The father of a severely jaundiced 14-day-old premature baby who denied the baby life-saving blood transfusion on medical and religious grounds, on Saturday explained his side of the story.
Mr Emmanuel Onokpise claimed he and his wife were never informed their child was in any danger of death to the baby due to the weight.
The Lagos State Government evacuated the baby via a court order following information from a concerned member of the public informed its Office of the Public Defender that Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Onokpise had, contrary to medical advice, discharged their severely ill baby from hospital after refusing her blood transfusion on religious and medical grounds.
Baby Onokpise, who was born on December 18, 2019, is now in an orphanage home.
According to the government, the baby’s parents, who were on Medical Insurance with a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), “vehemently opposed the blood transfusion” for the baby and took her home, where her condition deteriorated and death was imminent.
Onokpise, who responded to enquiries from The Nation via a statement, said he and his wife loved their child and believed in medical intervention to cure ailments.
He added that being Jehovah’s witnesses, they also had an obligation to obey Jehovah’s commandment to abstain from blood consumption.
Read more: https://thenationonlineng.net/why-we-rejected-blood-transfusion-for-our-baby/
Bengaluru: A cancer patient requiring bone marrow transplant can become a complicated case if he or she belongs to Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination as blood transfusion is a taboo for the community even during life-threatening conditions.
However, a four-year-old boy from Tanzania, who was suffering from fourth stage abdominal cancer and belonged to Jehovah’s Witnesses, successfully underwent bone marrow transplant (BMT) in Bengluru in what was a bloodlessprocedure.
The treatment usually entails five to six blood transfusions, but in this case, doctors at Mazumdar Shah Cancer Centre, Narayana Health City increased his blood levels three weeks prior to the procedure.
Ittai James Moshi from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania underwent the transplant in September 2019 and is recovering. Ittai’s parents, IT employees in Tanzania, shifted to Bengaluru in late 2018 for his treatment. “In mid-2018, my son started having high fever, body pain and stomach cramps. No medicine helped despite repeated consultations with pediatricians in Tanzania. By October 2018, he stopped walking,” said James Moshi.
A private hospital in Bengaluru first treated Ittai for bacterial infection. “His infection had spread to the skeletal system. On seeing no recovery, a battery of tests were done. He was then diagnosed with cancer,” recalled Moshi.
Read more at:
By Guest Indiana
After decades of doctrinal embargo placed on blood transfusion for medical purposes for its members, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses- the leadership group overseeing the religion’s activities wordwide has finally made a U-turn, reversing its stance on the matter.
In a letter to all its Congregations (Kingdom Halls) worldwide on Thursday, the Governing Body tacitly approved blood transfusion for medical purposes for adherents of the religion.
It is on record that a significant number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who had medical condition requiring blood transfusion for treatment died because they or their guardians refused blood transfusion because of religious belief.
Also, the age-old dogma that Jesus Christ (second coming) returned invisibly to earth in 1914 has been discarded, saying that it has no sound scriptural basis.
The Governing Body stated in the letter: “We now believe this to be in error… we must admit that this adventist practice entails human speculation without sound scriptural basis.”
While admitting that the doctrinal changes may prove disconcerting to believers whom have been hurt or lost their loved ones because of earlier stance on blood transfusion, the Governing Body admonished them to embrace the changes with the spirit of love and forgiveness.
By Guest Nicole
BENGALURU: A 50-year-old Nigerian national underwent an awake craniotomy, a surgery performed while keeping the patient awake, allowing doctors to test the patient’s functions throughout the operation. The surgery was performed on April 14 at Columbia Asia Hospital in Hebbal.
Doctors performed cortical mapping that helps identify important regions of the brain that can be avoided and protected during the surgery.
“Stimulating various areas of the brain to have different effects on the body, like touching the motor region results in twitching and touching the speech areas would prevent the patient from speaking briefly. This helped the surgeons navigate through the main affected areas and perform the surgery accordingly,” said Dr Arjun Srivatsa, senior consultant, neurosurgery, Columbia Asia Hospital. During the procedure, doctors engaged Samuel in a conversation.
Samuel was operated upon to remove a brain tumour that affected areas of speech. Over the past three months, he had been finding it difficult to communicate, often forgetting words or losing his train of thought while talking. His condition worsened with persistent headaches and speech impairment. He was diagnosed with seizure activity in the brain and an MRI confirmed a brain tumour.
Since he is a Jehovah’s Witness (accepting blood transfusion is prohibited), it complicated the surgery further.
The three-hour surgery had no post-operative complications. Samuel is now able to communicate without any difficulty, said Srivatsa.
Samuel with Dr Arjun Srivatsa
By Guest Indiana
The Congolese woman, Bibiche Tshibola Makola, who is a Jehovah’s Witness by faith, was hesitant to have her own blood taken in advance, frozen and re-transfused into her.
BENGALURU: A 39-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with a cardiac ailment, approached a city hospital, stating that she was ready to undergo any treatment, provided there was no blood transfusion involved in it. The Congolese woman, Bibiche Tshibola Makola, who is a Jehovah’s Witness by faith, was hesitant to have her own blood taken in advance, frozen and re-transfused into her. For Jehovah’s witnesses, transfusion of blood is against their religious belief.
After a lot of analysis, surgeons at Fortis Hospital on Bannerghatta Road managed to perform a bloodless open-heart surgery and valve repair. According to doctors, the woman suffered from restrictive cardiomyopathy, where a chamber of the heart is unable to stretch and results in bleeding. The patient came to India for treatment, as many countries and centres refused to carry out the surgery.
Dr Vivek Jawali, Chief Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at Fortis Hospitals said, “Makolo had severe restrictive cardiomyopathy, in which there is restrictive filling of the ventricles. With due respect to her religious beliefs, we recommended her to undergo a bloodless surgery.”
The doctors then sat together and had a peri-operative plan. “We put the patient on a series of medications, including blood conservatives that helped increase her haemoglobin level to 14.8 g/dL. The surgery was conducted using all the blood conservation techniques practised at our unit for all patients , It was successful and no blood transfusion was required during the entire procedure.”
Dr Murali Chakravarthy, Department of Anaesthesia, explained that bloodless surgery is a risky situation and can lead to hemorrhagic shock in the patient. Bibiche’s husband Roger Muamba said, “We were very worried about her treatment. We were very happy with the doctors.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses against blood transfusion
They believe, according to the Bible, that one must not ingest blood, even through transfusion. Under Quebec’s civil code, an adult who is conscious and of sound mind, has the right to either accept or refuse medical treatment.
By Guest Indiana
Durban - The parents of three children who are Jehovah’s Witnesses have suggested to the Durban High Court that erythropoietin can be used to treat their children instead of blood transfusions.
Erythropoietin is a drug-based treatment which stimulates the production of red blood cells.
The parents’ submissions were filed against an interim order granted in the high court which permitted doctors to administer blood transfusions for their children should they be required.
The application for the orders was brought separately before court because each child was admitted to hospital and their parents refused to allow them to have blood transfusions because it went against their religious beliefs.
First was a five-year-old boy, admitted to hospital in September last year, followed by two girls, aged three and 10, in October and November respectively.
The Health Department approached the court for the orders and in December the department was granted an interim order to treat one of the children with a blood transfusion.
Two units of blood were administered to one of the children.
Currently the 10-year-old girl is a patient at a Pietermaritzburg hospital while the other two are back home with their respective parents.
The boy’s parents included in their papers a statement from Dr Marcus Aniekan Inyama Asuquo, a specialist haematologist based at the University of Calabar in Nigeria.
Asuquo, also a Jehovah’s Witness, said he had extensive experience in treating patients with sickle cell anaemia, which was prevalent in Nigeria.
“I have perused the child’s medical records... There is no evidence that the quality of care given to the child at home will change for worse to warrant blood transfusion,” he said.
The other two sets of parents asked the court for a two-month adjournment to get expert witnesses.
It emerged in these papers that the law firm representing the parents of the five-year-old boy, Farnsworth-Hughes, received private backing from a donor that facilitated access to experts with a view to the matter being dealt with as a test.
“Farnsworth-Hughes attorneys have agreed to instruct the experts that have been employed on their behalf to provide expert advice and opinion evidence for this matter, too,” said the father of the three-year-old girl.
On November 22 last year a routine blood test revealed that she had sickle cell anaemia, and the hospital sought her parents’ consent to administer a blood transfusion, if necessary, to prevent an acute crisis, including a stroke.
“We firmly believe that there are well-documented, medically-accepted alternatives to a blood transfusion that are compatible with our religious beliefs and that constitute appropriate treatment in the circumstances,” said the father.
He explained that when the state doctor, Swaran Singh, made the application he indicated that while he wished to apply for a court order to authorise the administering of a blood transfusion in an emergency, he had used alternative treatment before and had seen it work.
“As it happened, the hospital did not, in fact, need to administer a blood transfusion. We wish to express our appreciation to the hospital. At the same time, however, this begs the question of whether there was need for the application of the order,” he said.
The matter goes back to court in May for the parents to file further expert witness affidavits.
By Guest Nicole SG
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
07 October, 2018
Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null. Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system. It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it. Golden blood sounds like the latest in medical quackery. As in, get a golden blood transfusion to balance your tantric midichlorians and receive a free charcoal ice cream cleanse. Don't let the New-Agey moniker throw you. Golden blood is actually the nickname for Rh-null, the world's rarest blood type.
As Mosaic reports, the type is so rare that only about 43 people have been reported to have it worldwide, and until 1961, when it was first identified in an Aboriginal Australian woman, doctors assumed embryos with Rh-null blood would simply die in utero.
But what makes Rh-null so rare, and why is it so dangerous to live with? To answer that, we'll first have to explore why hematologists classify blood types the way they do.
Read more: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/rarest-blood-type-world?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1
By Srecko Sostar
1) When does blood cease to be blood?
According to WT's interpretation blood stops, ceases being blood if it is divided into smaller portions, so-called fractions.
WT believes (according to some medical science research) that there are 4 major parts, components of which the blood consists. This are:
... four primary blood components—red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma. (source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102008086)
WT teaches its believers that it is unacceptable (under threat of excommunication) to take blood and any of these 4 major blood components. But a personal decision of a JW member is permissible if accepts some of the fractions that can be obtained from this 4 major components.
2) When does a new human being, person (or animal creature) emerge? By conception or by birth? Can life come only from 2 sex cells (specialized cells) during fertilization?
Please note also that the Bible does not say that a woman conceives a piece of tissue. Instead, it states: “An able-bodied man has been conceived!” (Job 3:3) This too indicates that according to the Bible, a child exists as a person from the time of his conception. Yes, that is when human life begins. (source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102009202)
In this case, WT stands for the position that only two cells (only two components as the primary, major components) forms, creates a new person. Man consists of several different types and sizes of tissues. Tissues forms organs. How much tissues and organs man should have that would be called a man? According to WT, man is a man, person if he consists of only two cells. It does not have to be composed of tissues and organs to be called a man. Have to be only 2 cells. Only two coupled cells are needed for the existence of one new person, the new man. Two cells in comparison to 4 major components in blood issue. Human body consists of more than 50,000 billion cells. In 1 liter of human blood there are about 4.5-5 x 1012 red cells. Interesting comparison?!
Imagine! 4.5-5 x 1012 red cells are needed to make this part of the blood to be called "major, primary part of the blood". And such part may not be used to treat a disease or operation for JW member, because it is called "holy, sacred". Blood is holy - red cells are holy - white cells are holy - plasma is holy - platelets are holy. Holy means forbidden in this case.
On the other hand, only two connected, coupled cells are needed to be called sacred, holy, person, life. Interestingly and controversial.
By Guest Nicole
Substitute of Biological Blood:
These are substances which act like biological blood and are used in cases requiring a blood transfusion.
The main purpose served by blood is oxygen carriage to organs of the body. The artificial blood synthesized so far are serving functions varying from carrying oxygen to the function of volume expansion. Thus, volume restoration can be done with the help of these substances. These substitutes are mostly under clinical trials.
Blood was considered supernatural having magical properties. Many of the rituals were performed related to blood.
Many beliefs are still followed. Several TV programs focused on the theme of blood like the vampires drinking human blood for survival. Jehovah’s witnesses are obligated to not receive or donate any blood-related products according to their beliefs even in case of matter of life and death.
The history of blood transfusion dates back to very old civilization but documented research on this topic started after William Harvey discovered in the 16th century that blood flows in the arteries and veins. The blood transfusion often proved fatal. So different transfusions were tried like liquids from cows, goats, human milk as well as beer.
The first cross-matched blood transfusion was done in the 20th century in Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. Later advancements led to the Blood Component Therapy in which blood was separated into different components, which has made whole blood transfusion obsolete.
Progress in the field led to improvements in the safety of blood transfusion with respect to decreasing transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and C etc.
Who needs it?
Artificial blood is used in cases which require a blood transfusion.
The situations include;
Patients of hemorrhagic shock: a state of decreased perfusion of organs due to the increased amount of bleeding. In case of emergency situations like roadside accidents In situations when blood donation is not accessible or not available such as remote or far-flung areas To meet the high demand for blood transfusion Types of Synthetic blood:
Perfluorocarbon-based Hemoglobin-based Stem cells https://techengage.com/artificial-blood-saving-lives/
By The Librarian
New research in the USA shows that Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions recover from heart surgery faster and with fewer complications than those who have transfusions.
Patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses had better survival rates, shorter hospital stays, fewer additional operations for bleeding and spent fewer days in the intensive care unit than those who received blood transfusions during surgery, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows.
Jehovah's Witnesses undergo extensive blood conservation before surgery, including red blood-cell boosting erythropoietin drugs, iron and B-complex vitamins to guard against anaemia. The practice offered a "unique natural experiment" for scientists to study the short and long-term effects of the blood management strategy and may point to ways to reduce need for transfusions, researchers said.
The study included 322 Jehovah's Witness patients and 87,453 other patients who underwent heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic from 1983 to 2011. All Jehovah's Witness patients refused blood transfusions. In the other group, 38,467 did not receive transfusions while 48,986 did.
The authors wanted to look at the difference between patients who receive blood transfusions during surgery and Jehovah's Witness patients, who undergo strict blood conservation practices before, during and after surgery, Koch said.
While many patients do not have blood transfusions during and after heart surgery, they also do not undergo the same blood conservation practices that doctors use for Jehovah's Witness patients.
Jehovah's Witness patients had an 86 per cent chance of survival at five years and a 34 per cent chance of survival 20 years after surgery, compared with 74 per cent at five years and 23 per cent at 20 years for non-Jehovah's Witness patients who had transfusions.
By JOHN BUTLER
Jehovah has clearly and unambiguously prohibited the use of blood for sustaining human life. Many times, OT and NT.
Can I question this point please ?
Did Jesus ever forbid the use of blood to save a human life ? Can you show me a scripture where JESUS forbids the use of blood to save a human life ?
Let us look at a few points here.
I think it is true that the Jews / Nation of Israel practised something known as Pikuach Nefesh
This meant life was precious and should be saved even if it meant going against the Law.
Add to this that Jesus gave an example which in my opinion goes much deeper than the actual words of the scripture. Matthew 12 v 9 through 12.
9 After departing from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and look! there was a man with a withered* hand!k So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him.l11 He said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out?m12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath.”
Surely here Jesus is saying that it is right to go against 'the Law' and /or the principles of it, to save a life.
And please tell me, from where do those 'blood bits' come from that the GB say the congregants can use ? I honestly have no idea on that one.
However if those 'blood bits' come from blood itself then isn't that actually using blood ?
My wife hates cherries in cakes, so she picks them out, but she still eats the cake. If a person uses bits out of blood then in my opinion they are still using blood.
Over to you guys.
Has anyone ever been disfellowshipped AFTER they died for taking an unapproved fraction blood transfusion ?By James Thomas Rook Jr.
If a Brother or Sister in good standing in the Congregation goes into the hospital, and agrees to a whole blood transfusion, and dies anyway, can they be disfellowshipped post mortem, and what about the funeral arrangements? ( I have heard of this being done, but never explained....)
Can they have a funeral at the Kingdom Hall?
Let's say a Brother or Sister in good standing in the Congregation goes berserk, and commits some crime, and either dies by misadventure, or gets shot by police ....
Can they have a funeral at the Kingdom Hall?
Considering such questions is like a submarine on the surface, at night, in the fog .... firing torpedoes randomly into the darkness, to see what lights up.
.... sometimes survival depends on having the right answer about "What is out there?".
By Guest Nicole
The parents of a 14-year-old boy with bone cancer won a legal challenge against a Mesa hospital that attempted to override their religious objections to blood transfusions.
The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that a lower court's emergency hotline used by hospitals to authorize medical treatment on behalf of patients is not allowed under state law.
The parents of a 14-year-old boy with bone cancer challenged Banner Cardon Children's use of a Maricopa County Superior Court emergency hotline to authorize blood transfusions on behalf of the child. The parents and boy are Jehovah's Witnesses and objected to blood transfusions on religious grounds.
While Banner Cardon's medical-treatment plan initially consisted of alternative therapies to fit the parents' religious views, hospital staff later determined that blood transfusions were medically necessary.
Hospital staff called the Maricopa County Superior Court hotline multiple times from October through December last year to seek authorization for the blood transfusions. The court granted three of five requests, according to court documents.
The parents filed a petition with the Arizona Court of Appeals seeking to halt the transfusions.
The parents, identified as Glenn and Sonia H., argued that the Superior Court hotline "lacked jurisdiction" for such emergency medical requests and also argued that hospital staffers did not justify the medical need for blood transfusions.
The lower court said that such emergency requests were "standard practice" nationwide and the hotline rotated among Superior Court judges who answered requests after hours.
In an opinion written by Judge Kenton D. Jones, the appellate court concluded that the question of whether the lower court had jurisdiction to OK emergency medical treatment was one "of significant statewide importance."
Jones noted that Arizona law allows a Juvenile Court that has jurisdiction over a child to order a parent or guardian to get medical treatment for a child. However, the appellate court did not find any such jurisdiction for a Superior Court emergency hotline.
"Our review of Arizona statutes and rules of procedure reveals no provision ... authorizing the superior court to maintain an emergency hotline for the purpose of ordering medical treatment for a non-consenting minor," Jones wrote.
Therefore, the lower court's order authorizing medical treatment on behalf of the boy is void, the appellate court said.
The parents filed the appellate-court action in November but did not request a stay of the lower court's order. The boy received blood transfusions on Dec. 1 and Dec. 5 before his parents relocated his care to a medical facility in Portland, Oregon.
Banner Health officials said the health-care provider has not yet decided whether to appeal the appellate court's decision.
Representatives of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which filed a legal brief on behalf of the parents, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
A Jehovah's Witnesses website said the religion considers blood transfusions a "religious issue rather than a medical one," citing multiple biblical passages.
Patients who develop certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, often require blood transfusions as a part of treatment.
By Guest Nicole
Lola Garcia of Hemet, California, was the smallest infant in North America to undergo such a procedure.
Physicians at Lucile Packard ChildrenÂ’s Hospital StanfordÂ have performed open-heart surgery without a blood transfusion on the smallest infant ever to undergo such a procedure in North America.
The surgery was done on a 10-day-old baby girl born in Hemet, California, with a serious congenital heart defect. Meticulous planning and execution of the surgery, an arterial switch procedure, allowed the medical team to surmount daunting technical challenges of treating a 7-pound open-heart patient without giving her a blood transfusion. It is the first Â“bloodlessÂ” open-heart surgery performed on an infant in the Western United States.
Â“If you can do surgery safely and effectively without transfusion, there are several medical benefits,Â” saidÂ Frank Hanley, MD, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at the hospitalÂ’s Betty Irene Moore ChildrenÂ’s Heart Center and one of two surgeons who performed the procedure. He said patients who do not receive blood products have fewer post-surgical complications, provided they do not lose too much blood.
Â“You have to be able to do the surgery safely and not have the patientÂ’s red blood cell count drop too low,Â” added Hanley, who is he Lawrence Crowley, MD, Professor in Child Health at theÂ Stanford School of Medicine.
A severe heart defect
From the moment of her birth on Oct. 21, little Lola Garcia struggled to breathe. She and her parents, Felisa and Jared Garcia, were rushed to a childrenÂ’s hospital near the familyÂ’s home.
Lola was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a rare condition in which the heartÂ’s major arteries are not connected correctly. Normally, the blood follows a single, figure-eight-shaped circuit through the heart and lungs, then back to the heart and out to the body to supply oxygen to organs. In LolaÂ’s heart, the blood made two separate circuits Â— from the heart to the lungs and back, and from the heart to the body and back. The normal figure-eight was separated into two poorly connected loops. Her brain and other organs were not getting enough oxygen.
Â“They said she would definitely need heart surgery, and most likely a blood transfusion, to correct the problem,Â” said Felisa. Â“We were happy there was a solution, but when they said Â‘transfusion,Â’ my heart dropped.Â” The Garcias are JehovahÂ’s Witnesses; they requested that LolaÂ’s surgery be done without a blood transfusion because of their religious beliefs.
Although many hospitals now offer bloodless surgery for adults, the challenges of avoiding transfusion are much greater in newborns who need open-heart procedures. Several hospitals around the country turned the family down. But the pediatric cardiothoracic surgery team at Packard ChildrenÂ’s offered to attempt baby LolaÂ’s arterial switch procedure without transfusing blood.
Â“Very few people have the technical expertise to do this,Â” saidÂ Vamsi Yarlagadda, MD, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and the cardiologist at Packard ChildrenÂ’s who cared for Lola.
During surgery, Lola needed to be connected to a heart-lung machine, which would pump her blood through a circuit of tubing and membranes for re-oxygenation.
The machineÂ’s tubing is primed with saline that mixes with the patientÂ’s blood. For an adult, the volume of saline in a standard heart-lung machine does not dilute the blood enough to be dangerous, but a 7-pound newborn has less blood to begin with. Connecting Lola to a standard heart-lung circuit would have dangerously lowered her red blood cell count.
In the past, the problem has been solved by transfusing blood. For Lola, the Packard ChildrenÂ’s team took a different approach.
Read more:Â http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2018/02/newborn-first-in-western-us-to-have-bloodless-open-heart-surgery.html
Watchtower Teaching WT forbids blood transfusions because of Genesis 9:4 ‘But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat’.
The WT teaches that a blood transfusion is the same as eating blood, because it resembles intravenous feeding. This doctrine was invented in 1944.
Bible Teaching and Historical facts:
1) Thousands of JWs and their children have died because they followed this WT error.
QUESTION: Would you really allow your baby to die because of this WT instruction?
2) Most JWs are unaware that their leaders have a history of making medical prohibitions,then later changing their minds to allow them. Examples include:
(i) Vaccinations were forbidden by the WT from 1931 to 1952. JWs had to refuse vaccinations because the WT taught that ‘vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made’ (Golden Age, 4 Feb 1931, p 293).
Awake of 22 Aug 1965 admitted that vaccinations have caused a decrease in diseases(p.20)
QUESTION: How did the parents of children who died from not being vaccinated, feel when the WT reversed its view in 1952? How many of these children died needlessly?
(ii) Organ transplants were allowed by the WT up to 1967, but were forbidden in 1967 saying that ‘organ transplants amounted to cannibalism and are not appropriate for Christians’ (WT, 15 Nov 1967, p 702-4, and Awake 8 June 1968, p 21). Hence all organ
transplants were forbidden for 13 years, during which time many JWs died needlessly.
Then in 1980, the WT changed its mind to allow them saying that ‘organ transplants are not necessarily cannibalistic’ (WT, 15 March 1980, p 31).
(iii) Blood plasma and blood particles were forbidden to be used by JW haemophiliacs (Awake, 22 Feb 1975, p 30). Shortly after, the WT changed its mind to permit certain blood particles to be used, but failed to put it into print for 3 years until 15 June 1978, p
30 (WT). Only those haemophiliacs who phoned WT headquarters from 1975-78 discovered the change. Others were left to suffer and die.
QUESTION: How long before the WT changes its view on blood transfusions?
QUESTION: Why does the WT keep changing its mind on medical issues?
QUESTION: Is it right for an infallible prophet of God organisation (such as the WT claims to be) to keep changing its mind.
(iv) In 1984, they allowed for a bone-marrow transplant. Bone marrow is the very source of blood. However, they would disfellowship you for receiving a bloodtransfusion.
3) In Genesis 9:4 the context is God forbidding the eating of animal blood (as pagans did), not the transfusion of human blood. A blood transfusion is not intravenous feeding, because the blood so given does not function as food. When one gives a transfusion, it is not a loss of life, but a transference of life from one person to another. It replenishes and saves a life.
QUESTION: Since blood is not taken in as food to digest, but as life sustaining fluid, is it not clear that transfusion is different from eating?
4) Leviticus 3:17 ‘You must not eat any fat or any blood at all.’ (NWT)
QUESTION: Why do WT leaders forbid blood transfusions but allow the eating of fat? Why not forbid both? The WT is not consistently interpreting the Bible. Leviticus 17:11,12: ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood’. Blood transfusion does not function as food, but simply transfers life from one person to another as an act of mercy.
Key: Leviticus 3:17 prohibits eating animal blood, not transfusing human blood.
QUESTION: Where is loss of salvation mentioned in Acts 15:9,11 for receiving a blood transfusion?
Key: Acts 15:28,29. A blood transfusion uses blood for the same purpose that God intended, (as a life-giving agent in the bloodstream). Drinking blood is not God’s intended purpose for
Conclusion: Even though JWs try to support blood transfusions with Scripture, their real reason for believing it is blind obedience to the WT. If the WT organisation lifted its ban on blood transfusions, JWs would freely accept them if needed.
For the WT to admit they were wrong would cause too great a stir in their ranks. Therefore any changes must be presented as ‘new light’ in order to make it appear that ‘Jehovah’ is making the changes, rather than a few men on the governing body.
By Guest Nicole
IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Two years ago Mary Kurtz suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease making daily activities unbearable.
"I would wake up with terrible terrible pain in the chest area, it wasnÂ’t a heart attack, I knew that, but it took my breath away," said Kurtz.
Typically a surgeon could perform an open surgery by making a long incision in the abdomen to prevent acid reflux. However this wasnÂ’t an option for Kurtz.
"Being a witness, we abstain because in the Bible it tells us in Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood through digesting it or taking it in as a medical use and this is our belief," explained Kurtz.
After consulting with non-witness and witness friends, Kurtz came across Dr. Fanous who could offer a TIF surgery where her esophagus could be worked on by entering through the mouth.
"TIF or Transoral incisionless fundoplication where we use the device called the EsophyX HD device to go in, use the patient's tissues to construct the valve between the stomach and the esophagus," said Dr. Medhat Fanous.
Currently Aspirus is the only program in the UP that provides this new option for surgery. Not only is it safe and durable but done as an outpatient procedure.
"It was the best thing IÂ’ve ever done," said Kurtz. "After two years, I have no pain I have no acid reflux, I can eat things that I never even thought about touching before."
And Kurtz isnÂ’t the only one who seen the benefits of the TIF procedure, in just under two years, Aspirus has helped more than 150 patients go through similar surgeries.
"ItÂ’s a tight community and the word of mouth is very strong but the fact weÂ’ve seen 150 procedures, itÂ’s a testimony to the quality of our work," said Dr. Fanous.
Recently Dr. Fanous published a study regarding the safety of the TIF with Jehovah witnesses and Kurtz couldnÂ’t be more thankful for his work and consideration of her beliefs.
"I am happy that Dr. Fanous went along with this, because it is a big thing for us."
By Guest Nicole
After being transported to Batroun Hospital suffering traumatic injuries, doctors were baffled after the girl's parents rejected a blood transfusion critical to save their daughter's life.
BEIRUT: Farah D., the young girl who was involved in a recent car crash, received a blood transfusion Thursday after the Prosecutor of North Lebanon authorized Batroun Hospital Director Ayoub Moukhtar to perform the procedure despite her family's refusal because it goes against their beliefs as Jehovah Witnesses.
After being transported to Batroun Hospital on Wednesday suffering traumatic injuries, doctors were baffled after the girl's parents rejected a blood transfusion critical to save their daughter's life.
This bizarre development forced Moukhtar to contact his district's Prosecutor, who directed him to go ahead with the grueling operation which involved a set of blood transfusions.
The prosecutor argued the hospital was legally bound to save the girl's life.
"I contacted the prosecutor, who stressed the need to save the girl's life regardless of the parent's religious beliefs, and the hospital duty is to keep the girl alive," he said.
According to Moukhtar, Farah is now recovering from her injuries.
By Guest Nicole
Kory Bradshaw says he was in a Toronto ICU with only months left to live when he got the phone call from doctors about getting a long-awaited double-lung transplant.
Bradshaw, who has Cystic Fibrosis, didn’t hear anything for months after having gone through two false alarms since being put on the wait list for a transplant last May.
“Third time’s a charm,” Bradshaw told Global News Monday.
He and his wife, Renee Bradshaw, came to Toronto from their home in Kelowna, B.C., last January with the hope of receiving a transplant faster due to the better wait times in the city.
The average wait time in B.C. is about two years, but in Toronto it’s around six months.
After receiving the transplant over four months ago, Kory said he feels “amazing” now.
“We can have a whole new life together, doing a lot of things that people might take for granted like walking and holding hands,” he said, adding he still has to get used being able to laugh properly.
That new life together will also include a new modular home for them when they move back to Kelowna at the end of the month.
In a cruel twist of fate, while Kory was in the ICU at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto in June, they received a call that their B.C. home was destroyed in a fire.
“They believe it was from a discarded cigarette that caught our cedar hedge on fire, which spread in the shed into our house,” Renee previously said.
Friends and neighbours quickly rallied to help them. Beth Shey, a neighbour they hardly knew, started a GoFundMe page to help them with living expenses while they were waiting for the transplant in Toronto.
The couple said the new modular home should be delivered by the time they get back and should be move-in ready by late January.
Kory underwent his transplant at Toronto General Hospital, which does about 150 lung transplants every year.
But Kory’s situation was unique. Since he and Renee are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and because of their beliefs, a blood transfusion was not possible. The couple said they searched for years but no surgeon would agree to attempt a bloodless transplant until they found Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, who agreed to perform the procedure as long as the couple understood the risks.
Read more: https://globalnews.ca/news/3923183/toronto-general-hospital-bloodless-double-lung-transplant/
By Bible Speaks
Jesus' kindness to woman's flow of blood of 30 years
Â A brothers personal notes taken from a talk given by brother William Malenfant of Brooklyn Bethel.
Please read the account found in Mark 5:25-34 (New World Translation) before continuing.
Â (Mark 5:25-34) 25 Now there was a woman subject to a flow of blood twelve years, 26 and she had been put to many pains by many physicians and had spent all her resources and had not been benefited but, rather, had got worse. 27 When she heard the things about Jesus, she came behind in the crowd and touched his outer garment; 28 for she kept saying: Â“If I touch just his outer garments I shall get well.Â” 29 And immediately her fountain of blood dried up, and she sensed in her body that she had been healed of the grievous sickness. 30 Immediately, also, Jesus recognized in himself that power had gone out of him, and he turned about in the crowd and began to say: Â“Who touched my outer garments?Â” 31 But his disciples began to say to him: Â“You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and do you say, Â‘Who touched me?Â’Â” 32 However, he was looking around to see her that had done this. 33 But the woman, frightened and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her: Â“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be in good health from your grievous sickness.Â”
Â IsnÂ’t that a beautiful account?Â
Who healed her?Â
Jesus didnÂ’t know who touched him, remember?
- 30 Immediately, also, Jesus recognized in himself that power had gone out of him, and he turned about in the crowd and began to say: Â“Who touched my outer garments?Â” 31 But his disciples began to say to him: Â“You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and do you say, Â‘Who touched me?Â’Â”Â
Who could see that woman working her way up the crowd to get to Jesus?Â
Who could appreciate all the pain sheÂ’d been through, the suffering she had been through?Â
Who could appreciate the quality of her faith?Â
Who allowed power to flow out of Jesus into that woman, so sheÂ’d be healed?Â
It had to have been Jehovah.Â
You see, Jesus knew something had happened that the apostles didnÂ’t know. ThatÂ’s why they said: Â“Well, why do you say: Â“Who touched me?Â”Â
Â‘THIS is new, something happenedÂ’, thought Jesus. He felt Â‘powerÂ’ go out of him. He knew something remarkable had happenedÂ
What does that tell you about Jehovah?Â
IsnÂ’t that remarkable?Â
Now another questionÂ…Â
WhatÂ’s her name?Â
The Bible doesnÂ’t say. It doesnÂ’t say. Â“Nobody. She was just nobody.Â” Was she?Â
Jehovah knew her. He took care of her.
Do you see the point?Â
So donÂ’t ever get into the feeling that: Â“Well, IÂ’m nobody. What does God care about me?Â”Â
He DOES care!Â
And sometimes weÂ’ll say: Â“Well, IÂ’m so imperfectÂ…Â” Well of course you are. Who isnÂ’t? We all are.Â
WeÂ’re getting life by underserved kindness, brothers and sisters. WeÂ’re not getting it because weÂ’re so righteous and so good. We do our best. Yes. But life is coming by GodÂ’s underserved kindness. Jehovah sees all of us and the beauty of it isÂ…HE KNOWS! He understands us. He knows that we make mistakes and sometimes we get down on ourselves and beat ourselves, for sure.Â
You know what brother Franz used to say about that?Â
Â“I remember once at an assembly, the Israelites were all waiting for Jehovah to clear away all the fog and the mist when the Egyptians were after them, you know? And the Israelites were going to cross the Red Sea. Jehovah said to them:
Â“Stop praying and get going!Â”
And what that means is:Â
Get up! Get going with your life! Serve Jehovah with rejoicing!Â
DonÂ’t ever go through life lamenting and looking at things that have happened and Â“Â’Ooh thisÂ’, and Â‘Oh my, thatÂ’Â”.Â
Jesus paid the price that covers our past mistakes; it covers current mistakes and even in the future, as long as weÂ’re genuine in serving God and doing our bestÂ…Jehovah forgives us. But we have to put forth the effort and have faith in the arrangement. And then we can serve Him with a good heart.Â
Now, back to that womanÂ…Â
She didnÂ’t have the right to touch Jesus. ThatÂ’s true, isnÂ’t it? Because she had a flow of blood. And in the Hebrew Scriptures it tells us a woman with a flow of blood was unclean.Â
Now think of itÂ…Â
HereÂ’s this woman, unclean, coming through a crowd, and is going to touch The Holy One of Israel. Jehovah God obviously knew about it, could see it. His own law that He inspired said a woman with a flow of blood was unclean, and yet, what happens?Â
Evidently, He pushes His own law aside, lets her touch JesusÂ…she becomes clean. He heals her.Â
DoesnÂ’t that tell you something else about Jehovah?Â
He takes everything into account. He looks at the whole picture. He sees our whole life, our whole background. The things we battle with, our imperfections. And He still loves us. And He does what He can to help us.Â
ThatÂ’s a wonderful thing! That should really move us to really want to serve Jehovah and love doing His will.Â
ThereÂ’s a scripture in 1 John that says: Â“Jehovah is greater than our heart.Â” Well, what that means is that our heart sometimes focuses in just on small individual imperfections and problems we have. But Jehovah sees much more than our little heart. He sees the whole picture. HeÂ’s greater than our heart. And weÂ’re grateful for that because, He does, indeed, love every one of us.Â
And so, when you get discouraged and blueÂ…think about that woman. And think about the wonderful hope we have and the beautiful things that are in store for us and our great privilege of serving Jehovah God right to the end. And then we can rejoice and be happy in our service. Â– Bible SpeaksÂ
By Guest Nicole
Mrs Mortimer was undergoing a hip operation when she refused the blood transfusion
A Jehovah's Witness lost her life after she refused a blood transfusion during a major hip operation due to her religious beliefs.
Barbara Mortimer, 69, went against doctors' advice and sadly died on May 24, 2017, shortly after a hip replacement.
A final hearing was held at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield yesterday (Wednesday, October 18) before Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan.
The court heard that in January of this year, Mrs Mortimer visited her GP Mark Penwell with "severe left hip pain."
Doctor Penwell said: "She was struggling to walk with it, even using a stick.
"The only useful intervention was a hip replacement."
He admitted however, that he had concerns about Mrs Mortimer, of Portland Road, Bishop's Stortford, who would decline any blood products due to her being a Jehovah's Witness.
Mrs Mortimer also suffered what was thought to be a heart attack in 2006 and acute coronary syndrome after having chest pain in 2010.
For her hip, Mrs Mortimer was referred to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajeev Sharma.
He said: "She came to see me in the clinic on Thursday, March 23.
"She came in with a diagnosis of hip arthritis on one of the sides.
"She had an X-ray that showed the joints were worn out."
Risks associated with the procedure including displacing the hip, heart attack and most commonly infection, were discussed with Mrs Mortimer.
Mrs Mortimer chose to ungergo surgery, but was taking aspirin at the time which thins the blood. There was also a risk that she would need a blood transfusion during the operation.
Steps included administering tranexamic acid, swabs soaked in adrenalin and a spinal aesthetic as opposed to general, as these all help to prevent and restrict blood loss.
Mr Sharma said: "We needed to be sure our surgery is in such a manner to prevent bleeding.
"It was safe to proceed providing we take all the necessary precautions."
The procedure went ahead with Mrs Mortimer's haemoglobin levels being within an acceptable range.
But during the operation after the joint was dislocated, the living part of the bone began to bleed.
The bleed then became "exponentially massive," according to Mr Sharma following the removal of hard cartilage.
The adrenalin swabs, an alternative method to stopping the bleed due to Mrs Mortimer's belief's, were inserted to constrict the blood vessels as well as a plastic membrane.
Mr Sharma said: "We continued with the procedure, it was the best way to stop the bleeding.
"I could not think why such a lot of bleeding would take place.
"Was it the aspirin? Would it have had a significant effect on her or was there an anomaly in the pelvic bone?"
Following the surgery, Mr Sharma spoke with Mrs Mortimer's family.
"The recommended blood products were declined," he said.
"We were struggling to keep her alive if we can't give her any blood. Persistent refusal was risking her life."
Mrs Mortimer faced the decision of accepting blood products or hope that the fluids given to her post-operation would stimulate cell production after such a huge blood loss.
She died during the early hours of the morning at Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth.
Mr Sharma was challenged in court by Counsel Kate Smith, who asked whether further enquiries should have been made prior to the hip replacement due to her age, religious beliefs, medical history and the fact she was taking aspirin.
Ms Smith presented a booklet in court regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and surgery.
It said "should avoid any medication that could increase blood loss," referring to aspirin which thins the blood and makes the likelihood of needing a blood transfusion more likely.
Mrs Mortimer signed a refusal form indicating her religious convictions that "no blood transfusions are to be administered in any circumstances".
Mr Sharma said in "hindsight" there are things that would have been done differently but at that stage all the safety precautions had been made.
The operation was also not considered to be life-threatening.
He was also challenged whether Mrs Mortimer needed to be on aspirin. The decision to take this course was made working on the basis that she had suffered a heart attack – later found to be untrue.
Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan, said: "I cannot see a short form conclusion.
"The adequate way to my mind is a narrative verdict to encompass blood loss [from the] surgical procedure and declining of blood products.
"She was admitted to Rivers Hospital, she had advanced decision not to accept blood products, and asked to consider accepting blood products, but declined to do so."
By Guest Nicole
A judge has authorized a Montreal hospital to perform blood transfusions to treat a 14-year-old teen with cancer, despite her refusal because she is a Jehovah's Witness.
By allowing transfusions, the court ruled that it is lawful to protect children, sometimes "against themselves," when their decisions can be fatal.
Under Quebec law, minors over the age of 14 can refuse certain health services. However, if the child’s parents or a hospital--in this case, the McGill University Health Centre--wants to administer those services, they can seek a judge’s permission.
Superior Court Judge Lukasz Granosik said in his decision that the teen is "a brilliant, articulate girl" who is very successful at school and has a "maturity beyond her biological age," but that she was not yet mature enough to decide for herself, and was under pressure from her parents who are also Jehovah's Witnesses.
Granosik also noted the girl spoke of death with "resignation," despite having a 97 percent chance of recovery if she underwent treatment.
In June 2017, she found out she had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, and had to begin chemotherapy.
This treatment, however, often requires blood transfusions. Without it, the patient could die or suffer irreversible neurological damage, her doctor said.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions.
Judge Granosik’s decision was rendered on Sept. 1.
- With a report from The Canadian Press
By Bible Speaks
Ontario, Canada, robots to operate cancer in Jehovah's witnesses.
The patient, a 70-Year-old high risk of prostate cancer, was a Jehovah's witness.
His religion was one of the reasons why he decided to undergo surgery in st. Joseph's healthcare in Hamilton, home to a robot named da Vinci, whose firm metal hands can remove a prostate with little risk of blood transfusions prohibited by man's faith.
On a recent afternoon, the patient remained unconscious on an operating table while surgeon bobby shayegan and his team threw a camera and three surgical instruments controlled through small incisions in his abdomen.
Dr... Shayegan settled in front of a three-dimensional screen, joined the two joysticks who controlled the tools inside his patient's pelvis and proceeded to cut, cauterize and sew until he released the man's prostate, pulling it out through one of the original incisions.
There was no blood.
" that was routine said Dr. Shayegan later, holding the gland the size of a plum tree that he and the robot had withdrawn together. Very routine.
This is how nine out of every 10 prostatectomy take place in the United States. Robot-assisted surgery is not the path of the future there - it is the path of now.
By Guest Nicole
When Jim Steenhuizen wound up in the intensive care unit with massive internal bleeding, doctors ordered a blood transfusion to save him.
But even though his condition was serious, the father of two refused.
As a Jehovah’s Witness, his religion forbids taking blood transfusions from another person.
So doctors tried a new blood replacement product, which was acceptable.
And after a few weeks, the 48-year-old Anderson man was back at work delivering the mail on his rural route thanks to Sanguinate.
“I had never heard of it. And I was very thankful for it,” he told The Greenville News. “I try not to think about what might have happened.”
Dr. Sharif Khan, a hematologist with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System where Steenhuizen was treated, said it’s challenging when providers can’t offer supportive care because of religious restrictions. But Sanguinate could solve that problem.
“About 85 percent to 90 percent of Jehovah’s Witness patients who are told about this product accept it,” he said. “He got several doses and was stabilized. And he made a complete recovery.”
As a result of vehicle crashes, injuries and illness, about 13.2 million transfusions are performed every year in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health.
And there are 1.04 million Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to nationmaster.com, which compiles data about a variety of issues.
There are others who can’t take blood transfusions as well, including those who develop multiple antibodies for whom matching blood can’t be found, such as patients with sickle cell disease, Khan said.
An alternative could be helpful in those circumstances, he said. But earlier efforts to develop such a product have proven unsuccessful, he said, and even dangerous.
As a physician specializing in disorders of the blood, Khan followed the research and learned about Sanguinate. It looked more promising than the previous attempts.
Sanguinate is produced through a process that links molecules from cow’s blood with molecules from carbon monoxide to create a bigger molecule that lasts longer than human blood and doesn’t have to be refrigerated, he said. It’s manufactured by New Jersey-based Prolong Pharmaceuticals.
As a stabilizing agent, Sanguinate is not being considered as a replacement for chronic blood transfusions, he said. Rather, it’s used as a bridge to something else — surgery to stop the bleeding or buying enough time until the body can make more of its own blood, he said.
When Steenhuizen arrived at the hospital, he was bleeding severely in his intestines, Khan said. He’d lost more than 80 percent of his red cells — the cells that carry oxygen to the brain, kidneys and other vital organs.
A search located some Sanguinate at a hospital in Charlotte, he said. And a staffer drove there to retrieve it.
At the time, Steenhuizen was facing multiple organ failure, Khan said. But after receiving a few units of Sanguinate, his oxygen level improved substantially and he was out of the danger zone.
“He was completely coherent, his oxygen level was up,” he said. “And made a complete recovery.”
After that, St. Francis became one of 27 sites involved in a Phase 2 clinical trial of Sanguinate already underway across the country when blood is not an option, whether for religious or medical reasons, he said.
It’s hoped that it can one day be used by the military in battlefield conditions and by EMTs who arrive on the scene to find a victim bleeding profusely, Khan said.
“If somebody has been in a crash, the (EMTs) can’t stick an IV into their arm and start blood,” he said. “And the Department of Defense is interested in research into these products for obvious reasons. They are stored like medications on shelves, not refrigerated, and they can be carried in an ambulance or military vehicle.”
They don’t need to typed either like blood does, he said. And while undetected diseases may be spread through human blood transfusions, the manufacturing process destroys all the organisms in the cow’s blood that might cause disease, he said.
But Sanguinate is not without risks, though they’re considered manageable, he said. Patients must be monitored closely for potentially dangerous blood pressure spikes and kidney dysfunction.
Steenhuizen developed internal bleeding on Feb. 13 — as best anyone can figure from taking ibuprofen for his back pain. Ibuprofen is one of a number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, that can cause bleeding in some people. A day later, he was in the ICU.
At that point, he said, his hemoglobin was a fraction of what it should have been. But a life-saving transfusion was out of the question because of the religion he and his family observe.
Sanguinate (Photo: Bon Secours St. Francis Health System)
“Because of my stance as a Jehovah’s Witness, I refused to take blood,” he said. “The Bible states to abstain from blood, that blood is sacred and belongs to God.
“If I was to die because I didn’t take blood, I would have died in good standing with Jehovah, my God,” he added. “And my family was OK with that.”
Thankfully, it never came to that. As his concerned doctors were considering surgery to try and stop the bleeding, they decided to try Sanguinate along with other medications he was given. And slowly, his blood count began to rise.
“The main thing was to boost the oxygen level to the organs to keep me alive,” he said. “Eventually ... my blood cells started going up.”
Steenhuizen was released after two weeks in the hospital and was back at work on March 11. He no longer takes NSAIDS, says he’s pretty much back to normal, and is glad that Sanguinate is available for him and other Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I think it was a great product. And I think it could benefit others,” he said. “It saved my life.”
By JW Insider
I can't describe my feelings very well about something I just learned. I seriously don't know how to handle this issue.
A couple days ago, I made a post in the area of this forum about the blood doctrine. While writing that post, it reminded me that I have been holding on to a couple of questions about the ins and outs of the doctrine, more specifically about why we now accept just about 100% of the products that are made from blood. It's true that we don't accept "whole blood" transfusions, but "whole blood" transfusions are so rarely offered any more that even the word "transfusion" has come to refer to to several blood therapies that JWs regularly accept.
Anyway, it occurred to me that I should have no problem getting a couple of these specific questions answered because I know some of the people who were involved very deeply in the blood issue. About three years ago, at the end of 2013, I talked to Brother Rusk in NYC immediately after the Annual Meeting. I hadn't seen him for many years. He was also good friends with my wife and he gave our wedding talk back in the very early 1980's. When I met with Fred Rusk in his office at Brooklyn Bethel in 1979 and 1980 to talk about the wedding, my fiancee, and leaving Bethel, among other things, he very often took phone calls about the blood issue. He wouldn't send me out of his office, but would usually just say, can you wait a second, and then he would go on for up to an hour (during my work time) talking to doctors, hospital personnel, elders, circuit overseers, patients, or sometimes a brother down in the Service Department who was trying to word a letter correctly about our policy. Our policy was still fairly straightforward back then. Fractions were not a big "thing" yet, but there were still questions about what did and did not contain blood, or whether certain kinds of blood storage machines were acceptable or not (containing the patient's own blood). There were also issues regarding blood decisions that I had never thought of before, related to child custody, headship over family decisions, etc.
Brother Rusk died fairly recently, but he wasn't the one involved so much with the new "fractions" policy anyway. The person who began taking over for Brother Rusk as the Society's subject-matter-expert on blood was Gene Smalley, also from the Writing Department.
These two brothers have very different reputations. Brother Rusk was a very well-loved, peaceful man, who was nearly always soft-spoken, kind, patient and helpful. Even when taking care of a serious issue, you never saw anger. He was a cornucopia of the fruits of the spirit. Gene Smalley was almost the opposite in every way. Spiteful, hateful, bad-tempered, yelling, angry, backbiting, divisive, contentious, etc., etc. (He wasn't that way all the time of course, but often enough to gain a reputation, and more than once threatened with losing his job in Writing.) But his sweet wife Anita just died very recently (from cancer) and I thought this might be a good reason to contact him and, perhaps, if the conversation could be comfortably turned, it could be a chance to get a couple questions answered about fractions. He would know the precise answer.
Well, I haven't called him yet. Instead, yesterday, I started asking around from friends who may have seen how he is doing recently. This includes one person who worked with him until fairly recently in Writing, and one person who was a close acquaintance of both Gene and Anita.
Here is the most disturbing thing I learned. I was told that I shouldn't ask Gene Smalley about the blood doctrine. Although still on the Writing Committee, evidently he has not believed in the Blood Doctrine since about 1992, according to one of the persons I just spoke with. Yet, he has still promoted it and given interviews about it.
I have always thought of Brother Smalley as the "father of the fractions doctrine." So he would be the perfect person to ask. But the persons I asked are both well known at Bethel, and one of them has even been mentioned in the publications as early as the 1970's. My obvious question was, "Well, if he doesn't believe in it, then why does he still defend it?" Both of the persons I asked gave me the same answer, even though I asked them separately. (Although one could have been repeating the answer they heard from the other.) The answer, paraphrased:
Even though he doesn't believe in it, he still defended it because of all the persons who have died.
By Guest Nicole
Peace Euodia pictured above, died of excess bleeding during child delivery, because her church, Jehovah Witness Church does not permit her to accept blood transfusion.
By Bible Speaks
How Can Blood Save Your Life?
How Can Blood Save Your Life?
Each day people face ethical decisions about health: organ transplants, abortion, the "right to die." Hopefully, you will never face those problems.
Yet, there is one issue that demands your attention: How can blood be used to save life?
With good reason, many now ask, 'How safe are blood transfusions?' But this is more than a medical issue. It has made news involving Jehovah's Witnesses. Have you wondered why these ethical people, who believe in good medicine, refuse to accept blood?
As you will see, the medical and moral aspects of using blood bear directly on how you can save your most valued possession: LIFE.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
• How Can Blood Save Your Life?
• Blood—Vital For Life
• Blood Transfusions—How Safe?
• Quality Alternatives to Transfusion
• You Have the Right to Choose
• The Blood That Really Saves Lives
• JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES THE SURGICAL/ETHICAL CHALLENGE
• BLOOD: WHOSE CHOICE AND WHOSE
Download the Free Brochure at:http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/blood/how-can-blood-save-your-life/
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