This is an excellent article written by 3 faculty members in the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary - Juliet Guichon, Ian Mitchell and Christopher Doig.
It is encouraging to know that the voices that have been raised against the blood ban are being heard. The work that so many people have done is now bearing fruit.
In 20th century Canada, Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted for their proselytizing and wartime pacifism. Fighting back in court, the Watchtower Society helped advance Canadian human rights including when, in 1990, they successfully won recognition of a patient’s right to refuse medical treatment, even if death will result.
The legal challenge stemmed from the Watchtower Society rule that Jehovah’s Witnesses may not accept blood transfusions. In 1990, it appeared to the Court that a well-informed and freely held religious belief was in need of defending.
But times have changed.
Now that the internet enables former Jehovah’s Witnesses to post information about religious practices, whether individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are truly free to make an informed decision is seriously in doubt.
Not all Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood, just as not all Catholics refuse contraception.
Yet the Watchtower Society – which governs adherents – adopts and encourages behaviour that raises questions about whether many Jehovah’s Witnesses may express an enlightened and free decision about blood transfusions.
Writing anonymously because of their fear of losing family and friends, some Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken to the internet to expose the pressure applied to followers to comply with the ban against blood transfusions.
*read full article at link
(and yes, I couldn't help myself...the crow had to squawk in the comments section)