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Hennepin County Medical Center is a leader in 'bloodless' surgery

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Much has changed as doctors have come to understand the risks of blood transfusions and the ways to avoid them — helped in part by studies of Jehovah's Witnesses. 

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Michael Anderson, a Jehovah’s Witness minister who underwent a bloodless emergency bypass procedure after a heart attack earlier this month, was visited in his hospital room by Syl Jones, a fellow Jehovah’s Witness and an administrative resident/fellow at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Dr. Daniel DiBardino didn’t have much time for niceties on Sept. 8 as he consulted patient Michael Anderson about the emergency cardiac bypass he needed. Anderson is a Jehovah’s Witness — opposed to donor blood transfusions — and DiBardino needed to know if he could breach that religious conviction during the procedure.

“What if he’s bleeding to death, which occasionally can happen in cardiac surgery?” he recalled asking Anderson and his wife. “A lot of things can go wrong.”

“Absolutely not,” was the reply.

A decade ago, that answer might have touched off a doctor-patient argument or the kind of ethics crisis featured in medical TV shows.

But as doctors have come to understand the risks of blood transfusions and the ways to avoid them — helped in part by studies of Jehovah’s Witnesses — much has changed.

Hospitals such as Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), where DiBardino practices, have become more accommodating — and more adept at conserving patients’ own blood during surgeries.

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“When I was in medical school, honestly, that was never a thing; people didn’t talk about blood conservation,” DiBardino said. “You just used blood because that’s what you did. And that has changed.”

Today, for example, surgeons understand that one unit of blood often works as well as two and that excessive blood from donors can result in transfusion-related complications and even deaths. As a result, HCMC has reduced the use of donated red blood cells by 32 percent since 2009. Other Twin Cities hospitals have reduced their use of blood products as well.

HCMC has taken the approach a step further through its Bloodless Surgery and Medicine Program, including a firewall in its computerized medical records system that prevents doctors from ordering donor blood products once patients have refused them.

The computer system gives doctors alternatives, such as medications that stimulate more blood production in the body, which they can consider even when preparing for emergency surgeries, said Dr. Jed Gorlin, who directs transfusion medicine at HCMC and is the medical director for Memorial Blood Centers, a regional donor agency.

“In the heat of battle, you won’t remember all of those,” Gorlin said, “so it’s a checklist to go through all of that stuff.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ objection to receiving donor blood comes in part from interpretations of the Bible, including a passage in Acts that calls on people to “abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.”

Practical interpretations vary somewhat, Gorlin said. Some members of the religion accept the experimental use of a substitute made from cow’s blood, while others refuse it. A few object to the use of a machine that recycles a patient’s own blood once it has exited the body. But almost all reject transfusions of red blood cells from donors.

Anderson, 66, has walked hundreds of miles visiting homes in southwest Minneapolis to teach his religion. He carried a medical directive with him for just such emergencies.

Then, driving from his home in Robbinsdale to his Kingdom Hall on Sept. 8, the minister knew something was wrong.

“All the way there, I had pain and it wouldn’t go away, and it wouldn’t go away and it wouldn’t go away,” he recalled.

Medics determined that he was having a heart attack and gave him aspirin and nitroglycerin pills, which had eased his pain by the time DiBardino sat with him to discuss his surgery: a triple bypass to reroute blood flow around blockages to the heart.

“There was no question ... transfusion would not be an option,” Anderson said in an interview from his hospital bed last week.

Hemoglobin levels

HCMC’s policy is to accommodate such objections for adult patients, when they are conscious and able to communicate their wishes, but not necessarily for parents acting on behalf of pediatric patients.

A 1944 child labor decision in Massachusetts still governs such cases, stating that “parents are free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow that they are free ... to make martyrs of their children.”

Once viewed harshly by the medical establishment, Jehovah’s Witnesses have taught doctors much about the body’s ability to survive surgeries without transfusions, Gorlin said. He gave a lecture in South Dakota this month titled “Management of blood: What we can learn from Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

A key measure is the patient’s hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs. Doctors once thought a hemoglobin measure of 10 grams per deciliter was the key threshold at which patients needed a transfusion. Now, they have found that patients are just as likely to survive if their levels drop to seven.

In one local case, a woman who hemorrhaged after childbirth survived despite her hemoglobin dropping to 2.3.

“Nobody really knows for any given person how much blood loss they’ll tolerate,” DiBardino said. “You just have to kind of put your faith into it.”

‘Every red blood cell matters’

Still, the odds of surviving the triple bypass that Anderson underwent are substantially lower without transfusions, DiBardino said.

As a result, surgeons make it a priority to conserve blood, from the initial step — severing a leg vein to serve as a bypass line around a clogged artery — to connecting that bypass line to the heart.

“It’s on your mind that every red blood cell matters for this guy,” DiBardino said. “You’re operating on the biggest structures filled with the most blood in the human body.”

At the end of the four-hour operation, Anderson’s hemoglobin level stood at seven. But with rest, iron pills and other medications, it rose to 12.

One week later, Anderson had fewer IV tubes and was standing and eating solid food. Two weeks later, he was back home.

He believes his clean living helped him survive the surgery and said he is eager to ease back into walking and his door-to-door ministry.

“It’s just a matter of pacing myself,” he said, “as I go.”

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-hospital-embraces-bloodless-surgery/394648141/

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      A severe heart defect
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      In the past, the problem has been solved by transfusing blood. For Lola, the Packard ChildrenÂ’s team took a different approach.
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    • By Jesus.defender
      BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS
      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
      blood
      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.
       
    • Guest Nicole
      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."
       
      http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/content/news/Safe-and-durable-surgery-option-for-Jehovahs-Witnesses--469802073.html
       

    • Guest Nicole
      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.
      https://en.annahar.com/article/720753-minnesota-couple-delivers-christmas-day-baby-on-side-of-road
    • Guest Nicole
      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.
      The Transplant
      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
       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.
       (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: “If I touch just his outer garments I shall get well.” 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: “Who touched my outer garments?” 31 But his disciples began to say to him: “You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and do you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 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: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be in good health from your grievous sickness.”
       Isn’t that a beautiful account? 
      Who healed her? 
      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: “Who touched my outer garments?” 31 But his disciples began to say to him: “You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and do you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 
      Who could see that woman working her way up the crowd to get to Jesus? 
      Who could appreciate all the pain she’d been through, the suffering she had been through? 
      Who could appreciate the quality of her faith? 
      Who allowed power to flow out of Jesus into that woman, so she’d be healed? 
      It had to have been Jehovah. 
      You see, Jesus knew something had happened that the apostles didn’t know. That’s why they said: “Well, why do you say: “Who touched me?” 
      ‘THIS is new, something happened’, thought Jesus. He felt ‘power’ go out of him. He knew something remarkable had happened 
      What does that tell you about Jehovah? 
      Isn’t that remarkable? 
      Now another question… 
      What’s her name? 
      Me neither… 
      The Bible doesn’t say. It doesn’t say. “Nobody. She was just nobody.” Was she? 
      Jehovah knew her. He took care of her.
      Do you see the point? 
      So don’t ever get into the feeling that: “Well, I’m nobody. What does God care about me?” 
      He DOES care! 
      And sometimes we’ll say: “Well, I’m so imperfect…” Well of course you are. Who isn’t? We all are. 
      We’re getting life by underserved kindness, brothers and sisters. We’re not getting it because we’re so righteous and so good. We do our best. Yes. But life is coming by God’s underserved kindness. Jehovah sees all of us and the beauty of it is…HE KNOWS! He understands us. He knows that we make mistakes and sometimes we get down on ourselves and beat ourselves, for sure. 
      You know what brother Franz used to say about that? 
      “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:
      “Stop praying and get going!”
      And what that means is: 
      Get up! Get going with your life! Serve Jehovah with rejoicing! 
      Don’t ever go through life lamenting and looking at things that have happened and “’Ooh this’, and ‘Oh my, that’”. 
      Jehovah knows… 
      Jesus paid the price that covers our past mistakes; it covers current mistakes and even in the future, as long as we’re genuine in serving God and doing our best…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. 
      Now, back to that woman… 
      She didn’t have the right to touch Jesus. That’s true, isn’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. 
      Now think of it… 
      Here’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? 
      Evidently, He pushes His own law aside, lets her touch Jesus…she becomes clean. He heals her. 
      Doesn’t that tell you something else about Jehovah? 
      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. 
      That’s a wonderful thing! That should really move us to really want to serve Jehovah and love doing His will. 
      There’s a scripture in 1 John that says: “Jehovah is greater than our heart.” 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. He’s greater than our heart. And we’re grateful for that because, He does, indeed, love every one of us. 
      And so, when you get discouraged and blue…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. – Bible Speaks 

    • Guest Nicole
      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."
      http://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/jehovahs-witness-dies-after-refusing-654766
    • Guest Nicole
      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
      http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/judge-rules-teen-jehovah-s-witness-will-get-blood-transfusions-1.3599245
    • 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.
       
      https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/the-fight-for-robots-in-canadas-operatingrooms/article35897282/?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com

    • Guest Nicole
      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.”
      Promising alternative
      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.
      Danger zone
      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.
      Staying alive
      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.”
      http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/health/2017/04/11/blood-replacement-bridge-life-upstate-man/100081856/
    • 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.
       
    • Guest Nicole
      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.
      http://www.lindaikejisblog.com/2017/02/photo-nigerian-woman-dies-after.html
       

    • By Bible Speaks
      How Can Blood Save Your Life?
      APPEARED IN
      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 
      CONSCIENCE?

      Download the Free Brochure at:http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/blood/how-can-blood-save-your-life/

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A two year-old boy with failing health can receive blood treatment despite the reluctance of his parents,  the High Court has ruled.
      In An NHS Foundation Trust v T, the youngster, referred to as ‘Child T’, had an abnormally low blood platelet (cell) count which doctors believed was related to problems with his bone marrow. As a result he had fallen ill and regularly required hospital treatment.
      A haematologist (doctor specialising in blood disorders) concluded that T would require medical treatment for the foreseeable future “in order to prevent a very serious deterioration in his health”.
      But the likely use of “blood products” in this treatment had caused a dilemma for T’s parents because they were practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses, a high profile Christian sect based in the United States which objects to blood transfusions and similar procedures on religious grounds.
      High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson described the parents as:
      “…fully committed to their son and to achieving the best outcome for him.”
      The clash between their religious beliefs and their desire to do their best for their son meant they could neither consent to the treatment nor oppose it, a position they explained in letters to the court. They asked for alternative forms of treatment to be considered.
      The NHS Trust looking after the boy applied for a legal declaration that treatment with blood products would be lawful despite the parents’ reluctance to consent.
      Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that:
      “I am in no doubt at all, having read the medical evidence and having considered the views of T’s parents, that it is overwhelmingly in T’s best interests for him to be able to receive this treatment in order for his health to be supported.”
      If the hospital were unable to administer the necessary treatment, there could be “very serious and possibly even fatal consequences as time went on”, he explained.
      In the circumstances it was necessary, the Judge said, for the court to make this decision rather than the parents. The resulting legal order would, however, specify that blood products would only be used “if there is no clinically appropriate alternative.”
      Read the full judgement here.
      Image by Howard Lake via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
      A two year-old boy with failing health can receive blood treatment despite the reluctance of his parents,  the High Court has ruled.
      In An NHS Foundation Trust v T, the youngster, referred to as ‘Child T’, had an abnormally low blood platelet (cell) count which doctors believed was related to problems with his bone marrow. As a result he had fallen ill and regularly required hospital treatment.
      A haematologist (doctor specialising in blood disorders) concluded that T would require medical treatment for the foreseeable future “in order to prevent a very serious deterioration in his health”.
      But the likely use of “blood products” in this treatment had caused a dilemma for T’s parents because they were practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses, a high profile Christian sect based in the United States which objects to blood transfusions and similar procedures on religious grounds.
      High Court Judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson described the parents as:
      “…fully committed to their son and to achieving the best outcome for him.”
      The clash between their religious beliefs and their desire to do their best for their son meant they could neither consent to the treatment nor oppose it, a position they explained in letters to the court. They asked for alternative forms of treatment to be considered.
      The NHS Trust looking after the boy applied for a legal declaration that treatment with blood products would be lawful despite the parents’ reluctance to consent.
      Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that:
      “I am in no doubt at all, having read the medical evidence and having considered the views of T’s parents, that it is overwhelmingly in T’s best interests for him to be able to receive this treatment in order for his health to be supported.”
      If the hospital were unable to administer the necessary treatment, there could be “very serious and possibly even fatal consequences as time went on”, he explained.
      In the circumstances it was necessary, the Judge said, for the court to make this decision rather than the parents. The resulting legal order would, however, specify that blood products would only be used “if there is no clinically appropriate alternative.”
       
      http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2016/12/02/toddler-can-receive-blood-treatment-high-court-rules/
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    • My donations are always by check, and written thereon is "for local needs". It's like paying taxes, some of which are used to make hydrogen bombs, and ICBMs. Not my problem. Jesus and the Apostles needed NONE of those things you mentioned, Arauna. If you are NOT inspired of God, as the GB admits they are not ( February 2017 Watchtower), you do need all of those things you mentioned. They are actually essential, as I would freely admit. .... and HEY!, I am just guessing about all of this ... as is everyone else. And Arauna .... did you get NOTHING out of the "Follow Jesus" Assemblies? Jesus set the example . We are either following that example, or ..... WE ARE NOT. The fact of the matter is that the GB DOES use the billions for their own purposes. but, I am, as you stated, "no one to criticize" ... as I do not follow Jesus' example either.  
    • Just one question for you:  when you go to meeting or field service you get to use many videos that were made to be easily accessible for all ages and peoples.  Do you have any clue what equipment costs?   Many poor congregations in Africa receive projectors from the organization because they cannot afford it. They do still print bibles and watchtowers etc. Do you think they must remain in the Jurassic age when it comes to using technology or will it be ok by you if they venture to use the newest tech to support the brothers? You have a budget to fulfill your responsibilities at home.....dont you?  Why not broaden out and see that they also need money to provide services in almost 1000 languages?   I think we need a little more gratitude and less criticism...  ALL you see is "billions" which you try to imply are used for their own purposes....  They are always in need of funds to make it stretch further..... because we do get all our spiritual needs fulfilled without cost.  You need not give any donation if you feel they waste it.  You can use all amenities without giving a dime!   
    • I strongly suspect that Jehovah's Holy Spirit is given in direct proportion to the amount of Spirit you actually need.... considering that Jesus Christ and the Apostles had NO Real Estate whatsoever, as part of their Organization, and only enough money for the days food, and to the best of my knowledge, just the clothes on their backs, they needed a lot ... and they received a lot of Holy Spirit. The Governing Body has billions of dollars in Real Estate, all over the world, and controls billions of dollars worth of money, to spend as they alone see fit. ... and dat's de fact, Jack. SOOooooo... they are on their own. ..... as are the great majority of us. I have SEEN Jehovah's Spirit build up and sustain several of the Anointed ones, who had no strength of resources of their own, and I suspect when it is needed ... actually NEEDED .. the rest of us "ground pounders" get it as well. That is just my guess of how it works ... no more. ...and I suspect it is INVERSELY proportional to how much you have naturally, WITHOUT Jehovah's intervention.       the formula for that is 1/x. There is probably a button on your pocket calculator for that.
    • Answer: Hatred borne of jealousy ... .... because the people  covering the Earth, outside of Adam and Eves' family, were NOT directly created beings of Jehovah, and did NOT have an opportunity to live forever ... ...and they KNEW that to be the case. That is why Cain was afraid that wherever he went in his enforced exile to wander the Earth, those evolved  humans would kill him. I do not "have Polaroids", but that idea solves a LOT of problems, including millions of tons of hard fossil evidence, all over the Earth, that only the willfully stupid would say means nothing ... and it solves the problem of who Cain married.
    • I am not so sure that Colossians speaking about coincidence.  I never thought this way, but questions comes after reading this Colossians verses. What sort of "created lordships or governments or authorities" already existed in the heavens and on earth, especially in time period before, in the moment and after Adam and Eve were created? Have some idea?  New born human society was made of two. I see, in Genesis, how Adam had sort of "power" over animals. Eve had free will and autonomy, just like Adam. Only after Cain's crime we see how he had big fear over his life because there was possibility, that some people (who they are, where they lived, what structure they created??) will kill him because of what  he has done.  I see here some issues. God didn't punished Cain (God is Lord, Government and Authority). Adam didn't punished Cain (Adam was his father, but he didn't show he had any power over his son). Some unknown people, living who knows where have some thoughts about killing Cain, because he murdered Abel. Why would they be interested in this Adam's family "business"? And why they were interested in "punishing" Cain?  What sort of structure, legislative (lordships or governments or authorities) existed inside this outside group, tribe, society, that show us how they had something what Adam and Eve family, tribe hadn't ?
    • My above comment was an illustration.  If you find it a joke you have not thought it through. It illustrates the need for "barriers" to drive on a road safely and also to drive through life. To not tread on each others toes we need barriers which are not crossed. When they are crossed society does not function properly. There are people here who hate JWs..... so do not take them seriously.
    • 2011, after the Nation realized they could NOT keep their doctor, they could NOT keep their health plan, and the $2500 every person was going to save on their Health Care, was going to cost them about $10,000 more, and if they did not buy it, the IRS would add a whopping fine to their Income Tax return. On a related note, in 1980, the Governing Body in considering the "signs in the heavens ..." actually considered declaring Sputnik to be the fulfillment of Bible Prophesy, Schroeder, Karl Klein and Grant Suiter proposed moving the beginning of the "generation" to the year 1957, to coincide with the 1957 Sputnik event,  and it almost became "new light", except a 66-2/3 majority vote was needed to adopt that policy, and one member of the Governing Body went to the restroom, and when he came back, he changed his vote, and it failed by one vote. In retrospect, perhaps the Brother should have held his water.    
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