Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Watchtower Comments" Discusses the Jehovah's Witness Confusing Blood Fraction Policy

It is well known that Jehovah's Witnesses don't accept blood transfusions, even if their lives are at risk. What many people don't realise is that this blood policy is much more complex than it appears. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to store their own blood for later use. They cite the Old Testament practice of pouring blood on the ground to claim that blood should not be stored for later reuse, even if it is your own blood. However, Jehovah's Witnesses now allow certain blood fractions that come from stored blood. Furthermore, Jehovah's Witnesses won't donate blood, but many will accept blood fractions (The Watchtower society leaves it up to their conscience. Some will still refuse, just to play it "safe".) that come from the donated blood of others. The following video discusses this confusing policy and provides questions that can be asked of Jehovah's Witnesses when they come to your door.

See more of these videos at the Watchtower Comments Website.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Does a Fourteen Year Old Have a Right to Die by Refusing Blood Transfusions?

This case about a fourteen year old boy dieing after refusing blood transfusions has received a lot of news coverage. It raises some important ethical questions. It has also caused many to question this doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses and the brutal way they enforce it.

Does a Fourteen Year Old Have the Right to Die?

See also this article about the case.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Grandmother Mourns a Death Caused by Refusing Blood Transfusions

Is a boy of fourteen years mature enough to make an informed decision to die for his religious beliefs? Its not a hypothetical question. This newspaper article in the Saint Petersburg Times discusses such a situation.

The Grandma of Dennis wants people to know the role that Jehovah's Witnesses played in her grandson's death after he refused blood transfusions. I support the right of people to live by and even die for their beliefs. However, there are numerous factors in this case that indicate that he wasn't permitted to make an informed choice.

As a Jehovah's Witness, Dennis would have been expected to spend much time in their indoctrination program. This includes five meetings a week, preparation for those meetings, assemblies, conventions, personal study and reading their numerous publications. He would also be asked to limit association with nonbelievers, shun former members and avoid any critical information about his religion. It is hard to support the idea that a young person, whose brain is still developing, could reasonably make informed decisions in this environment.

If he accepted a blood transfusion to save his life, he would have likely been expelled from the religion and completely shunned by its members. This is a severe punishment and ordeal for a young person, even if he wasn't facing a life threatening illness. Disfellowshipping results in the forced loss of your support network and friends. It's a brutal form of punishment and intimidation. I would say it should be criminal for an organisation like the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses to intimidate minors with this kind of punishment.

There has been much talk about whether the judge made the correct decision in not requiring blood transfusions for this individual. It's my opinion that he made the wrong decision, but I'm respectful of his reluctance to interfere with an individual's freedom of choice. I will not make that kind of allowance for the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses, who use brutal intimidation and mind control techniques to cause their followers to sacrifice their lives for an immoral doctrine. Olga Lindberg believes they are murderers and I agree.

Please also see this video about the case.

You may also want to visit my other blog about shunning among Jehovah's Witnesses.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Children, Blood Transfusions and The Canadian Courts

I support the right of competent adults to die for their beliefs. I don't believe that parents have the right to sacrifice the lives of their children for these beliefs. As a society, we reject the types of brutal child sacrifices that were common in times past. It makes little difference that the advocates of this type of ritual may have been sincere in their beliefs. Society must protect the lives of the young and innocent.

The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses may seem more benign, but they can be just as deadly. They are also willing to let their children die because of the religious symbolism of blood. This poses great moral dilemmas for the courts who sometimes feel compelled to intervene to protect innocent children.

Recently, this issue has been getting a lot of attention in Canada, where a set of premature sextuplets were born into a Jehovah's Witness family and given blood transfusions. The Winnipeg Free Press has an interesting article on this ongoing legal challenge.

See also this video about the sextuplets.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

2007-A Bloody Year for Jehovah's Witnesses

Here are just a few news stories about Jehovah's Witnesses refusing blood transfusions in 2007.

2007-A Bloody Year for Jehovah's Witnesses

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Post

Jehovah's Witnesses have a strict and confusing policy about taking blood transfusions. Many have died as a result. I firmly support the right of individuals to make personal decisions about their medical care. However, I believe that the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses has misrepresented Biblical texts on blood and the medical benefits and dangers of blood transfusions. They also threaten their members with extreme, ritualised shunning if they accept a blood transfusion, even if their life is in danger.

In my opinion, the current blood policy of Jehovah's Witnesses is immoral, unscriptural and deadly. I feel compelled to speak out and hope this blog will raise awareness of this tragic situation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

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