Jehovah's Witnesses and the War on Blood
In Leviticus 17:10-14 and Genesis 9:4, God forbids His people
to eat or drink any manner of blood. Using these verses as
prooftexts, Jehovah's Witnesses have developed a doctrine forbidding
any Witness from accepting a blood transfusion.
This practice has resulted in the deaths of many Witnesses,
including the children of Witnesses. Due to their stand on this issue, they have naturally faced
great opposition, especially from the medical profession. However,
within the past two years, they have developed a new strategy
to deal with the tremendous opposition.
This strategy is outlined in a recent tape distributed to elders
in the Kingdom Halls. This tape was made available at the recent
"Witnesses Free in Christ" convention in Brandon, Florida,
by a Witness who had recently left the organization. In this tape, the speaker discusses the role of a special department
established in January, 1988, at the Watchtower headquarters
in Brooklyn, New York. Known as Hospital Information Services,
this department was established to build a closer working relationship
between the Watchtower and the medical profession as well as
to provide information and assistance to Witnesses facing difficult
medical situations where blood transfusions are recommended.
Since its inception, the department has compiled a list of over
5,000 cooperating doctors from nine major medical specialties
and has established 99 hospital committees in the major medical
centers throughout the nation. The purpose of the committees is to have Witnesses who are trained
in how to approach doctors and hospitals concerning the blood
issue. Through the use of the latest research in bloodless surgery
and other techniques not requiring the use of blood, these
committee members strive to build strong working relationships
Whereas this strategy may seem harmless on the surface, it is
opening numerous doors for the Witnesses in proselyting those
in the medical profession thus making their stand seem much
more legitimate. Unfortunately, the real issue is ignored.
While there might be health benefits to bloodless surgery and
medical authorities to support their cause, those are not the
reasons behind the refusal to accept blood transfusions. The reason is based on a faulty understanding of Scripture given
by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society which is blindly
accepted by Witnesses. As one studies the Biblical references
indepth, one discovers that the verses refer to a dietary law
and do not even hint that it is to be applied to transfusions.
Besides that, these commands were given thousands of years
before transfusions were even invented!
Thus, the Witnesses continue waging "war," fighting
for their rights to refuse blood transfusions: a war based
on a policy resulting in unnecessary deaths which could be
reversed overnight by an elite group of men in Brooklyn known
as the Governing Body.