Blood and JW's

by Kenneson 3 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Kenneson

    The first article deals with the British Columbia girl who went to a U.S. hospital for treatment in May because it respected her desire to refuse a blood transfusion. She is now returning home. See

    "Jehovah's Witness returning to Canada"

    The second article is circulating amongst Jehovah's Witnesses. The pro-J.W. site advocates: "If anyone ever told you that blood transfusions save lives. Send them to this website."

    Scroll down to "Death Statistics for Types of Diseases contagious from blood transfusion"

  • hawkaw

    I can't believe no one posted on this thread. I note that the incident numbers are using 1990 and 1991 data instead of present day data. The blood supply has vastly improved its testing capabilities.

    Below I have provided a response to CTV, their response back to me and my second response to them based on their August 23, 2005 TV news report and web site regarding the young girl in B.C. for everyone to see.



    [email protected]

    August 23, 2005

    Dear Mr. Killeen:

    Thank you for reporting on the young girl, Sarah, and her fight to save her life from bone cancer. I am thrilled that she is making it. I note that both hospitals in Canada and the USA would only have given her a blood transfusion from the donated blood supply to save her life if it was necessary. That is what the Courts and the Children Services had originally wanted and agreed too.

    You presented the story by suggesting that Jehovah's Witnesses forbid blood transfusions based on certain passages in the Bible.

    I t appears you missed the very important fact that Witnesses accept many blood transfusion therapies and base their doctrine on certain medical publications as well as Bible passages.

    True, Jehovah's Witnesses are, subject to expulsion and shunning by family and friends, to reject certain whole blood, red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelet therapies from the donated and stored blood supply.

    Yet they are allowed to take whole blood transfusions by an intraoperative autotransfusion (or called a blood salvage machine) procedure.

    Their leadership (called the Governing Body and based in Brooklyn , New York ) allows Witnesses to accept the use of hemoglobin, albumin, Factors 8 and 9, interferons and many other transfusion products from the donated blood supply. In fact, if whole donated blood was 100 percent fractionated and then transfused completely back to the patient at the same time in its separate forms, the Governing Body would accept the procedure. Unfortunately the technique has not been mastered in the medical world to save Witness lives. On page 22 of the June 15, 2004 Watchtower magazine (official publication for the Witnesses), the leadership actually provides a chart of what is and what is not acceptable. Oddly, the leadership also allows Witnesses to take in white blood cells from another human during the course of a baby breast feeding from the mother but bans certain life saving white blood cell transfusions from the donated blood supply. The Governing Body does not discuss allowing white blood cell transfers during breast feeding while banning white blood cell transfers through transfusion therapy.

    As I indicated previously, the leadership bases their interpretation on certain science and medicine literature. In support of its logic, the leadership sites the breakdown of blood in " Emergency Care" (a textbook for emergency medical technician students). The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood indicate that scientifically, the breakdown is neither authoritative nor definitive. Alternatively, consider the list of major blood components as listed in Modern Blood Banking and Transfusion Practices (pages 237-248, 1999) by Denise M. Harmening, Ph.D. "Red blood cells, RBC Aliquots, Leukocyte-reduced red blood cells, frozen - deglycerolized red blood cells, platelet concentrate, single donor plasma, cryoprecipitated antihemophilic factor, granulocyte concentrates, factor VIII concentrate, porcine factor VIII, factor IX concentrate (Prothrombin Complex), immune serum globulin, normal serum albumin, plasma protein fraction, Rho(D) immunoglobulin, antithrombin III concentrate". It is noteworthy that of the sixteen major blood components listed in this definitive and widely respected textbook on transfusion medicine, nine are definitely permitted by Jehovah's Witnesses policy.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses blood doctrine is an ever changing doctrine that has gone from accepting blood transfusions prior to 1945 to the outright banning of transfusions with risk of expulsion in the 1960s and then to today of allowing various forms of blood transfusions. It is noted that the leadership tries to demonize blood transfusions and point to the AIDs and Hep. C crisis of the 1980s to show blood transfusion in a bad light. They miss the point that blood transfusions are life saving therapies that save thousands of lives every year and that the stored blood crisis was not caused by the blood itself but by certain individuals who decided not to properly test the blood.

    AJWRB indicates that it is unclear why the leadership does not offer a coherent basis upon which readers may form a rational conclusion as to which constituents from blood must be rejected under penalty of extreme shunning by family or premature death versus which constituents from blood may be accepted without consequence of religious rejection.

    As a reference please refer to for further information.

    If it is at all possible, could you please inform viewers that Witnesses accept many blood therapies and basis of the doctrine on certain medical literature and Bible passages of the leadership's choosing.

    T hank you for your time and take care,



    Thanks for your feedback. Just to be clear... the script did not suggest that Jehovah's Witnesses forbid blood transfusions based on certain passages in the Bible. It said "JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES DON'T BELIEVE IN BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS ". There was no bible reference. Unfortunately, I didn't have time in the story to get into other blood transfusion therapies. It's an interesting subject and you raise many good points. (sorry for the different font sizes/colours)


    Mike Killeen

    CTV News


    August 24, 2005

    Hello Mr. Killeen:

    Thank you kindly for writing back to me and thank you for your clarification. I based my information from a CTV web site article ( ) which stated the following:

    Jehovah's Witnesses believe that blood is a sacred source of life, and they interpret literally a passage from scripture (Acts 15:20 ) that forbids the ingestion of blood.

    "(The Bible) says if you keep doing these things, then good health to you," said Sarah. "So that was the scripture that I based my decision on, because I want to apply God's standards, and that was one of them."

    The above statements from lead me to a conclusion of the missing information - Witnesses also base their doctrine on medical information and that they actually accept many blood transfusion therapies.

    I should have listened more carefully to your script Monday night on the CTV news at 11:00PM. But as you now realize Jehovah’s Witnesses actually do believe in many blood transfusion therapies.

    I am glad you did the story, thrilled Sarah is going to live and I hope you keep interested in learning about this doctrine. Many in the JW community as well as the general public do not realize that Witnesses do actually accept many transfusions or actually accept banned white blood cells as long as they are given from mom to child via breast feeding.

    Since you have read my previous Email you now realize that the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses actually allow and believe in many blood transfusion therapies and actually use certain medical reasons as well as bible reasons to support their doctrine. I hope that you will inform viewers that Witnesses actually accept many blood therapies and base the doctrine on certain medical literature as well as Bible passages of the leadership's choosing.

    If you ever need further help feel free to Email or call me. I have a lot of the Watchtower magazine articles or I can get a few of my good friends to get information for you.

    I don’t know if you are interested but the Watchtower has a legal department based out of Georgetown Ontario. They call it Glen How and Associates. Usually Shane Brady or David Gnam of this legal department will be assigned to these cases. They will represent themselves as the “family’s lawyer” but are actually representing the interests of the Watchtower to ensure their doctrine is upheld. They prefer to talk about how dangerous donated blood can be and they will try and explain that there are all sorts of techniques so that a person does not have to receive a transfusion. Their stories give the Witnesses and some of the public a false sense of security. What they conveniently forget to tell people is that in certain situations (may it be trauma such as a car accident or after serious chemo complications) a whole blood or packed red blood cell transfusion is the only therapy to save the patient. That was the point the doctor and people in the Province were making to you. The same technique is used when Mr. Brady or Mr. Gnam discuss the basis for the blood doctrine. They always leave out the part that the doctrine is based on certain medical literature unless forced to discuss it. They don’t like discussing it since other medical literature clearly disputes their logic. I believe the technique is called “lying by omission” or “a half truth”. Both men are very polished and have memorized their talking points for years. Watch for it the next time you interview them. Whether you let them away with it or not is completely up to you and your news editor.

    Take care,


  • crazyblondeb

    I am glad that you followed this up. I've been involved, as a nurse, in several cases that JW's refused blood for a child. I helped the hospital get guardianship. They also almost cost my sister her life as a child. So this is very close to my heart. Let me know if I can help.


  • hawkaw

    Thank you for your post and offer.

    There are a few people who could use your help. I would urge you to contact Lee Elder at [email protected] and offer your assistance. He works well with Dr. Sam Muramoto.

    I might suggest you send Barb Anderson a PM and she will put you touch with some others.

    In Canada, (I'm not sure where you are from) I think Lawrence Hughes is doing all sorts of protests and of course he has a lawsuit going. You can PM him as well.

    Take care,


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