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Why do Jehovah's Witnesses Not Accept Blood Transfusions?

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Lela is a Certified Medical Laboratory Scientist (ASCP) with 38 years of experience in the medical industry and blood banking.

A True Story....

Watching two parents torn over saving the life of their baby or letting it die for want of a blood transfusion was one of the most horrible experiences of my career as a blood banker. They chose death for that baby rather than an exchange transfusion of blood which would have saved its life. We all stood there watching the baby in its death throes. I was acting as a legal representative as our hospital had tried desperately to get an injunction to treat the baby without the parent’s permission. The judge actually granted the injunction, but it was too late. The baby died a horrible death. The baby had no say so about it.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have an inordinate amount of faith in the bible regarding the use of blood and blood products. The use of blood products is deemed to be against God’s will and will condemn the recipient to "de-fellowship" and ostracism. Somewhere in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Acts, there are some statements that prohibit the use of blood as interpreted by JW’s. I can well imagine that 3,000 years ago, blood was certainly not safe, it wasn’t touted for transfusions and it may have been used by assorted groups for nefarious reasons. Who knows?

I have been an Immunohematologist (Blood Banker/Transfusion Services) for over 34 years. I am considered an expert in my field and have had to refuse many a job offer due to the shortage of medical laboratory scientists with experience in blood banking. I no longer respect the JW’s right to refuse blood. And I am appalled at the ignorance of it. Religion is a good thing for most people, but for babies and children, it can be deadly.

Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be Christians. Their cult, er, I mean sect, has some really strange ideas on how to interpret the whole Bible. That’s their right, if they are adults. But for children and children indoctrinated into this sect, it’s just downright insane. The science of blood transfusions has, in just the last 100 years, become safe and life-saving. The cellular components of blood do not contain the “soul” or "life force" anymore than your lymphatic system or your eyeball does. It's not anymore "sacred" than spit either. The JW’s have moderated their stance a bit and have admitted that JW’s do indeed partake of modern transfusion services, especially when it comes to children and cancer. They prefer fractionated components over whole blood and some of the components have been “approved” for use by JW’s.

Yet there are still ignorant, stubborn bible thumping elders that preach the ostracism of a Witness should they get a blood or blood product transfusion. There is just no placating them. Belief in the Bible is one thing, but to stand there and watch your own child die is tantamount to murder. Which as I understand it also against “God’s Laws”.

Jehovah Witness View on Blood

No Blood Transfusions!

No Blood Transfusions!

Conscientious agreement to accept blood products

Conscientious agreement to accept blood products

A Recent Hub on Darwin and Evolution...

Another hubber and historian, James A Watkins, recently published a hub regarding the classic battle between Creationists and those that think that the scientific method of proving evolution is a better model for the Origin of the Species that occupy our planet. He is in the creationist camp.

I, on the other hand, came to the conclusion that all life on this planet and perhaps even non-life is connected on a cellular level.

Just by looking at my daily work, I can see the genetic relationships between man and apes and monkeys and all other mammals. We are all related by genetics. I can put any mammal blood in my test tubes and find the genetic expression of a group and type and various other antigens and antibodies that belong to that animal. A great many are nearly identical to human blood even dogs and pigs. Genetic markers prove that we have genes in common with the apes and other creatures.

And just to throw this in - another legend from the Bible has God destroying most of mankind in a great flood. Why would they bother to save the animals if they didn't have "souls"?

Don't say for food, because many of those animals were forbidden for food in those days.

How far has evolution come?

Over the past 5.5 million earth years, evolution has really come a long way. But not far enough. Human thought processes are still in the dark ages and closed to new ways of thinking. Mankind will someday realize that religion is a faulty thought process and that time cannot come soon enough for me.

There are some open minded individuals in the world today called "atheists" or "agnostics". Fortunately, the number of people questioning the Bible and "God's" plan are growing exponentially. As the numbers grow, close minded thinking will be a thing of the past.

We will figure out how to live in harmony with our world, or we will experience extinction as another animal will dominate because man has destroyed himself. Grow up and act like adults people!

Simian Blood Groups

Two categories of blood groups, human-type and simian-type, have been found in apes and monkeys and can be tested by (the same) methods established for grouping human blood. Genetically, simian blood is quite similar to human blood and cross reactions and/or non-reactions are traceable. If you were in a land full of monkeys and Group O, Rh Negative monkey blood was available; it could theoretically save your life should you need an emergency blood transfusion. The reverse is also true. Group O, Rh Negative blood from a human can probably be given to a monkey if compatibility of blood groups and types were considered. Trans-species transfusions are not done because they aren't necessary and no one has ever studied it.

Rhesus Blood Group

The Rhesus blood system is named after the Rhesus monkey, following experiments by Karl Landsteiner and Alexander S. Wiener, which showed that rabbits, when immunized with Rhesus monkey red cells, produce an antibody that also agglutinates the red blood cells of many humans. The same genetic node of Rh type expression is found in human cells and if present, makes the blood Rh Positive. If the Rh type expression is not found, you will be classified as Rh Negative. The Rh factor is part of a whole series of genetic expressions found in monkeys and humans. Landsteiner named this series D (d), C (c), E (e), f, etcetera. The capitol letters represent the dominant genetic expression and the lowercase letters represent the recessive genetic expression. These genetic codes for blood types are common to all mammals with variations, of course because of evolution.

The Rh factor in both monkeys and humans is responsible for severe hemolytic disease of the newborn when a mother who does NOT have the Rh factor is pregnant with a baby that DOES have the Rh factor. The first pregnancy will stimulate the mother to produce antibodies to the Rh factor in the Rh positive fetus. Subsequent pregnancies will allow that antibody to cross the placenta and destroy the second and subsequent baby’s Rh positive blood. If the baby is Rh Negative no antibody stimulation or reaction will occur.

During the past 25 years, it was learned that if you gave Rh Positive blood to an Rh Negative male, it would sensitize him to produce the antibody to the Rh factor. This is called Anti-D or Rh-Immune Globulin. Then if you purify this antibody and give it to an Rh Negative female during her pregnancy, her body will be tricked into thinking that she already possesses the antibody and her body will fail to be sensitized to the baby’s Rh Positive blood. This has worked so well in fact, that Immunohematologists and obstetric doctors rarely see hemolytic disease of the newborn due to the Rh factor. We do still see HDN due to other antibody/antigen reactions, but this trick has worked to save the lives of millions of babies to date.

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Logical reasons to find a better Bible!

This stubborn belief in the Bible is not restricted to Jehovah’s Witnesses by any means. Christians are supposed to be Christ-Like. Jesus himself said that the Golden Rule was to be observed over all other laws, including the unreasonable demands of the Old Testament. The Golden Rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated. By this edict, I should let JW’s bleed to death (because they would treat me that way), but as I do not wish to be treated this way, I should force them to have a life saving blood transfusion since that is how I would like to be treated.

The Golden Rule is not logical either!

How do Christians do it? Believe in and have faith in a book so full of controversy? There are a reported 38,000 denominations or sects of Christians! The Bible is so non-logical that I can hardly bear to read it. This book is at least 2,000 years old and possibly much older and written by many authors who “claimed” to be inspired by God himself with no proof of that claim other than the fact that they knew how to read and write and make the claim.

“I said God spoke through me and therefore he did!”

Yea, it’s not supposed to make sense. An invisible being told them it was his “plan” to weed out the humans who don’t deserve to be in His presence.

How can a Christian stand there and watch a baby die? How can one stand there and watch any baby die? I cannot. I will not. I will fight for the rights of those that can’t fight for themselves. Find a better Bible, Christians. One that makes sense!

In the comments section, I will allow references to other books, including the Bible, but NO COPYING AND PASTING OF WHOLE PASSAGES. You may paraphrase only.

Also, please restrict comments to 500 words or less and stay on the following topics:

  • A Christian View of Blood
  • Evolution of Blood
  • Genetic expressions (Phenotype and Genotype)
  • Answering any of the questions posed in this hub.

I will deny comments at my own discretion. I'm not trying to censor comments, only to mediate the direction of the comments and suggest that off topic comments be directed to another hub, preferably one that you write yourself!

What do you think?

© 2010 Lela


Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 01, 2015:

I left that job soon after, so I don't know. I can only hope that the experience proved that they couldn't have more babies as the future babies would have the same problem.

Melissa Orourke from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras on April 01, 2015:

I asked a Jewish Doctor about this subject years ago. (I am not Jewish, I am not a JW). He said the scriptures they referred to, related to animal blood, and how food was processed because of the uncleanliness of the times. I personally think that JW's take a lot of the Bible out of context. That poor baby, and poor you! I wonder if the parents are still even JW"s?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on February 07, 2014:

Yes, I did read it and actually wrote it. Surprise!

Did you miss this line (in bold letters) "To this day, I respect the JW’s right to refuse blood."

My OPINION is that it is an act of ignorance.

I'm thinking that you just like using those two words. Enjoy!

Joseph O Polanco on February 07, 2014:

Did you read your essay? It's drenched in sanctimonious hypocrisy.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on February 07, 2014:

JOP - I do not do either of those things.

Joseph O Polanco on February 06, 2014:

Yet you sanctimoniously and hypocritically contemn those of us who demand the very best medical treatment and refuse exposure to the very real and deadly risks associated with blood transfusions.

What double-standard, eh?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on February 06, 2014:

I believe humans should have the free will that religionists so proudly proclaim as a 'gift from God'. I am against murder in any form. I do not even kill bugs except in self defense.

If a woman wants to 'murder' her child, that is her decision, just as it is for men to 'murder' their offspring when they masturbate. Murder is murder. There are some forms of murder that are acceptable to society. Executions come to mind also.

I do not have the right to tell women to have or not have abortions. It is entirely their own decision.

I do not have the right to tell men to have all their sperm frozen so it will live and not die.

You do not have these rights either.

Joseph O Polanco on February 06, 2014:

I take it you're also as passionately opposed to healthy mothers murdering their healthy children in utero as is commonly practiced the world over at the rate of millions upon millions of murders per year, yes?

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 05, 2012:

And we all know that they MUST be right! The bible says so. Or the Quran says so. Or the Torah. Or the burning bush, whatever.

d.william from Somewhere in the south on August 05, 2012:

Sadly enough the power of brainwashing is strong and resilient and that is exactly what those who started the religious phenomenon in our history counted on. It is funny how old time religions will attack new cults that arise today for the exact same reasons they were indoctrinated to believe themselves. As you previously stated, there are at least 38,000 different versions of 'christian' religions, and each claiming to be the true version. Somehow this diversity should be proof enough to come to the rational conclusion that none of them can be right. If they are all wrong then none of them can be right.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 05, 2012:

I often wonder just how mentally retarded one has to be to believe the nonsense that religion teaches. But then I also wonder just how mentally retarded one has to be to leave a toddler or pet in a hot car until they are dead. And you would think that just seeing this one time would be enough to teach people, but it happens over and over and over again every single hot summer.

People need religion because they are just plain too stupid to think for themselves and learn from mistakes.

d.william from Somewhere in the south on August 05, 2012:

What a great hub. Truly eye opening. You touch a lot of points that i miss in my attempts to dispel modern day religions as the cause of many of our modern day ills, both personally and as a society. One can only hope that sanity will eventually prevail and mankind will focus on humanitarianism instead of illogical superstitions of our past where they should be condemned to remain. People actually believe that if one does not belong to one cult or another, that they are unholy, atheistic and evil. This illogical and senseless world of religion is beyond any sane persons comprehension.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 01, 2011:

It isn't just sad that baby died and you all were forced to watch, it's disgusting! Sadly, many of those folks were brought up in an environment where that is all they were allowed to learn. I am also sad that children are brought up in those conditions - in compounds or isolated from the world, and not ALLOWED to learn about science! Those people breed ignorance. My grandfather was an atheist but even he made me go to church - and all denominations because he knew education was the key. He said "you can believe what ever you want, ut you can't even argue a point about religion if you aren't educated in it. Smart, funny guy. He also gave me money for the collection baskets so I could pay for the education.

Another spot on hub!

I also noted you put Rhuses monkey as a key word:) that made me lol! You're a hoot!

I can't believe they even have a card for their wallet. That was a most elaborate plan for the future!

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 24, 2010:

Your words are true and come from your heart, Oceansunsets. I wish all the world could have your insight.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on December 24, 2010:

Thanks for sharing your opinions. I know of many that try to strive to be what the bible teaches a Christian to be, and I also know of many that act opposite. I think its good to be thankful also for all the incredible amounts of good that Christianity has brought and continues to bring the world. Those that do so are following the teachings of Christianity very often, yet they get overlooked and not only that, but get lumped into very negative categories.

I agree the hypocrites don't help matters, and Jesus would agree with you as I would about how repulsive that can be. Its actually refreshing to hear about your views of wanting to protect babies and animals. I would recommend not following any "sect" or "cult" and what it tells you to do, and tell Christians to follow the teachings themselves or not. Over history, we can see what happens when people get away from that. A bible with the words of Jesus only, would be something new altogether and perhaps giving some a wrong idea of how the manuscripts came down to us etc. Its not hard to find just the words of Jesus in many bibles however, if that is the goal. I think it is a good one, and I think the NT supports the words of Jesus. If there is a difference, defer to the words of Jesus. My biggest point was that "A Christian View of Blood" is actually along the lines of your own view of blood that you express in the hub. I know people can figure that out. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 24, 2010:

If some Christians justify their actions by their damaging beliefs in the New Testament, or even the old one, then I feel it is my duty to point that out.

No, I do not believe that all Christians are bad. I'm very happy to allow people to have their opinions and worship/believe as they please. But I must speak out for babies and animals because they cannot. That is my mission as a non-Christian.

If Christians "turned the other cheek" as taught by Jesus, then there would be absolutely no point in a friend laying down his life for another friend in a war over land or oil or even food. We could each live our lives in the pursuit of good deeds.

It is the hypocrisy of Christianity that is repulsive to me. I have not met one Christian that is supportive of Jesus' actual views. Rather they support whatever their "sect" tells them to support, be it kill babies, hate homosexuals, or proclaim that atheists are closet Satanists among other things. I live in the Bible belt and have family members who are "good Christians". I know what the bible teaches, and it is a confusing and antiquated message at best. I would love to see a bible with the words of Jesus ONLY! This would eliminate a great deal of confusion and strife.

Time to get a new bible in my opinion.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on December 24, 2010:

I wanted to comment also on your point, that "Christians have many beliefs that are damaging to our world." I disagree, because I have seen accusations like these and the others about killing, and researched it. If you search out the facts on what Christianity actually teaches and "is", you will find it actually teaches the opposite of what you are likely speaking about that is damaging. I think if you actually study the teachings of Jesus and Christianity rather than look to those that do the opposite of them, you wouldn't say such harsh things against it. Hopefully it helps to clear up those points. Unfortunately, there will always be people that will choose to act opposite of what is taught by Jesus and Christianity. If you only look to that, its easy to put down. Jesus and the apostles would agree with you they are acting in the wrong.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on December 24, 2010:

I was going by the title, a Christian view of blood. Really what you share here is indicative of a much smaller group of people, but the broad brush of what the title portrays could be seen as applying to all when facts don't support that at all. The opposite is actually true, and your views on behalf of the dying baby agree with most Christians.

Since you brought it up, its also bad to paint a whole group by what some heretics of a religion might do to others. People that die at the hands of Christians are doing being killed by people that have to go against what Jesus taught and Christianity to do so. By following the teachings of Jesus and the NT, the whole world would actually be a much better place, opposite of what we see so often today and in history. I think that is a good world view, and sorry that it is repulsive to you, but those are the facts. Loving, forgiving, giving to others laying down one's life for a friend, and praying for enemies are all taught by Christianity. I respect your views, and agree with the parts of this hub that try to save a baby or a child's life. Thanks for making those points. Christianity (Jesus' actions) was about loving children and orphans, widows, not hindering them, welcoming them, etc. I agree with those ideas and think they should be supported.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 24, 2010:

Jehovah's Witnesses are indeed a Christian group and the other group who will allow their children to die are Christian Scientists.

I did not say this was THE Christian View of Blood. But is IS A Christian View.

The Christians have many beliefs that are damaging to our world. No, not every Christian sect is horrible, but the core beliefs are frightening and repulsive to me. This is my opinion which I am backing up with personal experiences. Many, many people would be alive today if it weren't for the Christian religion.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on December 23, 2010:

I think it is horrible a person would let a baby die for lack of a blood transfusion. Just to be clear also for others reading the title, "A Christian view of blood", it is a Jehovah's witness idea, not a "Christian" view of blood, as expressed here. I say this because that view is neither taught anywhere in the Bible, nor a belief held by people that call themselves Christians that I have ever heard of, except for Jehovah's witnesses. I don't know of a single non Jehovah's witness Christian that ever believed this. Just thought it fair to share that from a Christian's point of view. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, even if we all don't agree on many things. I do agree that its wrong to let a baby or child die. That is so sad.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 22, 2010:

Congratulations on being saved by science! That is so cool to hear from someone who has actually been there. I have been looking for some info on exchange transfusions. I can't find the photos I want and the hospital will not let me take photos (understandably), so I am trying to explain something that has taken me many years to understand.

I think you say it best, fix, when you said you would have died without the blood transfusions. That's what it's all about.

Thank you.

the fix on December 22, 2010:

Great work putting together your views and facts together! I totally agree with your views and though I am a spiritual person, I find no need for a particular religion to make me feel connected to the creative power of the universe. The most important thing you said, to me, was that you can see from your work that all life is connected. I find that in the work I do I see this too, even though my work is completely different from yours.

On another note, I was an Rh Factor baby and would have died if I had not received the 3 or more blood transfusions right when I was born. My gradma says "You were so cute and suddenly you started turning yellow!" I would love to see a hub just on this, as I think I may understand it better through you because you write so straightforward.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 13, 2010:

Is there a book with just the actual words of Jesus? I don't think there is, but I would agree that it would be a far better bible than the one as currently published.

If we would take care of each other instead of judge and condemn each other, perhaps we wouldn't need the police, or the army. The current system is broke, we need to fix it. Perhaps it is pure fantasy to imagine living in peace with one another, but maybe we could get close. For sure war isn't working and never has.

James A Watkins from Chicago on December 12, 2010:

Your Hub is very good. I am appalled that a parent would not allow their baby a life-saving blood transfusion. Thank you for highlighting this serious issue.

You wrote: "Mankind will someday realize that religion is a faulty thought process and that time cannot come soon enough for me."

That will never happen. Belief in God is not on the wane except in Western Civilization, which under serious attack by Cultural Marxists. The deconstruction of belief of God is their means—not their ends. The destruction of Western Civilization is their ends.

You wrote: "The Bible is so non-logical that I can hardly bear to read it."

I understand there are parts of the Bible that are hard to understand, particularly the Old Testament. If you, like Thomas Jefferson, only read the actual words of Jesus, by themselves, do they strike you as illogical?

You wrote: "I do not understand why ALL religionists do not refuse to kill others. It is their fundamental belief to NOT kill, so they say."

This is a misunderstanding, much like blood transfusions. The Commandment is "Thou shalt not murder," which does not apply to military, police, or self-defense. I am sure you agree that murder is a bad thing.

Tony, who I like very much, wrote: "Peace cannot be kept by force"

It is obvious that this is pure fantasy. Disband the Austin police force and let me know how you make out. :D

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 10, 2010:

Very nicely put DebbieEdwards. Thank you.

DebbieEdwards on December 10, 2010:

I can only imagine your incredible frustration over watching this beautiful young life surrender to a painful death due to the ignorance of a conformist and irrational perception of the parents based on a "religious view" that not only is tainted by "change", but has been irresponsibly represented throughout history. Of course, all due respect to those who are part of the Jehovah Witness platform. Life is so sacred, in all its imperfections and confusions, clouded by the not knowing that human life in a linear time frame creates. Things can be so complex and simple all at the same time. I also am curious who argued the point of "blood" to begin with, as the blood of Christ really was a symbolic reference inferred in the bible. Then again, the bible is man-created anyway, a testimony of observation AFTER the death of Christ. All things are subject to error, including the decision making process by example of these parents. I would think the child deserved the right to life considering medical procedures exist today that could create the very miracle they prayed for. We all have blinders. But I'd have to say, these people top the pile of those who walk blind. And as they said in the bible, miracles can be performed to cure the blind. I think this too was a symbol of what was really intended to be relayed, only it was misinterpreted to be literal instead. Whose to say what's right or wrong except what exists in the heart. My heart goes out to you for what you witnessed and thank you for sharing this with others! By example, we learn. If there was a reason for this childs death it is to spread awareness of the incredible negligible absurdity and waste that this religious view has caused...MURDER.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 10, 2010:

Hello SilentReed, I too defend the rights of adults to worship as they please. If they believe that the blood of Christ is magical, so be it. But when it comes to newborn babies I draw my line.

Finding God separate from religion! I applaud you. I think religion is manufactured nonsense to support "priests and clergymen" I strongly oppose organized "religion". The organizers are corrupt.

But finding God, that is something I can agree with. I hope you do.

SilentReed from Philippines on December 10, 2010:

The high point of a Catholic mass is the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.It commemorates Christ's sacrifice on the cross.His blood spilled in order to save mankind from Sin. Is the church's belief in blood as a sacrificial offering any different from ancient pagan ritual's of human sacrifice where blood is shed to appease the Gods or as an offering for a bountiful harvest. There are so many interpretation of the Bible.Can the JW be faulted for theirs and their belief called weird? Let's be thankful that religious fanatics are in the minority and that most mainstream religion have come to accept and use the technology of modern science....and no, I am not a JW member nor their apologist. I have long ago gave up on religion in the hope of regaining my faith in God.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 09, 2010:

Hi Mickey! Good to see you.

"On the thoughts of "blood" - I believe all should be done within reason for a parent to save their child's life."

I am certainly willing to do what it takes to save a child's life. My point is that the parents were not willing to do that. That is something that I cannot understand.

Micky Dee on December 09, 2010:

Often the Bible is "pin-pointed" to a certain scripture that people want to "umbrella" some thoughts.

I've had Christian women tell me that "it says right here in the Bible that it's a sin to wear long hair" - yet every picture of Jesus shows His long hair.

I never told the ladies, "but if you turn to this next page, it says to keep thy women silent in the churches and if they have questions, they should ask those questions at home.

People will tell us 144,000 will be "raptured". Supposedly Billy Graham doesn't believe in this "number". I say it doesn't matter. That's conjecture and pie in the sky. But using the Golden Rule as a compass is extremely important. I can't see any rule that could cover so much. This Golden rule is the foundation to grow a civilization.

Micky Dee on December 09, 2010:

I voted up. The Golden Rule does, indeed, work. We are to treat others as we would like to be treated. We "respect" the wishes of others. "Others should respect our wishes." Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You let others be. You help others in ways that you can. You don't do things as you would do them yourself, for yourself, in every way. You don't make someone brush their teeth the way "you want". Allow others to brush their teeth with Crest, or Colgate or whatever they want. The Golden Rule is to treat everyone with kindness and respect.

On the thoughts of "blood" - I believe all should be done within reason for a parent to save their child's life.

I think McDonald's is a stupid place to take a child for food on a regular basis but I don't but in to stop that atrocity.

Spirituality is a personal thing. A person's non-belief is a personal thing.

Deborah Sexton on December 07, 2010:

Yes, I agree. And the law should speak up for these helpless ones sooner.

I wonder if the parents could allow themselves to die if it was them that needed the blood. Some people think they would, till it comes right down to it.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 06, 2010:

Especially if the one that is dying has no choice in the matter!

Deborah Sexton on December 06, 2010:

Although the scriptures tell us not to consume blood, because the life is in the blood, a blood transfusion is not consuming it. When we consume something, we eat, drink, via the mouth. However the Jehovah's Witnesses argue this point.

I believe in freedom of religion, but not when someone has to die.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 04, 2010:

Yay BaileyBear! Shout it!!!

Baileybear on December 04, 2010:

Yes, I would appreciate any links. I used to be very sheltered from any worldviews apart from fundamental christianity - any alternatives were deemed "evil". Even at high school, I could never write any decent opinion pieces eg about racism, because I never had any exposure to different views to be able to write a great argument. My teachers were amazed that I was good at english literature, but hopeless at social science (politics, history etc). I'm confident and bold writing opinion pieces now though LOL

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 04, 2010:

Baileybear, we both know they're scared. Everything they've ever been taught to think is erroneous and evokes severe change for them in their thinking processes. Either thing is truly scary. We've both been through it and gotten stronger and learned to think in more logical terms. Hopefully, my message will reach a few. I can measure progress by baby steps. If I save just one baby from dying this kind of horrible death, I feel that will be worth it. As it is I have helped to save quite a few just by doing exchange transfusions on the willing :-)

I need to link to one of your hubs too. The one you wrote about becoming an ex-christian. Maybe that will reach some that are on the fence.

Baileybear on December 04, 2010:

I can't believe you got accused of being bitter for writing this hub. I get accused of that by a few religionists.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on December 04, 2010:

A very interesting Hub. The science of blood is very important, not least because of the genetic information carried in the cells. I found your description of all this most interesting.

JWs do put their children at risk through refusing transfusions and other treatments.

They have my deep admiration, though, for their steadfast refusal to bear arms. They have suffered for their beliefs in this regard in South Africa, and yet they have continued to refuse. We could learn from them in this regard!

I am disturbed when children or spouses suffer from a person's adherence to certain beliefs. And this seems to happen quite often.

Love and peace


Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 04, 2010:

It's true. Parents abuse their children terribly. A great deal of it is in the name of religion. It's a very difficult thing to watch.

Baileybear on December 03, 2010:

It's sad when children die because of irrational beliefs. I recall reading about a child that died because the parents made the child a strict vegan and they also refused vitamin B12 injection because of severe deficiency

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 03, 2010:

BB - I KNOW! If God wanted to, he could have created a perfect human (and other animals), but he created an Imperfect world and that proves he doesn't exist to me. If he were perfect himself he could not possibly have created imperfect things. Why does this logic escape the Bible advocates?

Baileybear on December 03, 2010:

Apparently the JW bible is near-identical to the christian bible - JW arose as a sect out of christianity, with their own translation (a few words changed here and there). Yes, it is sad that children are denied medical treatment and are allowed to die because of the religious beliefs of their parents.

More moderate religionists say that modern medical advances are "thru God", "God working thru surgeons hands" etc, to get around the not really believing God heals situation.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 03, 2010:

Oh, one other thing, Pachuca. The baby did not have a choice of accepting blood or not. He did not make the conscious decision that an adult JW would make. So apparently not everyone is entitled to their beliefs.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 02, 2010:

Hi Qwark! Thanks for the kind words. I honestly feel that religious instruction should be banned until one is an adult and can make up their own mind about things. What harm would that do? Of course we'd have a lot more atheists don't you think?

I gotta go read your hub. Sounds sad though.

Hi Audrey! Thank you for being a blood donor. We really need them. I do respect an adult's interpretation! But a defenseless baby? No way should parents agree to watch their child die when they don't have to. I was forced to watch this and a few other stupid things like it. I really gave those people the dirtiest looks I could come up with. If looks could kill...

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on December 02, 2010:

I totally agree with you, Lela. You can admire someone's religious convictions but when it comes to life and death and receiving a transfusion, I don't get it. Especially if there are children involved. To me it smacks of negligence but that would just be my un-holy opinion on the matter. I do reports all the time though where someone is dying simply because they refused to have a transfusion. Having donated my own blood for my own use or my family's use, it makes even less sense. But - ya gotta respect their interpretation I guess and walk on. Very nicely done and very informative.

qwark on December 02, 2010:

Hi Austin:

Congrats on a great "hub!"

All religion is guilty of this: "the brainwashing of their children by passing along illogical "beliefs." being truth!

I have and will continue to believe that the religious who are guilty of this are heinous child abusers!

I wrote a "hub"...a small black button" that relates to religious abuse of a childs mind.

There is no doubt, at all, that all life on this planet is related. It ALL consists of the 'STUFF" of OUR universe.

We exist as naught but a "happening."

I respect you, your thoughts and your writing!


Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 02, 2010:

Hi Christopher and Jane. The JW's did write their own Bible and do not try to deny it. They are considered a "bible study" group and not even "true believers". Many Christians think they are a joke. But from my point of view, they are quite dangerous and in many ways they illustrate the brainwashing of their children by passing along illogical "beliefs".

Jane Bovary from The Fatal Shore on December 02, 2010:

"Why would they bother to save the animals if they didn't have "souls"?"

So we could have zoos and circuses? Good question Austinstar...but I guess we shouldn't expect an answer anytime soon. It seems unreasonable to me to exclude animals from Paradise, especially after the horrors we put them through here on earth. When I look into the eyes of a gorilla (admittedly only in photos)..I see a kind of depth there.

I like Mark Twain's quote "Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."

You have a very interesting job Austinstar..and thanks for sharing that information about the blood. I learnt something.

As far as the JW's go..I can respect an individuals right to refuse blood too, but to make that decision for another? No.I don't believe respect for a belief that has no basis in reality should override the saving of a baby's life. Glad to hear they've moderated their stance.

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on December 02, 2010:

I find myself stuck in the middle in this debate. JW's use a version of The Bible that is notorious among reputable bible scholars for its deliberate mistranslations of whole sections, if they contradict their particular doctrinal standpoint. Having said that, I can well believe that one of their number might have told you that blood contains the soul, because they also have a policy called "theological warfare strategy", in which they are instructed to be economical with the truth of what they tell people, in order to try and get in as many followers as possible. They are indeed a dangerous cult, but you shouldn't put all christians into the same category. There are christians who are good, and those who are very bad, just the same as there are athiests who are good, and atheists who are bad. That is the way of the world that we live in, I'm afraid. I hope you continue to do the good work that you have been doing in your profession, and I pray that the deluded individuals, that refuse transfusions, manage to see the error of their ways before many more children are sacrificed.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 01, 2010:

You are right, Pachuca. I did read that. But that sounds too weird for most Christians. I have had a Witness tell me that the reason blood is sacred is that it contains the "soul". I may correct that point soon. We'll see how it goes.

For the record, I don't believe in "souls" either, and I'm not a JW.

Pachuca213 on December 01, 2010:

I have nothing but respect for what you believe. However, I know for a fact that Jehovah's witnesses DO NOT believe in the condemning of a soul, as JW's don't believe in a literal soul being separate from your body. They believe that your body is the soul and your life force dies when you die. They also believe that the bible states that blood is sacred and that people must abstain from it. It is also a conscience matter and NO ONE FROM THAT RELIGION EVER FORCES YOU is your choice. But for the record, they never speak of souls being condemned or being damned. Just because Wikipedia posts information about someone or something doesn't make it accurate. Everyone has a right to their choice whether to accept blood or not, just the same if they are to accept an organ. And JW's are a religion that follows the bible to a "t", not a cult or a sect who follow men and their own ideas or doctrines. But again, everyone has their right to their own opinions.

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