"Basics of Blood Management" by Dr. Petra Seeber and Dr. Aryeh Shander - Inaccuracies and Myth

by OrphanCrow 48 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • TheWonderofYou

    Dr. Petra Seeber is anesthesiologist and assistant doctor for anesthesiology and intensive care at Helios Kliniken, Gotha, Thüringen, Germany as well as referent in the sector of education in this clinics according to the hospital's homepage. In the hospital Dr. Seeber and Arthur Neudorf, anesthesiologist are referents for the further development of the PBM . From the info from the clinics's homepage I have got the impression that she doesnt seek a leeding function in the clinics. Her phone number is given. The clinics' PBM has been refined since 2014. The clinic states many experts from different disciplines are experts in blood management.

    She and her partner Dr. Matthias Lucas engaged as well in education in the field of nurture and published an article in the nurture magazine „Anemia Nursing“ where the role of nurse in the frame of blood management is emphazied.

    She is associate with Dr. Lucas in her private practise for „Dr Matthias Lucas und Dr. Petra Seeber Institut für Blutmanagement“ or short "Practise Lucas & Seeber blood management Helios clinics“, The given website „bloodmanager.com“ is inactive. A close cooperation with the clinic is certainly given.



  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Any reference to "Basics of Blood Management" as it applies to JWs is a disingenuous misnomer.

    Herewith their version of "blood management:" Deuteronomy 15:23 -- "pour it out on the ground like water."

  • OrphanCrow
    Room215: Any reference to "Basics of Blood Management" as it applies to JWs is a disingenuous misnomer.

    For sure.

    The WT has done nothing but manage blood for the past 70 years - they have controlled the blood of millions. The WT has decided how the JWs' blood should be "managed". On threat of eternal death.

    To get back to talking about that textbook - "Basics of Blood Management" - the origin of the book is clear. It is the voice of the WT's Hospital Information Services. The arm of the WT organization that has, over the years, arisen out of alliances between medical practitioners and JWs.

    WonderofYou - Thank you for all that additional information on Dr. Seeber.

    Seeber - a JW doctor - and Shander - clearly aligned with the the HLC. Authors of this book.

    The chapter that discloses the origins of the current blood management movement is Chapter One: History and Organization of Blood Management

    This chapter presents the view that the Jehovah's Witnesses are the foundation of the bloodless movement. The chapter is full of inaccuracies, mostly in the form of what has been left out. The information that isn't presented is sometimes the most telling.

    If I were to re-title this chapter, it would be "WT Revisionist History 101".

    Like all good stories, it weaves the truth around the holes left through omission.

    First sentence:

    Blood management has evolved from humble beginnings into a viable, rapidly - developing medical specialty

    Truth. Blood management now has a stranglehold on countries all over the world. Look at Europe and Australia. And many more, especially developing countries

    Rapidly developing - yes...the search for the holy grail -artificial blood - is always active. Blood management is part of the biotech industry...a volatile marketplace

    Next sentence:

    Its development was initiated by the wish of Jehovah’ s Witnesses for a transfusion - free treatment and has been shaped by influences coming from transfusion medicine and the military’ s experiences.

    So the position of the JWs (notice that it doesn't say the WT - the organization that demands the JWs follow their blood doctrine) is made clear - the JWs founded, through their wishes, the blood management movement.

    "Shaped by influences coming from transfusion medicine" is truth. Without blood transfusion technology...there would be no autologous blood transfusions - which is what bloodless surgery is. Bloodless medicine is built on the back of blood technology

    "...the military's experience". Here...let me fix that one. It should read "...the military's investments."

    Next sentence:

    Blood management has today been introduced into mainstream medicine.

    Yes. We know.

    The WT has finally managed to make the leap into mainstream medicine - from its "humble beginnings" when it promoted all sorts of quack cures and fraudulent medical advice...to now. An evolution has occurred

    The next few paragraphs in this chapter deal with objectives and definitions. I am going to skip that part for now and go to "A Brief History":

    The term “ bloodless medicine ” is often associated with the belief of Jehovah’ s Witnesses that they should refrain from the use of blood, therefore ruling out the option of blood transfusion. The essence of bloodless medicine, and lately, blood management, however, is not restricted to the beliefs of a religious group. To get a better understanding as to what bloodless medicine and blood management mean, let us go back to the roots of these disciplines.

    And the following will be what the Hospital Information Services wants the blood management world to believe (through the voice of a JW doctor/author):

    One is not completely wrong to attribute the origin of the term “ bloodless medicine ” to the endeavor of Jehovah ’ s Witnesses to receive treatment without resorting to donor blood transfusion. Their attitude toward the sanctity of blood greatly influences their view of blood transfusion. This was described as early as 1927 in their journal The Watchtower (December 15, 1927). Although the decision to refuse blood transfusion is a completely religious one, the Witnesses have frequently used scientific information about the side effects of donor blood transfusion to convince their physicians that their decision is a reasonable one and is corroborated by scientific evidence. The booklet entitled Blood, Medicine and the Law of God (published in 1961) explained the Witnesses’ religious stand, but also addressed issues such as transfusion reactions, transfusion - related syphilis, malaria, and hepatitis.

    The sins of omission are crimes of commission.

    The author(s) of this textbook know very well that blood transfusions were not banned by the WT prior to mid-1945.

    This historical account is heavily biased - it places the full responsibility of blood refusal on the shoulders of JWs themselves - it never once addresses the WT's role in setting the restrictive blood policies and then demanding strict adherence to those dictates.

    Blame the victim - the victims of the WT's blood policy

  • Vidiot

    "Stealth evangelism" (minus the evangelism) at its finest.

    I wonder if this'll ever have a chance at coming back and biting them on the ass?

  • OrphanCrow
    vidiot: I wonder if this'll ever have a chance at coming back and biting them on the ass?

    It might. Maybe someday the world will wake up and realize that blood management guidelines are being set by the same religion that promoted radioactive belts and Abrahm's electronic box.

    The next part of the Seeber/Shander historical account of blood management addresses the legal problems that the JWs encountered when refusing blood:

    Refusing blood transfusions on religious grounds was
    not easy. Repeatedly, patients were physically forced to
    take donor blood, using such high - handed methods as
    incapacitation by court order, strapping patients to the
    bed (even with the help of police officers), and secretly
    adding sedatives to a patient’s infusion.

    And that is the reason that is used as to why the JWs entered the realm of medical/scientific justification for their blood refusal - "refusing blood transfusions of religious grounds was not easy". No doubt it was not easy to convince the courts that child sacrifice was still considered to be a "religious" activity. What the authors have left out of this WT flavored account of 'persecution' is the hundreds and hundreds of court cases where the courts had to step in and save a child's life because the parent's believed in child sacrifice.

    This next sentence identifies the very beginnings of the HLC (long before it was known as such):

    In the early 1960s,
    representatives of Jehovah ’ s Witnesses started visiting
    physicians to explain the reasons why transfusions were
    refused by the Witness population.

    The authors then relate the development of the HLC - which I will return to - but for now, I want to skip to the part that keeps this in chronological order - the part that talks about Denton Cooley. That, too, was happening in the early 60s.

    Denton Cooley was a world renowned heart surgeon - the first to do open heart surgery and the first to transplant an artificial heart. The authors have put Cooley's contribution after talking about events in the late 70s to make it appear like Cooley was responding to the JWs' efforts to 'educate' the medical profession:

    Among the first to rise to the challenge was the heart
    surgeon Denton Cooley of Texas. In the early 1960s, his
    team devised methods to treat Witness patients. He
    described the techniques in an article, “ Open heart
    surgery in Jehovah ’ s Witnesses, ” published in 1964 in The
    American Journal of Cardiology . In 1977, Cooley reported
    his experiences with more than 500 patients [2] .
    Cooley ’ s example was followed by many other courageous

    The impression that Seeber/Shander gives the reader is that Dr. Cooley devised his methods in order to treat JWs. That is not true.

    Dr. Cooley devised a no blood prime method in order to treat everybody. The JWs just happened to be able to benefit from a procedure that was meant to be bloodless all along. Cooley devised a bloodless method in order to do open heart surgery on all his patients - he did not "rise to the challenge" put forth by a group with invented high risk factors. Dr. Cooley rose to the challenge of how to do open heart surgery on everyone - a procedure that needed the heart to be free of blood.

    In his memoirs 1000,000 Hearts, Dr. Cooley describes his early efforts with using a blood prime to start the heart and lung machine in order to divert the blood away from the heart (pg 107):

    For the earliest open heart operations using an elaborate system with a Gibbon console. blood infused with heparin was used to "prime" the system, as with any other pump. On the morning of surgery, blood had to be collected from ten or twelve donors of the same blood type. This greatly complicated the procedures. Often, even though we started to collect the blood before dawn, we didn't get enough matching units to start a procedure until the afternoon or evening. Although the red cells were cross-matched, the other blood components couldn't be tested. Once the individual units were mixed together, minor incompatibilities sometimes produced adverse reactions. This problem was originally described by Dr. Howard Gadboys and Dr. Robert Litwak, who believed that it could be solved by using a non-blood prime. They had used this method successfully in dogs.
    So Dr. Cooley started using a non blood primer in his open heart surgeries:
    In 1961 my associate Dr. Atthur Beall and I began to perform dog experiments with a prime consisting of 5 percent dextrose in distilled water, and we were impressed with the results. We began to use this solution instead of blood to prime the pump for open heart operations in our patients. Before long, my team and I were doing eight or ten opeartions a day, whereas institutions that still used a blood prime did only one or two operations a week. By August 1962 we had operated on one hundred patients using this technique, which not only greatly facilitated open heart surgery but also eliminated blood-borne illnesses. Our simplified methods were a major advance. Within a year we'd done 241 cases using a non-blood prime. I believe that my popularizing this technique silenced the remaining critics of open heart surgery and led to the rapid acceleration in its growth. For this reason. I think it is one of my most important contributions. Although others, including Dr. Nazih Zuhdi and Dr, Allen Greer, had used a similar technique in a few cases, no one had pushed to make it an acceptable method.
    Dr. Cooley does not describe his motivation for using a no blood prime as "rising to the challenge" of operating on Jehovah's Witnesses in response to the JWs setting up visiting committees. That didn't happen. The JWs had nothing at all to do with Dr. Cooley's innovation. Nothing. But, they were able to take advantage of his brilliance:
    The use of a bloodless prime also allowed me to pioneer open heart surgery on patients of the Jehovah's Witness faith. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to receive blood transfusions or any other blood products because of their interpretation of several verses in the Bible. Refusal of blood places them at high risk for any surgical procedure in which serious blood loss could be an issue. Unless the operation is done quickly and precisely, the patient could bleed to death. Shortly after beginning to use a non-blood priming solution, I did the world's first open heart surgery on a Jehovah's Witness. That was in May 1962, and within a year I had done six more cases.* In no instance was blood given before, during, or after these operations. the fact that I could operate very quickly meant that less blood was lost, so my cases were more likely to be successful. For many years I was the only surgeon willing to operate on Jehovah's Witnesses.**
    * My first seven Jehovah's Witness cases are described in detail in The American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 13 (1964), pp. 779-781.
    ** My team and I would eventually operate on more than 1,500 Jehovah's Witnesses
    This is the only place in Cooley's memoirs that he mentions the Jehovah's Witnesses. Cooley went on to perform 100,000 heart surgeries and the JWs only made up a small part of that monumental feat. Almost all of Cooley's open heart procedures were bloodless - it was the nature of the procedure itself - it had nothing to do with the JW blood refusal. Nothing. Cooley's methods were not a response to the JWs- they were a response to his profession. The JWs have used Cooley's innovations to promote their no blood ideology. They have tried to take credit for something that are not entitled to.
    I have a little bit more to say about Dr. Cooley and the JWs' attempt to ride his coat tails but I need to take a break...

  • Vidiot

    OrphanCrow - "...They have tried to take credit for something that are not entitled to..."

    Once again, for the newbies, lurkers, and trolls...

    ...if you have to cheat to defend your beliefs, your beliefs don't deserve to be defended.

  • Vidiot

    On a related note, I remember always finding it just a little bit odd that the WTS seemed to go so far out of its way to highlight and/or promote any practical, real-world advantages of "bloodless" medicine (over the alternative).

    I often wondered, "shouldn't the Biblical injunction itself be enough? Why go to all that extra effort?"

    Now I know why they did it.

  • TheWonderofYou


    As if the sudden success of Bloodmanagement could save Jehovahs damaged reputation, that has been "besmirched" by senseless human sacrifices, watchtower prophecy and scandals like the high rate of child abuse and suicidals and as if the efforts to give Watchtowers victims a honorable place in the medicine school books-history - pardon text books - would ever compensate for their senseless deaths.

    I am curious about the coming info about HLC. Are there HLC's in each cirlce, each country, each continent or only one worldwide? Are their HLC conventions each year. How do they update? What is their job in contrast to the physicians, the anaesthelogoist? Only talking about what the physicians already knows anyway? Translating jargon to non-expert patient? Producting - excuse me - "guinea pigs"?

  • TheWonderofYou

    ..should say: " Prepare " - excuse me - "guinea pigs"? Shouldnt each patient decide for himself withouth being influenced?

  • OrphanCrow
    vidiot: I often wondered, "shouldn't the Biblical injunction itself be enough? Why go to all that extra effort?"
    Now I know why they did it.

    In part. Things get waaaay more complicated than that. We are just getting started.

    For an idea of what challenges in the courts were taking place in the States in the years leading up to the early 60s, this is a webpage with a lot of court cases listed (I ignore the commentary). This page just deals with the cases concerning minors:


    So there is the legal aspect. That's complicated. But you can see how a 'scientific' view would be beneficial in trying to force the courts to allow babies and children to die.

    WonderofYou: I am curious about the coming info about HLC. Are there HLC's in each cirlce, each country, each continent or only one worldwide? Are their HLC conventions each year. How do they update? What is their job in contrast to the physicians, the anaesthelogoist? Only talking about what the physicians already knows anyway? Translating jargon to non-expert patient? Producting - excuse me - "guinea pigs"?

    All good questions. It's complicated. This will take a long time. The HLC has evolved and changed forms - from its "humble beginnings" to its present day status is quite the journey.

    The Seeber/Shander duo present the formation of the HLC in simplistic terms:

    In the early 1960s,
    representatives of Jehovah’ s Witnesses started visiting
    physicians to explain the reasons why transfusions were
    refused by the Witness population. They often offered
    literature that dealt with techniques that were acceptable
    to Witness patients, informing physicians of the availability
    of so - called transfusion alternatives. In 1979 the governing
    body of the Jehovah’ s Witnesses announced the
    formation of Hospital Liaison Committees (see Chapter

    Chapter 20 is the one on Law and Ethics. And the one that defined the founding principle of blood management as "holy scripture". The current day HLC is described in more detail.

    For now, I want to deal with that big gap - the one that leaps from the early '60s to 1979. It is very likely that Dr. Cooley's efforts resulted in networking among the Jehovah's Witnesses. That would account for the date that Seeber/Shander give as the 60s.

    This practice of sharing information and networking moved across the border in the early 70s. James Penton, in his third edition of Apocalypse Delayed, speaks of the early "hospital committees" that were formed in Canada:

    ...In the early 70s a number of leading Canadian Witnesses (including Watch Tower officials at the Canadian branch) had organized "hospital committees" to act as chaplains for Witnesses in hospitals, nursing homes, and senior citizens' homes. Among other things, they were interested in developing contacts with doctors and hospitals so that Witness patients would not have to face the possibility of being forced to accept blood transfusions, a procedure which the society had long taught to be scripturally unacceptable to Jehovah's Witnesses. *

    *note to the above:
    *At the time of the establishment of the hospital committees, a number of large meetings were held in Toronto at which numerous prominent Canadian Witnesses were present. As a result of the "hospital work", three books containing photocopied articles from medical journals and the popular press were produced and bound at the society's Toronto branch. These were Jehovah's Witnesses - Alternatives to Blood Transfusions in Adults, Jehovah's Witnesses - Alternatives to Blood Transfusions in Minors, and Jehovah's Witnesses - Alternatives to Blood Transfusions. Most of the material in them was compiled by Alex Trost, a former Watchtower missionary and chemist from Hamilton, Ontario. Interestingly, in preparing these books, no attention was paid to copyright laws.

    One of these volumes is now available for download:
    This volume contains a variety of material - an introduction by Dr. Dixon, the WT doctor, which contains a subtle threat that if doctors chose not to let JWs refuse blood for themselves and their children, that they will face court action. And an article by Dr. Kevorkian in support of child sacrifice.And a bunch of newspaper clippings and medical studies. And WT publications.
    In a short time, the idea of establishing such committees spread from Toronto to a number of Canadian cities, and "hospital" or "blood committees", as they were called, were generally very popular with local Witnesses. For the first time since the 1920s, certain Witness elders began to comfort the dying, encourage the convalescing, and show regular attention to their brothers except when pressing them to proselytize or disciplining them for some infraction of organizational law.**

    ** Committees were established in a number of communities in both eastern and western Canada. I was personally involved in helping organize one of these hospital committees which for a time was very active and effective.
    I can attest to how effective those hospital committees were.

    They worked like a well oiled machine by 1974 in Western Canada. Well oiled and well prepared with full hospital cooperation. So well oiled that the JW hospital machine didn't even stop long enough to do what James Penton probably did - visit the patient. I could see Penton being a caring person and actually visiting the patient and give comfort to the mother.

    The hospital committee in a certain city in Canada offered ZERO comfort. They offered NO spiritual guidance. None. Their focus was one thing and one thing only - get that baby in the operating room and don't use blood on him. And don't ever, ever, let that mother of the baby in the room when the forms are signed. And don't bother even looking at that baby. Or the mother of the baby. That is how well those hospital committees worked. At least, it worked that way in the hospital I delivered my baby at. Their "visiting' and "chaplaincy"?...eh...not so much. In fact, none.

    The head offices of the society in Brooklyn soon put a stop to the hospital committees. ***
    ***A letter from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Canadian Branch, 150 Bridgeland Ave., Toronto, Ontario, to William D. Johnson, 2726-25 Ave., Vancouver, BC, dated 4 October 1974 quotes extensively from a letter sent to the Canadian branch from the society's Brooklyn office. One quotation from that letter states: "We have not encouraged the elders in general or any committee of elders in a particular city to visit all the hospitals as if they are the representatives and spokesmen for all of Jehovah's Witnesses in that city. When it comes to medical treatment, they definitely are not".
    Penton explains reasons given for Brooklyn not supporting the hospital committees and the reactions:

    Some elders throughout Canada had complained about them for several reasons. For one thing, they had been developed by individual Witnesses in Toronto without express sanction from Brooklyn. Second, many of the elders involved on the committees began to become prominent with ordinary Witnesses, something which evoked both concern and some jealousy on the part of a number of their peers. And most important from the standpoint of those devoted primarily to the preaching work, if certain elders were spending so much time in "hospital work", it was asked how they could take the lead in field service.Surprisingly, the Governing Body, in abolishing the Canadian hospital committees, argued that they tended to violate private and family medical rights and could come between the individual patient and his doctor. In addition, Brooklyn held that there should be no special committee chosen by local bodies of elders for special tasks without the society's consent. If shepherding or chaplaincy work was to be done, it would have to be carried on by all elders on an unorganized basis.The society's Canadian branch seemed somewhat embarrassed, and in a few places the hospital committees continued to operate in spite of the Governing Body's dictum. ****

    **** this was especially so in the Toronto area

    *sorry...I hit the post button accidentally...more coming. Long quote from Penton..this could take a while

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