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  1. 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.
  2. 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"]} Â
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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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