How to Sue the WT

by Lee Elder 25 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • TD


    Irrelevant. It’s not about medical facts, it’s about the religion’s blood doctrine and free choice.

    I'm inclined to agree, but your question was specifically about, "how." We were decades into the doctrine before they ever acknowledged that adherence could cost you your life. And to this day, most JW's do not believe there is any link whatsoever between refusal of blood and untimely death.

    Like I said, as a religion, they get away with things that could easily result in liability for anybody else.

  • MeanMrMustard


    Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my question to Lee Elder. He mentioned that to be liable, the WT would have to have misrepresented their position and its consequences. But it seems to me that is the one thing they are very clear about.

  • _Morpheus

    The core issue will always be personal responsibility. If a doctor misrepresents risks or benefits, they were legal authorities on the matter. They were obligated to offer the best advise as doctors.

    jw’s dont claim any medical advice for the sake of health. They frame it all as “spritual” advise, up to and including saying that not taking blood may kill you in this life but you will brought back in the next. You cant disprove that. Its up to us as individuals to weigh the spritual vs physical. The courts wont interfer in that... and thus it becomes our personal responsiblity.

  • TD

    It is possible for a religion to wind up on the wrong side of the law and the line usually is drawn at the point of physical harm.

    From Pentecostal groups who pass around poisonous snake snakes to Christian Science groups who've withheld insulin from diabetics, it has happened.

    The issue with transfusion is not nearly this clear cut. Patients are almost always under medical care when deaths occur and transfusion by its very nature is usually given under grave circumstances. JW's will label the medical staff as incompetent and trot out their own "experts" should it become an issue.

  • _Morpheus

    Well, you drew a distinction thats important. In the case of snake handlers and the christain scientists, they make claims of physical protection. The snake handlers fancy themselves after paul of the bible who bitten but survived without harm and the CS... well they are a special kooky, but make claims of healing and protection because illness is an illusion and prayer will heal all.

    the difference is, jw’s advocate all sorts of treatment but freely admit you may well die. The stick behind the words for them is that you may die in this life but you will be resurrected for your faithfulness. Its the fine print that will always save them. They admit in every publication (blood brochure and various study publications) that you may well die for refusing blood. And thats the differance. They tell you (fine print as it may be) that you COULD die. The CS and the snake handlers make outrageous claims of protection.

  • Incognito

    As a religion, WT and JW's are within their right to state a belief that using blood is not acceptable to God. Any qualifications they might possess is in regards to belief, sin and what is acceptable to god.

    Problems arise when WT goes beyond religious matters to teach, advise and counsel on medical matters for which they are not qualified in. As previously stated, to offset liability, WT commonly mention a person may die if they don't follow their Dr's advice regarding treatment which may include blood. They also state acceptance of blood is not a guarantee a person will survive. JW's will often accept WT information as fact without doing further research from other sources.

    As JW's believe God requires his people to abstain from blood, they then hope for resurrection if they should die while faithful to God's requirements, which suggests they may not receive resurrection if they are not faithful.

    A person's beliefs are emotional and can greatly influence their decisions, often to their own detriment. Even if a JW wishes to accept blood, there is often fear of punishment, if not from God but from the org they and their family are members of.

    Ultimately, a person needs to do what they consider to be correct for them and their medical situation at the time. No one else will live (or die) by their decision. If the person requiring treatment is a minor child, and the parents do not consent to the prescribed therapy, the courts will often intervene to make a decision on facts and medical advice for the child's benefit, not on beliefs or emotions.

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