made/forced the decision.

  • TD

    Just a side question here, but what if the husband allows a child to receive a transfusion over the objection of the wife?

    My wife and I have been through this.

    Assuming he's not a JW himself, nothing. It only takes one parent to consent.

  • TD


    Assuming this is something weighing on your mind, I could explain in more detail when you come back through that Stargate.....

  • Nevuela
    Imagine all of the children who were terrified of dying and knew that a simple transfusion could save them, but their own parents ignored their cries and stood their ground, denying their child the right to life. Especially children who had lived a normal, non-JW life until one or both parents got conned into drinking the Koolaid. No amount of comforting or scripture-quoting or praying is going to make them feel any better if they aren't already brainwashed. :(
  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel
    TD » Assuming this is something weighing on your mind, I could explain in more detail when you come back through that Stargate.....

    I'm back and I'm watching the thread. If it's something you don't mind sharing, I'd like to hear it. It's one of the less endearing traits of the sect and I have a difficult time seeing the reasoning.

  • TD

    I don't know how it works when the genders are reversed, but in my experience, an unbelieving husband is pretty much a "get out of jail free" card for his JW wife.

    "Christmas lights? I'm sorry, Mr Elder, my husband did that. He's in the garage putting a new upper on his AR-10. Maybe you'd like to go talk to him?'

    It's been nearly 20 years now, but my wife and I experienced a crises involving a child and blood. My decision didn't make me popular with JW family, but there were zero repercussions for my wife.

  • Scully

    A 15-year-old, especially one that has been Baptized™ as a JW, would have Watchtower's legal teams argue on his behalf that he is a Mature Minor™ capable of making a so-called "informed" (ie, indoctrinated) choice to refuse a blood transfusion.

    The fact that he is not Baptized™ as a JW, Watchtower's lawyers would argue against his choice to have a blood transfusion, saying that he does not have the capacity to make such a decision.

    Frankly, if a 13-year-old girl can obtain birth control without parental knowledge or consent and can obtain an abortion (in Canada, at least) without her parents' knowledge or consent, it completely throws the argument out the window that a 15-year-old is not in a position to accept a blood transfusion against his parents' wishes. He's choosing to live. His parents are choosing to gamble with his life.

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    Yes, AR-10s might have an adverse effect on a pushy elder, but I've been told when it comes to JWs and blood that it's not unusual for church authorities to show up not only to counsel the members and act as go-betweens. One fiend who worked emergency rooms I a metropolitan area said that if they could get to the members or the parents before the church leaders, they could usually influence them in the right direction. But once the church guys showed up, it was a different ball of wax.

    The staff would do everything they could to separate the parents or patients from the church authorities while the doctors counseled them, and they'd also bring in chaplains to try to explain why the JW biblical exegesis was not only wrong, but destructive.

    Members who needed blood were more likely to sacrifice their own lives than those who had children who needed blood. And apparently JW parents who lost children that could have been saved were more likely to be divorced in the painful months that followed. So yes, it's a topic that interests me.

    My friend said he never had a case where the father wanted to save a child and the mother wanted to let it die. If the father was for blood transfusion, the mother always went with it. Once the elders, or whoever, arrived on the scene it was another story. They did everything they could to keep the doctors and other medical staff at bay, and as for the chaplains, it was get em outta here! There's the door!

    Nice guys.

  • TD

    If both parents were JW's, things would naturally be more complicated.

    In our case, JW elders did show up and they were told in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't have them upsetting my wife. Again, the culpability of the JW parent is going to be inversely proportional to the unbelieving parent's level of hostility, especially if that parent is the husband.

    Village Idiot is correct in pointing out on the other thread that this can tear a marriage apart, but in our case it did not. -Quite the opposite.

Share this