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The most DISTURBING news about the BLOOD DOCTRINE, ever

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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.

 

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13 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Here is the most disturbing thing I learned. I was told that I shouldn't ask Gene Smalley about the blood doctrine

Shame. I'd rather hear Gene Smalley's view.

13 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Even though he doesn't believe in it, he still defended it because of all the persons who have died.

Actually, isn't this silly logic? Like saying even though I don't believe in war, I stilll defend it because of all the people who have died.

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1 hour ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Shame. I'd rather hear Gene Smalley's view.

I'm sure there is still time.

1 hour ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Actually, isn't this silly logic? Like saying even though I don't believe in war, I stilll defend it because of all the people who have died.

Maybe. I understood it in the sense that he doesn't want to minimize a person's sacrifice, or make it seem like it was all for nothing. A "good" U.S. politician won't speak out against the war in Afghanistan if he is speaking directly to "gold-star" parents of someone who died in that war.

But this information regarding Smalley could still be wrong. Perhaps it could be based on someone misunderstanding something he said. Perhaps it was over something he said in grief or anger.

It's also possible, I'm just guessing, that he believes very strongly in the previous stricter blood doctrine and regrets how far the "slippery slope" of "fractions" has taken us away from that original stance.

And I suppose then that it's also possible (based on the mention of the year 1992), that if he really had rejected the original stricter blood doctrine, that he realized that more lives could be saved if he at least promoted a "watering down" of that doctrine by suggesting that "fractions" could be allowed.

It's also true that, in spite of his influence on the progression of this doctrine, this is merely a personal view that shouldn't matter to any of us, and it is just his own conscience speaking. We don't live by the conscience of another person: "To his own master he stands or falls." - Romans 14:4.

 

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"To his own master he stands or falls." - Romans 14:4.

I am very surprised, JW Insider that you were surprised by the information you have .... you are a very observant and thoughtful person ... but everybody has blind spots ... especially if deep love for the whole Association of the Brotherhood is concerned ..... you overlook what you ALREADY KNOW with absolute certainty ... that the original stance was correct on blood .... it don't get any simpler than "Abstain from Blood" .... it's crystal clear ... absolutely unambiguous ... and conforms 100% with the theme of the sacredness of blood that permeates the ENTIRE Bible from beginning to end...... unless ... unless ...the Society's Lawyers and Accountants are running the Society ... which they are.

Theology is now defined by Spreadsheet.

That is reality 2017 in the WTB&TS.

As the money piles up on the left side of the scales .. it is ALWAYS counterbalanced by apostasy ... BECAUSE the Governing Body cannot be fired for apostasy if they institute it ... and perhaps you have never thought of it this way ... but it is ABSOLUTELY true ... EVERY "New Light" is apostatizing from what the Governing Body promoted YESTERDAY.

If you want to know WHY people do what they do ... follow the money!

I guarantee you GB  Bro. Samuel Herd does not want to go back to mowing lawns and gardening for some woman, for $12 a day, in faded and torn work clothes !

13 Fractions Permitted .jpg

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2 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I am very surprised, JW Insider that you were surprised by the information you have .... you are a very observant and thoughtful person ... but everybody has blind spots ... especially if deep love for the whole Association of the Brotherhood is concerned ..... you overlook what you ALREADY KNOW with absolute certainty ... that the original stance was correct on blood .... it don't get any simpler than "Abstain from Blood" .... it's crystal clear ... absolutely unambiguous ... and conforms 100% with the theme of the sacredness of blood that permeates the ENTIRE Bible from beginning to end...... unless ... unless ...the Society's Lawyers and Accountants are running the Society ... which they are.

I would not have been surprised if the Society had decided to move the entire doctrine to a "matter of conscience." I would have been surprised to see the Society go back to the original, stricter stance, even if it was clearer. My wife and I were willing to go along with the Society's "fraction" stance until nearly 2000. Actually, my wife, although agreeing that fractions were a matter of conscience, believed that she would remain true to the original stricter position as a matter of her own conscience. Of course, we discussed this before the birth of our three children (between 1986 and 1994).

My personal stance changed with respect to my children in the 1990's. For most of my life, I have held that associating with Jehovah's Witnesses requires that I be willing to accept doctrines publicly even if I disagree privately. Disagreeing publicly or personally can result in damage through causing divisions and stumbling. Of course, if someone asks directly, then I have no choice but to either explain my position or decline saying that I would rather not go into that issue right now. For most issues, this was easy. For example, I see a lot of problems remaining with our chronology doctrines, but they aren't important enough to make a fuss over. After all, a few people might have done better by going to college, choosing a more viable career, or saving up for retirement, and they might choose not to do so because of a "generation" doctrine. But that's not my business unless they ask for specific advice.

But the blood doctrine can be a matter of life and death (in this life, anyway). My wife and I decided that we can choose what we wish for our own life, and might make choices that could result in death, just so we don't create unnecessary issues for others. That's what all of us are taught, so I would not be expecting anything more of myself here than would be true of most other JWs. However, although my wife and I disagreed for a time, I decided that I would never impose my own conscience upon someone else, especially not my own children.

To me, respect for blood might mean "suicide" for myself, and this is my right. But if I truly respected blood, I would never make my own children (or grandchild) abstain from blood, assuming blood could mean an extension of their physical life. The reason is that I believe this would make me guilty of killing. In other words, I would be bloodguilty. The context of Acts 15 and 21 when compared with Galatians and 1 & 2 Corinthians is not so clear-cut that I would risk imposing death on someone. No one has given me the right to decide life and death for someone else.

Even if Acts/Galatians/Corinthians really were as clear cut as we have claimed, it would most likely be overridden by Jesus' words that we should disobey the law if it means life or healing for someone else.

(Matthew 12:1-12) . . .His disciples got hungry and started to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 At seeing this the Pharisees said to him: “Look! Your disciples are doing what it is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” 3 He said to them: “Have YOU not read what David did when he and the men with him got hungry? 4 How he entered into the house of God and they ate the loaves of presentation, something that it was not lawful for him to eat. . . 7 However, if YOU had understood what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice,’ YOU would not have condemned the guiltless ones. . . .So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11 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? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! . . .

When someone else's life or health is at stake, love tells me to err on the side of mercy, not sacrifice.

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On 3/8/2017 at 3:03 PM, JW Insider said:

Even though he doesn't believe in it, he still defended it because of all the persons who have died.

That is scary and has crossed my mind before. However, I still think that the scriptures are pretty clear when it comes to using blood. As we know blood holds special religious and spiritual significance in the Bible, in both the Hebrew and the Christian Greek scriptures. It was to be poured out onto the ground and "returned to Jehovah"  only in special circumstances was it to be used any other way (painted on door posts (Egypt), and sprinkled on the altar in presenting sacrifices). What would be interesting though is to find out the reasons for WHY he apparently no longer believes in it. He must have some good arguments right?

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Rather than being disturbed by one person's belief, it might be good to remember the basics in God’s word and strengthen ourselves to obey instead of looking for reasons to justify vacillation.

 

God’s requirement stated Noah of whom we are all descendents

 

 (Genesis 9:3, 4) Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. Just as I gave you the green vegetation, I give them all to you. 4 Only flesh with its life—its blood—you must not eat.

 

God’s requirement under the Law

 

(Leviticus 17:10-12) 10 “‘If any man of the house of Israel or any foreigner who is residing in your midst eats any sort of blood, I will certainly set my face against the one who is eating the blood, and I will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have given it on the altar for you to make atonement for yourselves, because it is the blood that makes atonement by means of the life in it. 12 That is why I have said to the Israelites: “None of you should eat blood, and no foreigner who is residing in your midst should eat blood.”

 

(1 Samuel 14:33) So it was reported to Saul: “Look! The people are sinning against Jehovah by eating meat with the blood.” At this he said: “You have acted faithlessly. Roll a large stone to me immediately.”

 

God’s requirement in the Christian dispensation

 

(Acts 15:20) but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.

 

(Acts 15:28, 29) For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!”

 

 Beware of Pretenses:  Doing one thing and teaching another.

 

11 However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Barʹna·bas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw that they were not walking in step with the truth of the good news, I said to Ceʹphas before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do and not as Jews do, how can you compel people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?

 

 

Make your own decisions on conscience matters – it is not necessary to be vocal about it

 

 (Romans 14:1-4) Welcome the man having weaknesses in his faith, but do not pass judgment on differing opinions. 2 One man has faith to eat everything, but the man who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating, and let the one not eating not judge the one eating, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Jehovah can make him stand.

 

We must obey the letter and the spirit behind the Christian law.

 

 We must not only abstain from blood but we must carry out our obligations to warn others about the coming destruction of the wicked.

 

(Acts 20:25-28)   25 “And now look! I know that none of you among whom I preached the Kingdom will ever see my face again. 26 So I call you to witness this very day that I am clean from the blood of all men, 27 for I have not held back from telling you all the counsel of God. 28 Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son.

 

David was not a Christian but we can learn from him.  He was serving the same God.

 

 (1 Chronicles 11:15-19) Three of the 30 headmen went down to the rock, to David at the cave of A·dulʹlam, while a Phi·lisʹtine army was camped in the Valley of Rephʹa·im. 16 David was then in the stronghold, and a garrison of the Phi·lisʹtines was in Bethʹle·hem. 17 Then David expressed his longing: “If only I could have a drink of the water from the cistern by the gate of Bethʹle·hem!” 18 At that the three forced their way into the camp of the Phi·lisʹtines and drew water from the cistern by the gate of Bethʹle·hem and brought it to David; but David refused to drink it and poured it out to Jehovah. 19 He said: “It is unthinkable on my part from the standpoint of my God to do this! Should I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives? For it was at the risk of their lives that they brought it.” So he refused to drink it. These are the things that his three mighty warriors did.

 

God is not going to change his personality or his requirements to match the level of difficulty we are contending with in this system, because his will is right. It is not God who is bringing the difficulty – it is Satan’s  system and our own imperfection. Jehovah will help us, and fortify us nevertheless. (Isaiah 41:10)

 

(Malachi 3:6) “For I am Jehovah; I do not change.

 

(James 1:17) 17 Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, coming down from the Father of the celestial lights, who does not vary or change like the shifting shadows.

 

(Romans 14:7, 8) . . .. 8 For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah.

 

 (Jeremiah 6:16) This is what Jehovah says: “Stand at the crossroads and see. Ask about the ancient roadways, Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, And find rest for yourselves.” But they say: “We will not walk in it.”

 

 

*** w07 3/15 p. 10 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of Jeremiah ***

6:16. Jehovah exhorts his rebellious people to pause, examine themselves, and find their way back to “the roadways” of their faithful ancestors. Should we not examine ourselves from time to time to see if we are really walking in the way Jehovah wants us to walk?

 

*** w12 11/15 pp. 6-7 “Teach Me to Do Your Will” ***

DAVID APPRECIATED THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE LAW

12 David’s appreciation for the principles reflected in the Law and his desire to live by them are also worthy of imitation. Consider what happened when David expressed his craving for “a drink of the water from the cistern of Bethlehem.” Three of David’s men forced their way into the city—then occupied by the Philistines—and brought back the water. However, “David did not consent to drink it, but poured it out to Jehovah.” Why? David explained: “It is unthinkable on my part, as regards my God, to do this! Is it the blood of these men that I should drink at the risk of their souls? For it was at the risk of their souls that they brought it.”—1 Chron. 11:15-19.

13 David knew from the Law that blood should be poured out to Jehovah and not eaten. He also understood why this should be done. David knew that “the soul of the flesh is in the blood.” However, this was water, not blood. Why did David refuse to drink it? He appreciated the principle behind the legal requirement. To David, the water was as precious as the blood of the three men. Therefore, it was unthinkable for him to drink the water. Instead of drinking it, he concluded that he should pour it out on the ground.—Lev. 17:11; Deut. 12:23, 24.

14 David tried to be completely absorbed in God’s law. He sang: “To do your will, O my God, I have delighted, and your law is within my inward parts.” (Ps. 40:8) David studied God’s law and meditated deeply on it. He trusted in the wisdom of Jehovah’s commandments. As a result, David was anxious to observe not only the letter but also the spirit of the Mosaic Law. When we study the Bible, we are wise to meditate on what we read and store it in our heart so that we can determine what pleases Jehovah in a particular case.

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6 hours ago, Anna said:

What would be interesting though is to find out the reasons for WHY he apparently no longer believes in it. He must have some good arguments right?

I think Melinda is rightly concerned that this does not turn into the kind of discussion that creates doubts that we are not ready to face, and I thought about that before posting in the first place, but made a decision to go ahead based on some of the very scriptural passages Melinda quoted. If I feel up to it, I might explain tonight or tomorrow, if I get a chance.

Hard to imagine him (Gene) diverging from the Society's view in any way. He was one of those who would not have varied from Watchtower doctrine by one iota back when the chronology doctrines were being questioned by many of his department colleagues. My close friends know my own feelings about chronology and the "doubled generation," but on the blood issue, the ones I contacted only knew that I had a couple questions about fractions. (Especially cryosupernatant. Although yesterday I just got the definitive answer to that one without contacting Brother Smalley.)

If I had to offer a best guess, I'd say the problem for Brother Smalley was exactly what JTR is showing in the cartoon above  (posted 3/9/17 9:55am EST). Remember, however, that this info about someone's personal beliefs is second-hand info, somewhere between advice and gossip. Even if true at one time, it might not be true at the moment. People change. But I wouldn't have put his name here if I didn't think this was an extremely serious matter that needs an explanation. Since this is really about life and death, then I think we all deserve more transparency. (Just as I think we need more transparency on the thinking that went into the doubled generation, child abuse procedures, etc.)

But I also have the impression that this now goes well beyond fractions and reaches another level (for Gene): that no one should have ever died unnecessarily over this doctrine. I can see how doubting fractions could lead to the latter view more easily than the latter view leading to the fractions doctrine. However, when I got the final answer to cryosupernatant an entirely new and very plausible explanation of his view just occurred to me. It's a bit complex to explain, however.

 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I'd say the problem for Brother Smalley was exactly what JTR is showing in the cartoon above 

Thought provoking though the cartoon is, it misleads in that no one takes all of the blood fractions at one time.

I still feel it is pointless and damaging to speculate on Bro Smalley's supposed view.

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      On the other hand, only two connected, coupled cells are needed to be called sacred, holy, person, life.  Interestingly and controversial.
    • 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 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
    • By Srecko Sostar
      Parts of original text is in black (copy/paste method). After initial problems, Bulgaria and JW made "friendly agreement" in 1997.  But JW members worldwide don't know about double talk that WT Legal Departments lawyers or lawyers from aside (pro hac vice) gave as promises. Promises was part of "theocratic warfare" (in translation = you can say one thing to "worldly people", but after that you can do as you planing in first place). Perhaps GB thinks how they covered this "loophole" in on eyes with such two sentence  in a Letter;
      "The agreements also include an acknowledgment that each individual has a freedom to choose the type of medical treatment he receives."
      "The terms of the agreement do not reflect the change in a doctrine of a Jehovah's Witnesses."  (this is said exactly for the reason they lied to Bulgarian government) 
      In other words; We can promise to Bulgarian government what we want but our members must not know that.
      I will stressed two things. 
      First deceiving came from WT JW representatives was about blood issue. As you see below, they promise how no religious sanctions exist for those JW members who want to accept blood transfusion. We all know how such claim is not truth. Taking blood  transfusion is, according to WT interpretation, violation of Bible command and according to WT publications is a sin. Every sin inside JW congregation must go to elders, go to investigation process and they will decide what to do with transgressor. If such member who took blood show no repent for that act, will be put in process for judicial committee with good chance to dfd.  Now, please go to the Letter from Brooklyn WT and see how they not announced to JW public/member about this "amicable settlement" as they called it. Once again, sentence quoted this: "The agreements also include an acknowledgment that each individual has a freedom to choose the type of medical treatment he receives."
      Second deceiving is about children as members of WT company (softly way is to said, members of congregation). According to WT lawyers children cannot become members, but we all know what looks like reality in JW congregations and how many minors are  baptised and thus are members of WT Company.
      To JW in Bulgaria and in the rest of the world Letter not told  "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".  
      Application No. 28626/95 by Khristiansko Sdruzhenie "Svideteli na Iehova"  (Christian Association Jehovah's Witnesses) against Bulgaria
       "In respect of the refusal of blood transfusion, the applicant association submits that while this is part of the religious doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses, its acceptance depends on the personal choice of the individual concerned.  There are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah's Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion." 
      "The Government submit, firstly, that the applicant association's statute did not require a minimum age for membership and that children have been participating in its religious activities without the consent of their parents.  
       As regards the alleged unlawful activities of Jehovah's Witnesses with children the applicant association submits that children cannot  become members of the association but only participate, together with their parents, in the religious activities of the community."  
      links: http://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home&c=
       https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{"itemid":["001-3808"]}
                  https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{"appno":["28626/95"]}
       

    • 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
    • By Bible Speaks
      QUEBEC, CANADA
      A judge orders a 14-Year-old witness to be baptized with blood.
      A judge from Quebec has decided that a 14-Year-old Jehovah's witness who has cancer must undergo blood transfusions, despite his express desire not to receive them.
      The Adolescent, who is not named, learned in June that she has hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare form of cancer affecting white blood cells. He has an excellent survival rate, if it's early.
      Treatment involves chemotherapy, which often requires blood transfusions. But as Jehovah's witness, the faith of the girl states that it is against God's desires to consume or be transfused with any blood.
      The girl, who had just turned 14 at the time of her diagnosis, refused to accept any transfusion.
      Under the québec law, children under the age of 14 may reject certain health services. However, if the parents of the child or a hospital want to administer these services, they may request the permission of a judge.
      In his decision issued earlier this month, judge lukasz granosik noted that the girl had embraced his religion at an early age and was baptized at 12 years of his own agreement.
      McGill University Health Center, where the girl was being treated, argued that the girl was not mature enough to make those decisions and was under the pressure of her parents to refuse transfusions.
      In his judgement, granosik noted that the girl was brilliant and expressive, but also said he was talking about death "almost with resignation".
      Noting that the law is designed to protect children even from themselves, he ordered the girl to submit to any blood transfusion necessary to save his life
      The girl's Hematologist-oncologist says that the girl's prognosis with full treatment is excellent, with 97 percent of recovery possibilities.
      The hospital has promised to use blood transfusions only if the child's life is in danger, and use other methods to avoid transfusions when possible.
      No update on the current adolescent health status is known.
      http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/quebec-judge-orders-jehovah-s-witness-14-to-undergo-blood-transfusions-1.3599486

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Rebecca Lumley
      May 25 2017 7:38 PM
       
      A man who almost died after refusing a blood transfusion has hit out at the “harmful” practices in the Jehovah’s Witness religion that prohibited him from doing so.
      Phil Dunne was a devoted Jehovah’s Witness five years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer and told he would die if he did not receive a blood transfusion to negate internal bleeding caused by a tumour in his stomach.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses are prohibited from receiving blood transfusions “even in matters of life and death” and report a worldwide following of 8.3 million people.
      Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline, Mr Dunne described how he was willing to die rather than go against his religion’s teachings.
      He said: “I had my father in law at the time write out a will for me because I was too weak in bed. I gave him all the instructions on what to do and I pretty much prepared myself to die.”
      Mr Dunne, who is originally from Co Wicklow and grew up in the US, was an active member of his religion at the time and had been attending Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings since the age of seven.
      He said he spent four days in hospital before doctors could think of an alternate way to treat him that did not involve a transfusion.
      He said: “I think they were hoping that I would just break down and take a transfusion eventually.
      “They decided to try very intense, targeted radiation to try and shrink the tumour so rapidly that they’d be able to stop the bleeding and then I’d be able to do chemotherapy to actually control the cancer once they’d stabilised me.”
      Mr Dunne said doctors regarded this as a “last ditch” solution, but the procedure proved successful and he has been cancer-free since.
      The experience led Mr Dunne to re-evaluate his involvement with the religion.
      He recounted: “Everyone around me was so proud of me and I became the shining example of faith and that was kind of weird because on the inside I was really feeling conflicted.
      “It kind of feels like you stepped out onto the street and somebody pulls you back just before a bus hits you. I’m just sitting there wondering if I had died for no reason back then, would I have really believed in the teaching?”
      Mr Dunne gradually became disillusioned in his faith and after two years left the religion completely. This resulted in the breakdown of his marriage and led him to move away from the area in which he had lived.
      He said: “It got to a point where I couldn’t live with the hypocrisy, preaching about something I didn’t believe in.
      “They make you really terrified of telling anyone you have doubts or anything like that, so I hid it for a long time and because of that I was breaking down, I was acting terribly and I really wasn’t doing well and that was affecting my marriage negatively.”
      When someone chooses to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses they are as good as “excommunicated”, according to Mr Dunne.
      “They can officially shun you, they call it dis-fellowshipping. It’s basically the same as excommunication. So no-one is supposed to talk to you.
      “You’re not even meant to say hi if you see them on the street. If people find out that you’ve disassociated yourself they assume that you’re what they call an apostate. You’re what they describe as a mentally diseased person.”
      Mr Dunne said that while he has “nothing against individual Jehovah’s Witnesses”, he believes their teachings “can be harmful.”
      He said: “People need to be aware of the dangers involved in any organisation.”
      http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/man-who-almost-died-after-refusing-blood-transfusion-hits-out-at-harmful-jehovahs-witness-teachings-35756799.html

      (Stock image)
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Jehovah’s Witnesses break the law forbidding “extremism” when its members refuse blood transfusions, Russia’s Justice Ministry said Thursday at a Supreme Court hearing on the question of banning the religious group in the country. The ministry added that if the organization is outlawed, its members could be prosecuted individually for extremism.
      The Justice Ministry last month suspended the organization’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, alleging that its activities “violate Russia’s law on combating extremism." The country’s Supreme Court Wednesday began hearing a case that could outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has 175,000 members and 395 branches across the country, as an extremist organization.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible prohibits the ingesting of blood and so refuse to allow blood transfusions or donations. At a session of the Supreme Court Thursday, a spokesperson for the Justice Ministry argued that the stance meant the organization violated the anti-extremism law that was passed following Russia’s second war in Chechnya in 1999 and 2000 and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
      “Checks have found that the organization is in breach of the law on resistance to extremism,” she said, according to Russian news agency TASS. “In particular, the organization’s religious literature forbids blood transfusion for its members in defiance of the doctors’ recommendation.”
      The group had been warned in March 2016 that it could be banned if further evidence of alleged extremism was found in the following 12 months.
      “The religious organization Jehovah’s Witnesses has been repeatedly warned by courts of law, but it has taken no required measures to eliminate the violations,” the Justice Ministry spokeswoman said.
      A representative for the ministry asserted that the Jehovah’s Witnesses promoted the idea of their exceptionalism and supremacy over other religions, which similarly violated anti-extremism legislation.
      The Supreme Court dismissed a counterclaimfrom the Jehovah’s Witnesses that its members were victims of repression.
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses have strongly denied the accusations against it, arguing that “extremism is profoundly alien to the Bible-based beliefs and morality” of members of the faith.
      The federal United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said Wednesday that the Justice Ministry’s move “reflects the Russian government’s tendency to view all independent religious activity as a threat to its control and the country’s political stability.”
      http://www.newsweek.com/russia-jehovahs-witnesses-ban-case-580227
    • By Kurt
      February 22, 2017 
      Blood transfusions are a common and often lifesaving procedure. However, some groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, forbid blood transfusions on religious grounds. Recently, the Royal College of Surgeons issued new guidelines on what to do when a person rejects a transfusion based on religious belief. However, these guidelines need further clarification to make it easier for surgeons to act fully in line with developments in English law when it comes to children.
      In recent years, there has been a move away from paternalistic medicine, where the doctor always knows best, and a move towards “shared-decision making” – a process that is enshrined in English law. This means that the patient is informed of all the risks and, together with the doctor, they make an informed decision.
      The issue of transfusion refusals is becoming increasingly important because the population of Jehovah’s Witnesses is growing, as well as people who refuse blood transfusions for reasons unrelated to religion. And the guidelines make a good attempt to give direction to surgeons who have to grapple with potentially life-threatening situations involving the refusal of blood transfusions using a patient-focused approach.
      Clarity on adults
      There is a very clear picture about how surgeons should manage adults who refuse such intervention, and there is further practical advice on how they should comply with legal, ethical and regulatory obligations. If these adults have capacity, then their wishes should be respected. If they do not have capacity, the surgeons must act in the patient’s best interests. In emergency situations, as well as surgeons acting in the patient’s best interests actions must also be in line with any advance decision by the patient – if a document is available detailing their wishes.
      Adult refusals will be honoured if sufficient documentation exists – even in emergencies. Shutterstock However, the guidelines are too clear cut in the way they depict the issue of refusals in the case of children. They don’t grapple sufficiently with the developments in the law that have happened since the Gillick case in 1982.
      The Gillick case was brought by Victoria Gillick in 1982 in attempt to prevent doctors from giving contraceptive advice and treatment to children under 16-years-old, without informing or receiving consent from their parents. It was eventually dismissed and the judge said that if a child had enough maturity, understanding and intelligence regarding their medical treatment – known as a “standard for capacity” – then they could make decisions on this without parental consent.
      While English law deals with the capacity of 16 to 17-year-old children under the Family Law Reform Act 1969, decisions about children under the age of 16 still rely heavily on the Gillick case and its subsequent developments.
      However, the standard for determining capacity has changed since Gillick and it is now pitched at a higher level – which is more difficult for children to reach because it can include, in some instances, a requirement to demonstrate an ability to understand the implications of the consequences of refusing treatment. This can become an almost unattainable standard. Additionally, case law dealing with children has now shifted much of its focus from respecting the autonomy of children to adopting an increasingly more paternal approach.
      Children – overruled
      In all cases that have been to the English courts, children who have refused transfusions have been found to lack the capacity to make these decisions. Therefore, the courts have consistently overruled the decisions of children.
      The guidelines state that overruling in the courts “has been the outcome of the majority of cases relating to the refusal of blood”. However, the guidelines should have avoided using the phrase “majority of cases”: no case in English law has upheld a child’s wish to refuse a blood transfusion because doing so has been seen, by the courts, to conflict with the child’s best interests.
      Therefore, satisfying the requirements of Gillick in terms of understanding and intelligence is not enough for children under 16. There is a strong likelihood that the wishes of children possessing these characteristics will still be overruled. This means that the standard of capacity under Gillick is not the only yardstick by which the validity of the decision of the child is measured. It is worth noting that cases in English law have also explained that even if a 16 to 17-year-old child has the relevant capacity, his or her wishes may also be overruled by the courts.
      Parents can overrule their child. Shutterstock Refusing a blood transfusion is, of course, a very serious decision to make, and so the guidelines are right to urge surgeons to be mindful of their obligations to patients. However they are not completely up to scratch in terms of how they tease out some nuanced developments in the law that have the potential to impact on children. More needs to be done to determine what decisions could be made in the courts.
      There are, indeed, flaws with the current approach in English law, but the guidelines must work within it and reflect the context of the law as it stands. The guidelines could, however, be more specific in the way in which they discuss the law, and particular focus could be given to legal developments post-Gillick in relation to children under 16.
      THE CONVERSATION
       
    • 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/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      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. 

      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.

      “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/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Highlights
      •Neurosurgical outcomes in patients who refuse blood products are similar to control patients when blood management protocols are followed
      •No significant differences in mortality or morbidity were identified
      •No significant differences in hospital length of stay or readmission rates were identified
      Abstract
      Background
      Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) are a Christian faith with > 1 million members in the United States who do not accept autologous blood transfusions. The optimal management of these patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures is not well defined. Here, we examined the feasibility and safety of JW undergoing neurosurgery in a blood management program.
      Study Design and Methods
      Sixty-eight JW patients including 23 males and 45 females (mean age 53 +/- 12 years) who underwent a variety of cranial (n=19) and spinal (n=49) neurosurgical procedures over a 5-year period were identified retrospectively and their hospital charts, anesthetic records and operative reports reviewed. A concurrent cohort of sex - age- and procedure-matched non-JW controls also was identified.
      Results
      Among JW patients a cell-saving system was used in 27 cases, with blood re-transfused in 13 cases. Lactated Ringers solution was used extensively intra-operatively; albumin was given to 15 patients. The median decrease in Hgb was 2.1 g/dL. One patient had a postoperative Hgb value < 7 g/dL. One patient returned to the operating room to revise a lumbar pedicle screw, and one patient had postoperative seizures. No cardiopulmonary complications, sepsis, pneumonia, or wound infection were observed. When compared to the matched control group, similar outcome results were observed. Blood loss and operative time also were similar in JW patients and controls.
      Conclusions
      Neurosurgical procedures in Jehovah's Witnesses are feasible, safe, and have similar outcomes to patients willing to accept transfusion when managed within a multidisciplinary blood management program.
      http://www.worldneurosurgery.org/article/S1878-8750(16)30854-3/abstract
    • By Jack Ryan
      Why would a God that values life so much he forbids having an abortion, even if there is a valid reason, rather have you die than submit to a live-saving blood transfusion, even if there is a valid reason?
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Donated blood at a bank in Indianapolis. The F.D.A. has recommended that all donated blood in the United States be screened for the Zika virus. CreditMichael Conroy/Associated Press
      The Food and Drug Administration on Friday took steps to safeguard the nation’s blood supply from the Zika virus, calling for all blood banks to screen donations for the infection even in states where the virus is not circulating.
      The recommendations are an acknowledgment that sexual transmission may facilitate the spread of Zika even in areas where mosquitoes carrying the virus are not present. Officials also want to prepare for the possibility that clusters of local infection will continue to pop up in parts of the United States for years to come.
      “There could be multiple outbreaks of Zika happening outside the known current ones in South Florida, but because we are not actively looking they could be happening silently,” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who applauded the F.D.A.’s move.
      Without federal funds, it is generally not possible for local health departments to conduct active surveillance for Zika virus in the blood or urine of patients with fever or rash, he added.
      “In some ways the inaction from Congress has forced the F.D.A. to adopt this position,” Dr. Hotez added. “They have no other choice.”
      The agency urged blood centers to use one of two experimental tests intended to detect active infections, called nucleic acid tests, before releasing donated blood for use in transfusions. As an alternative, banks may decontaminate plasma and platelets with so-called pathogen reduction technology.
      But the recommendations are likely to pose a significant challenge for some blood banks and for the third-party labs that perform much of the blood screening nationwide, some experts said.
      Eleven states must put the new safeguards into place within four weeks. They include Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Texas, which have many residents who travel to Zika-affected countries or are near an area that already has locally acquired mosquito-borne cases.
      Other states have 12 weeks to carry out the recommendations.
      “This is a bombshell, because this is extremely rapid introduction of a new test nationwide that’s almost unprecedented,” said Dr. Jeffrey McCullough, emeritus professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “To try to implement this, in four weeks, is really, really difficult.”
      Yet the new safeguards also are necessary, Dr. McCullough said. Under current guidelines, it is too difficult to identify infected donors by “trying to sort out risky donors by history of where they’ve been or what they’ve exposed to.”
      Nationwide, nearly 14 million units of whole blood and red blood cells are collected each year from about seven million donors. Every day, as many as 36,000 units of red blood cells are given to patients, along with 7,000 platelet units and 10,000 units of plasma. Consistent screening of the blood supply is an enormous task.
      There are more than 11,500 confirmed cases of Zika virus in states and territories, according to the C.D.C. Nearly 2,500 of them are people in the continental United States who traveled abroad where Zika-infected mosquitoes are circulating. More than 30 cases were acquired in Florida.
      Puerto Rico has been screening all blood donations since March. TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention in June found that asurprisingly high percentage of donors had signs of active infection with the Zika virus.
      The F.D.A. provisionally approved two screening tests for Zika in blood donations on an investigational basis in March and June respectively. The first is made by Roche Molecular Systems, and the second by a collaboration between Hologic Inc. and Grifols.
      Neither test is fully F.D.A approved yet, and the facilities using them are enrolled in a continuing study. As part of Roche’s investigation, four centralized testing labs that screen blood for multiple banks in the South have been “collecting and testing blood for weeks now,” said Tony Hardiman, who leads the blood screening operations at Roche.
      For the 11 states that need to be ready in a month, he said, “we are pretty much locked and loaded.”
      “Our focus now is what do we do for the rest of the country to bring them up in 12 weeks,” he added.
      Officials at Blood Systems, which operates blood banks in 24 states, said they will be able to test blood donations in California and some Southern states like Mississippi in a month. The company will then work on getting sites in the Rocky Mountain States operational, said Dr. Ralph R. Vassallo Jr., the chief medical and scientific officer.
      Creative Testing Solutions, a large blood donor testing lab, already is using both experimental Zika screening tests. In Tampa, the company has relied on Roche’s test since the Zika outbreaks began in Miami-Dade County.
      In its Dallas and Phoenix outposts, C.T.S. has installed two so-called Panther machines to be able to screen tubes of blood with the Hologic-Grifols test, in case Zika-infected mosquitoes arrive along the Gulf Coast.
      In light of Friday’s F.D.A. recommendations, officials said they will have to train more employees to use new tests and significantly scale up.
      “We test 35 percent of the blood supply, so in order to be able to do that in all states in 12 weeks, we are going to need additional pieces of equipment,” said Marc Pearce, a spokesman for C.T.S. — 12 more Panthers and one more machine that runs the Roche test.
      Asked on a conference call with reporters about funding the new safeguards, Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “I can’t speak to the cost of implementation at this time.”
      Hospitals may wind up paying more for each unit of blood because of additional screening costs, some experts said.
      “When hospitals hear this, they will be concerned that they could see a cost increase of up to $8 more per unit,” Dr. Vassallo said, which is roughly how much it costs to screen each unit for the Zika contamination.
      This month, after the first cases of local transmission in Miami were discovered, some blood banks near Zika hot zones in Florida began screening blood donations. According to Dr. Marks, one donation contaminated with the virus had been found in recent weeks in the state.
      The bag of contaminated blood was discarded. “The system worked correctly,” Dr. Marks said.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/science/all-donated-blood-in-us-will-be-tested-for-zika.html?_r=0
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      When preparing a patient for safe bloodless spine surgery, a comprehensive evaluation is recommended. This ensures “no surprises” in the operating room.
      In this book, the factors that govern blood loss and blood transfusion are discussed.
      This manuscript presents the comprehensive preparation of a patient for bloodless spine surgery,  techniques for diminishing blood loss in the operating room, postoperative considerations, and includes case reports of patients who have undergone surgery using the blood management methods outlined.
      Digital images and illustrations are incorporated throughout the book to show important concepts, and  a dictionary is provided to thoroughly explain the important factors in bloodless surgery.
      An effort was made to ensure that the information is provided for readers who come from a non-medical background, with adhering to the basics.
      Jehovah’s Witness: It is estimated that there are more than 2 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States. Followers of this religion believe that the Bible prohibits blood or blood product transfusion (Acts 15:28-29). Typically, patients of  this religion do not accept transfusions of whole blood, packed cells, white blood cells, platelets, or plasma or autotransfusion of predeposited blood.  Some witnesses may permit infusion of albumin, clotting factor solutions, or dextran or other plasma expanders and intraoperative autotransfusion, done under closed loop technique.
      Even though a transfusion may be necessary to save a patient’s life, the administration of blood and/or blood products in the face of refusal after informed consent can be legally considered a violation of a patient’s right to control what is done to his or her body. In the awake and otherwise competent adult, courts have ruled that physicians cannot be held liable if they comply with a patient’s directive and withhold life-saving blood administration following specific and detailed informed consent of the consequences of such an omission of treatment. The issue becomes diificult when patients are unconscious (most Jehovah’s witnesses carry cards informing medical personnel of their religious beliefs), or minors
      “Tweet this!” Bloodless Advice & Strategies For Jehovah’s Witnesses
      Jehovah’s witnesses suffer from herniated discs, spinal stenosis and require spine surgery, bloodless spine surgery, spinal decompression surgery, spinal fusion surgery, and revision spine surgery. These bloodless techniques are great for Jehovah’s Witnesses and for non-witnesses too.
      http://realspinesurgery.com/2016/08/05/fyi-bloodless-spine-surgery-jehovahs-witnesses/
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/cultural-psychiatry/blood-truth-and-decision-transfuse
    • By Ann O'Maly
      Sainsbury's apologises after a customer was told he could not have black pudding in his Full English breakfast because the Jehovah's Witness chef would not prepare it
      Alan MacKay told he could not enjoy black pudding at Nottingham store He was offered a full refund and instead made his own breakfast at home Supermarket giant said its chef had no issue serving bloodied sausage  Chef took object to dish as Jehovah's Witness believe blood is sacrosanct  By Alex Matthews For Mailonline
      Published: 09:16, 24 March 2016 | Updated: 15:56, 24 March 2016
       
      Sainsbury's has been forced to apologise after its Jehovah's Witness chef refused to serve a customer black pudding with his Full English breakfast.
      Alan MacKay was stunned when he was told he could not enjoy the staple, made up of animal fat, blood and oatmeal, with his meal at the branch in Arnold, Nottingham.
       
      After receiving his incomplete dish the former police officer was told the black pudding would not be served because it was against the religious beliefs of the chef to do so.
        Missing: This is the Full English Alan MacKay should have received while dining at Sainsbury's in Nottingham
      Jehovah’s Witness regard blood as sacrosanct and if an animal hasn’t been bled to their standards they won’t eat it. 
       
      Mr MacKay, who had popped into the store after dropping his wife off at work at 9am, said:  'I know it sounds trivial, but it's the principal behind it that's ridiculous.
      'If she refuses to cook black pudding because of her religion, what is she doing working in a kitchen that sells it? She shouldn't be employed if she won't cook the menu.
        'I was really looking forward to my black pudding. You get a good breakfast in there.
      'But when I went into the cafe to order my black pudding, like as I have done before, I went away hungry. I was really cheesed off.
      'I came home and had my breakfast at 11.30am. I had crumpets, a poached egg and beans. I didn't buy black pudding because it's quite fatty so I only have it once a week or so.
      'Sainsbury's does a wonderful black pudding, so that's why I was so disappointed. It's one of the few big stores that sells black pudding. Morrison's doesn't.'
         Mistake: A spokeswoman said Mr MacKay was forced to go without due to a mix up between the kitchen team
      Mr MacKay said he was 'cheesed off' when he was not served his full meal at this Sainsbury's cafe because it usually serves up 'wonderful black pudding'
      Mr MacKay was offered a refund by Sainsbury's who explained the error was down to a mix up between the kitchen team on duty.
      A spokeswoman said a member of staff had misunderstood that the chef had asked them to prepare the black pudding, not that black pudding could not be served.
      'We have apologised to the customer for the misunderstanding.' she added. 
      JEHOVAH'S WITNESS BELIEFS: APART FROM MAINSTREAM CHRISTIANITY
      Jehovah's Witnesses are a worldwide brotherhood amounting to over eight million members.
      Jehovah's say that as Jesus Christ did not limit his kingdom to a certain part of the world, they do not allow themselves to be attached to a country, ethnicity or political belief system.
      Members believe that the bible was inspired by God or 'Jehovah' and is completely historically accurate. As a result, if a theory clashes with the bible they believe it to be wrong.
      Jehovah's do believe in Jesus, but they think he died on a stake rather than a cross. This is because of the Greek word used for cross in the bible which translates to 'stake' or 'tree'.
      Members say that when someone dies their existence stops completely and as a result they do not believe in Hell. Their other reasoning for this is that God would not want to punish humans for eternity.
      Members do not accept blood transfusions because they believe God has forbidden this in the bible (In particular making reference Genesis 9:3-4 and Acts 15:19-21).
      Jehovah's say that God believes blood represents life, so out of respect and obedience they do not tamper with it.
      Source: Jehovah’s Witnesses

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3507433/Sainsbury-s-apologises-customer-told-not-black-pudding-English-breakfast-Jehovah-s-Witness-chef-not-prepare-it.html#ixzz43qzjk9F2 
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      UPDATE: We're good to go! Our film begins pre-production in March and goes to Camera in October!
      This is a short clip based on the concept of the upcoming film written by Patrick Chilvers in collaboration with Alex Riker, a former Jehovah's Witness.
      Blood [working title] is a feature film about a woman torn between deeply held beliefs and the risk of losing her daughter. Filled with captivating characters and set against a backdrop of the Jehovah's Witness culture, this drama poses interesting questions and looks at the place where religious ideals clash with human rights.
      For more information or to inquire about partnering with us for this project, please contact Alex at ariker4@yahoo.ca
      Producer: Alex Riker
      Writer: Patrick Chilvers
      Director: Jason Armstrong
      DoP: David Mun
      Prod. Company SKG films.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Iron overload is a potentially life-threatening consequence of multiple red-blood-cell transfusions. Here, we review factors affecting excess iron distribution and its damage to specific tissues, as well as mechanisms of oncogenesis by iron. Although consequences of transfusional iron overload are best described in thalassemia major and related inherited anemias, they are increasingly recognized in acquired conditions, such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Iron overload in MDS not only impacts on certain tissues, but may affect the clonal evolution of MDS through generation of reactive oxygen species. Iron overload may also influence hematopoietic-stem-cell-transplantation outcomes. Novel MRI methods for assessing body iron have impacted significantly on outcome in inherited anemias by allowing monitoring of iron burden and iron chelation therapy. This approach is increasingly being used in MDS and stem-cell-transplant procedures. Knowledge gained from managing transfusional iron overload in inherited anemias may be translated to general oncology, with potential for improved patient outcomes.
      Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
      Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26806144?platform=hootsuite
    • By admin
      Brazilian health authorities confirmed on Thursday a case of transmission of Zika through a transfusion of blood from a donor who had been infected with the mosquito-borne virus that is spreading rapidly through the Americas.
      The health department of Campinas, an industrial city near Sao Paulo, said a man with gunshot wounds became infected with Zika after multiple blood transfusions in April 2015. Officials said they determined that one of the people whose donated blood was used in the transfusion had been infected with Zika.
      Zika is usually contracted via mosquito bites, so transmission of the illness through blood transfusions adds another concern to efforts to contain the outbreak. Some countries have tightened procedures for blood donations, to protect blood supplies.
      Zika has been reported in 30 countries since it first appeared in the Americas last year in Brazil, where it has been linked to thousands of babies being born with microcephaly. This is a condition where infants have abnormally small heads and often have underdeveloped brains.
      Campinas health officials said the donor of the contaminated blood developed symptoms afterwards that were mistaken for dengue, a virus borne by the same mosquito that transmits Zika. A blood test that showed he had Zika was not completed until Jan. 28 this year.
      The blood center at the University of Campinas said a second person who donated blood in May developed symptoms and tested positive for Zika, though the recipient of the contaminated blood has not developed symptoms of the virus.
      Brazil's Health Ministry said the first recipient died of his wounds and not from the Zika infection. It said it was reinforcing instructions to blood banks that people infected with Zika or dengue not be permitted to donate blood for 30 days after full recovery from the active stage of Zika infection.
      On Tuesday, the American Red Cross urged prospective donors who have visited Zika outbreak zones to wait at least 28 days before giving blood, but said the risk of transmitting the virus through blood donations was "extremely" low in the continental United States. The agency asked donors who give blood and subsequently develop symptoms consistent with Zika within 14 days to notify the Red Cross so the product can be quarantined.
      Also causing concern is the possibility of transmission through sexual contact. Health officials in Texas reported on Tuesday that a person in Dallas became infected after having sex with another person who had traveled in Venezuela, where the virus is circulating.
      (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Daniel Flynn, Will Dunham and Frances Kerry)
      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-zika-brazil-blood-idUSKCN0VD22N?utm_source=twitter
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    • Just as the WT knows how to work the global market by investing their money in hedge funds, they know how to manipulate a developing mind with persuasion techniques.  I perceive the downplay of higher education as a safeguard from losing members.  While the organization warns these young ones of Satan’s worldly traps when pursuing higher education, in reality it appears to me that it’s all about keeping JWs captive to the organization’s “empty philosophy”.  Col 2:8  Knowing how the young mind develops sheds light on the org's use of persistent warnings not to pursue higher education.  “Developmental Tasks and Attributes of Late Adolescence/Young Adulthood (Ages 18-24 years) http://www.amchp.org/programsandtopics/AdolescentHealth/projects/Documents/SAHRC AYADevelopment LateAdolescentYoungAdulthood.pdf This is a time of life when very little is normative. It is a period of frequent change and exploration that covers many aspects of their life: home, family, work, school, resources, and role. Develop and apply abstract thinking skills Adolescents experience significant changes in their capacity to think. In changing from concrete to abstract thought they are increasingly able to understand and grapple with abstract ideas, think about possibilities, think ahead, think about thinking, and “put themselves in another person’s shoes.” In general, this changes their ability to think about themselves, others and the world around them. This is a gradual process that spans adolescence and young adulthood. For example, early in the process youth are limited in their ability to hold more than one point of view – understanding something from one perspective but not another. ·        Capacity for abstract thought becomes established; can think abstractly and hypothetically; can discern the underlying principles and apply them to new situations; and can think about the future, considering many possibilities and logical outcomes of possible events. ·       Able to hold and manipulate clusters of abstract ideas and create systems for organizing abstract thoughts. ·       Greater ability to consider different points of view at the same time can result in increased empathy and concern for others, and new interest in societal issues for many. It also allows youth to better value the diversity of people (and their perspectives) and appreciate that there may be many right answers to a problem. Adopt A Personal Value System Adolescents develop a more complex understanding of moral behavior and underlying principles of justice. They question and assess beliefs from childhood and restructure these beliefs into a personal ideology (e.g. more personally meaningful values, religious views, and belief systems to guide decisions and behavior). ·        Decisions and values are less influenced by peers. ·       Able to see multiple viewpoints, value the diversity of people and perspectives and appreciate that there can be many right answers to a problem. ·        Identify values and viewpoints that work for oneself while respecting viewpoints/values of others I would imagine there is a high risk of young JWs entering a college or university after high school, with the same age group, and going through the same mental development stages ...leaving the Watchtower altogether.  
    • John 17:14-16 The comments in the study Bible on John 17:15 say: "Jehovah...could even separate his people physically from the rest of the world and place them in a a safe and peaceful environment. However, regarding his disciples, Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father: "I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one." Jehovah has chosen not to take us "out of the world." Rather, it is his will that we live among the general population of this world in order to proclaim his message of hope and comfort to others. (Rom. 10:13-15) But, as Jesus implied in his prayer, by living in this world, we are exposed to "the wicked one." Disobedient mankind and wicked spirit forces cause much pain and anguish, and Christians are not immune to distress." 1 Peter 5:9 So while we recognize we have to live in a world under Satan's control, it doesn't mean we should go out of our way to expose ourselves to potentially dangerous influences and bad association. There are of course necessary things we must do to survive and provide for our families - such as employment, which as you correctly pointed out, can mean rubbing shoulders with worldly people and attitudes whatever level of education we choose. But even on that, we are selective so as to minimize our exposure to potentially harmful influences. It may include being selective as to what type of work we are willing to accept, or whom we work with/for. Many caring parents know they can't completely eliminate bad influences at school for instance (since kids have to have some type of schooling and it is beneficial), but they may choose to be selective as to whom they allow their kids to spend their extra time with. So living in the world, we recognize there are certain things we must do whether we like it or not. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise caution and be selective as to what we choose to involve ourselves in. I could rationalize that I need a job to support myself and my family - a legitimate and necessary need,  but would I choose to work for the mafia to do so? No, I would be selective and cautious.  I agree with you. I often have the same problem on both phone and tablet. Fortunately I've recently discovered that we can edit and make corrections. I wish I had known that earlier before "auto-correct" ran roughshod over my posts.  As for my level of education, I provide as little information as possible to identify me. As a "whistleblower" on some things, there would be an opportunity for "blowback" from men in authority who have something to hide. I don't even post what country I'm from. So when I have written that at times there are men in authority who act as wickedly as people in the world and hide behind their authority, I know exactly what I'm talking about. That's why I don't buy into the "Jesus is in full control of everything..." stuff, because I know some of the stuff that goes on is about as unChristlike as you can get. He doesn't cause/control it just because he allows it for a time. I also question some of the decisions men (not Jesus) have made when I am in possession of all the facts - especially when removal or disfellowshipping has as it's objective to silence whistleblowers who expose their corruption. I have never been DF'd, but I know if they thought I was spilling the beens on them, that's exactly what would happen. So I don't mention any names either that would tip them off. Just letting people know that you can still maintain your faith and relationship with God despite the evil that (some) men do - and get away with for now.  Sorry if this rant is off topic.
    • Perhaps it can be as you said. And perhaps this can be true with many other similar "stories".   What I see as important in this "story", is fine moral message and inspirational, motivating injection that in this materialistic and superficial everyday life offers a spiritual upgrade.... said with different order of words. 
    • Some do. Like the Rainbow Mountains, and some of the Caucasus (Svaneti) look more like rocky Alps. I'd love to see those mountains, and I planned to visit Georgia within two or three years if possible. I've never been to Georgia, the closest so far has been to northern Turkey (Ankara, Zonguldak, Samsun). If Jehovah did not intervene, and nature was left to itself, moving the tectonic plates would have caused thousands of violent aftershocks and tsunamis for quite some time after the floodwaters settled. Even on water, during the Flood, the Ark would have to be given divine protection. Settling on a high mountain might protect from tsunamis but not the quakes. I'd like to look up some info on these. Where should I start?
    • The story has also been told that it was a "black boy" who offered him the newspaper for free: https://mylife-chapter.blogspot.com/2017/08/who-is-richer-than-bill-gates.html When my wife was a school principal, teachers were always putting up posters about, for example, the "Ten Things Bill Gates Says about School" or "What Bill Gates Said Were the Most Important Things in Life" etc. He may have told a story like this, but usually people create such stories so that their own moral lesson comes across with more authority.  
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