Complaints about the JWs leaders' use of reference material:
the issue of the medical use of blood and major blood fractions
The children of JWs
Notice that the interpretation of the Council of Jerusalem got mixed up more
over time compared to the views of Jesus and spirit, which were mainstream early
on and mainly, Arian debate notwithstanding, stayed that way.
Christianity wasn't considered a branch of Judaism, and wasn't debated as a
branch of Judaism in temples, after Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, and the schism be-
came greater after Bar Kokhba's revolt of 132-135 AD. As it relates to history,
the advantage of the view that the blood rule was part of what I call "the com-
mon view" at p.35 (addressed to Gentile Christians to have them not offend the
Jewish law followers, notably with popular Gentile habits that would alienate
Jewish law followers) is that concern to appease Jewish law followers would be
more likely to lost to some after the situation it was for didn't exist anymore.
After 70 AD, as Christianity moved away from Judaism and into areas farther
from Israel and Jewish temples found otherwise, a section would be more liable
to get the wrong idea about it, and different interpretations about it are what
resulted. If it was a food ban that applied anywhere regardless of the Chris-
tians proximity to Jewish people, it would have been more consistently main-
Complaints about the JWs leaders' use of reference material:
the issue of the medical use of blood and major blood fractions
Articles critical of the JWs leaders' use of reference materials shown in
making their case on this issue are at the next link:
Bad medical ideas about blood by the Watchtower:
Various tracts of the JWs leaders' stances about the medical use of blood are
at these sites:
Some Watchtower literature about the medical use of blood and major blood
"Awake!" October 8, 1996
"Sickle-Cell Anemia—-Knowledge Is the Best Defense"
The use of blood transfusions is left out. A Wikipedia article about treat-
ment for Sickle Cell Anemia, including the use of transfusions:
"Awake!" August 22, 1998
"IN 1996 the Royal College of Surgeons of England published a booklet called
the Code of Practice for the Surgical Management of Jehovah's Witnesses. In
that booklet the surgeons note: 'The dangers of blood transfusion make it desir-
able to consider alternative measures whenever possible.'
"AHA NEWS, published by the American Hospital Association, also reported on
why the benefits of bloodless surgery have gained recognition. 'What started as
religious belief is evolving into medical preference and advanced technology,'
the weekly periodical observed. 'Bloodless medicine and surgery, motivated in
part by the doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses, is moving far beyond the needs
of a spiritual society into operating rooms nationwide.'
"Why many doctors are promoting bloodless surgery was a subject featured in
the 1997 fall edition of a supplement of Time magazine. 'Fear of AIDS is only
one reason,' the article said. The article reported particularly on the work
being done at Englewood Hospital's New Jersey Institute for the Advancement of
Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, in Englewood, New Jersey.
"Time observed: 'The institute is the leader among more than 50 in the U.S.
that now practice bloodless surgery. Without using any donor blood at all, they
offer a wide range of surgical procedures that would ordinarily include trans-
fusions, along with techniques that dramatically reduce, or virtually eliminate,
"The introduction of the Time article featured the experience of Henry Jack-
son, who suffered massive internal hemorrhaging that drained 90 percent of his
blood and dropped his hemoglobin level to a life-threatening 1.7 grams per dec-
iliter. Jackson was taken to the Englewood Hospital from another New Jersey
hospital, which would not provide him treatment without using blood transfu-
"At the Englewood facility, under the care of Dr. Aryeh Shander, Jackson was
given 'high-potency formulations of iron supplements and vitamins, plus "indus-
trial doses" of a blood building drug, synthetic erythropoietin, that stimulates
the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Finally, intravenous fluids were
administered to goad what little circulation he had left.'
"Time reported that a few days later, 'the first hospital called to ask wheth-
er Jackson was dead. With undisguised satisfaction, Shander told them, "He's
not only not dead, but he's well and ready for discharge, and he'll soon be
about his usual business."'
"Thus, as Time said, 'more and more patients are clamoring for safer and more
effective options than transfusions.' The magazine also reported: 'According to
some estimates, 25% of U.S. transfusions are unnecessary. There are also indi-
cations that patients cannot tolerate levels of hemoglobin as high as previously
thought and that young people especially have a built-in reserve of blood....
[Shander] is convinced that withholding blood is a viable and preferable choice
for most patients.'"
Even back when I first took an interest in the JWs leaders' coverage of these
Seen in context, the gist of the material the Watchtower refers to was the
concern to ascertain what circumstances indicate an advantage in using transfu-
sions and what methods can minimize the need for them. It gives some as esti-
mating that 25% of transfusions are unnecessary, which means even those people
estimate that most are necessary, and shows a concern for clearer guidelines and
ways to diminish the use of unnecessary transfusions as new studies and treat-
ments arise. A balanced presentation doesn't create a recommendation for the
JWs leaders' method of scriptural forced points or a medical recommendation to
refuse all transfusions before substitutes with less risk are found.
The JWs leaders have led thousands of their followers to die for the sake of
that, which in turn has given the medical community further motive to look at
options, etc. While it's encouraged research, those deaths were brought on by
JWs leaders faking a prophet act, not scriptural necessity, and you don't right-
ly encourage irresponsibility about that, mislead people to play medical guinea
pigs, and increase deaths and rightfully get credit for being an especially
honest and righteous 144,000 with an altruistic concern about improving medical
One of the ironic angles of the JWs leaders in calling their stance a Bible
requirement is to shift responsibility about that from themselves on one hand
while asking on the other that the same stance be considered one of the reasons
to see them personally as the leaders of an exclusively honest and righteous
literal 144,000. But making forced points with no sign of God but many of "not
God" is a form of lying, lying that leads to deaths is a form of murder, and
murder is something they try to avoid responsibility for while taking credit for
being noble and taking the money of followers, which lawsuits would detract
Freedom of belief is one thing, but of calculatedly insincere practice that
hurts anybody is another, and when the teacher is shown to be insincere to af-
fect exclusiveness despite the harm it causes, they're just as responsible for
causing harm as anyone else.
"Awake!" March 8, 1999 (link inactive)
Dr. Prowse said that synthetic "erythropoietin is well established as a treat-
ment for various forms of anaemia."
"A similar substance has been developed to stimulate the body's production of
blood platelets. Dr. Prowse said: 'The most recent discoveries in this area are
the thrombopoietic growth factors. Interleukin 11 is already licensed for its
effect in improving platelet count..., and it seems likely that thrombopoietin
and its homolog, rh-PEG-MGDF, soon will be.'
"Dr. Prowse also mentioned synthetic clotting factors (plasma proteins) that
have proved valuable to hemophiliacs: 'Recombinant equivalents of a number of
plasma proteins are licensed, and in some cases are established as the preferred
therapy due to concerns over the viral infectivity of plasma-derived products.'"
Dr. Prowse added that "a number of other coagulation factors are now in develop-
ment for production.
"N. S. Faithfull, who is affiliated with a pharmaceutical corporation, gave a
presentation on perfluorocarbon (PFC) compounds. Certain perfluorocarbons can
transport oxygen in the circulatory system. The first generation of these chem-
icals did not prove satisfactory as 'artificial' blood. Has progress been made?
Faithfull said: 'Over the last few years, further development of PFC technology
has progressed and clinical trials have been performed using [two second] gener-
ation PFC emulsions.' He reported on trials of one of these involving 256 pa-
tients undergoing orthopedic, gynecologic, or urologic surgery—procedures that
often result in high blood loss. The results? 'The data from both studies in-
dicated that Oxygent was significantly better than blood at reversing these
triggers [a trigger indicates a need for a blood transfusion] and that the trig-
gers were reversed for significantly longer than the reversal caused by autolo-
"The congress also heard that the size of PFC particles in such emulsions 'is
very small..., about 40 times smaller than the diameter of an RBC [red blood
cell]. This small size can enable PFC particles to traverse capillaries throug
which no RBCs are flowing.' This seems to hold promise of benefit in the case
of certain damaged, blood-starved tissue.
"At the congress, hundreds of doctors, including surgeons, as well as other
medical staff, from scores of lands, expressed interest in such information.
This should have a positive impact as these individuals endeavor to use the many
procedures and products that make blood transfusion unnecessary."
Thanks to HAL9000 at the Jehovahs Witness Discussion Forum web site for this
Information on Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESA) (marketed as Procrit,
Epogen, and Aranesp)
FDA ALERT [11/16/2006, Updated 2/16/2007 and 3/9/2007]: FDA is issuing this
alert to provide new safety information for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
(ESAs) [Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa), Epogen (epoetin alfa), and Procrit (epoetin
alfa)]. Analyses of four new studies in patients with cancer found a higher
chance of serious and life-threatening side effects and/or death with the use of
ESAs. These research studies were evaluating an unapproved dosing regimen, a
patient population for which ESAs are not approved, or a new unapproved ESA.
In another study, patients scheduled for orthopedic surgery had a higher rate
of deep venous thrombosis when treated with Procrit at the approved dose. This
new information is consistent with risks found in two clinical studies in pa-
tients with chronic renal failure treated with an unapproved regimen of an ESA
that were reported in November 2006 and are summarized in the data section be-
All ESAs have the same mechanism of action. As a result, FDA believes these
new concerns apply to all ESAs and is re-evaluating how to safely use this pro-
duct class. FDA and Amgen, the manufacturer of Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit,
have changed the full prescribing information for these drugs. The new product
labeling includes a new boxed warning, updated warnings, and a change to the
dosage and administration sections for all ESAs.
"Awake!" January 8, 2000 (link inactive)
"...the immediate cause of death in this patient was hemolysis [the destruc-
tion of red blood cells] and acute renal [kidney] failure caused by a massive
GTW note: the writer later gives the incident referred to above as having hap-
pened In 1975.
"...today it is known that blood transfusions cause immunosuppression, which
can increase the possibility of tumor recurrence and decrease the survival rate
of cancer patients.#"
"The Journal of Clinical Oncology, August 1988, reported: 'Patients receiving
perioperative blood transfusions have a significantly worse prognosis than pa-
tients undergoing cancer surgery without a perioperative transfusion.'"
GTW notes:The study at the next link indicates that immunosuppression is reduced by us-
Awake! December 8, 2003
Same as the example of "Awake!" for Jan.8, 2000: "the immediate cause of death
in this patient was hemolysis [the destruction of red blood cells] and acute
renal [kidney] failure caused by a massive blood transfusion." etc.
Several 2006 Watchtower pages that contain Real Player videos:
"Transfusion-Alternative Health Care—Meeting Patient Needs and Rights"
"Transfusion-Alternative Strategies—Simple, Safe, Effective"
"No Blood--Medicine Meets the Challenge"
Phrases are picked out of the context of discussions about the research to de-
termine when blood transfusions should be used and the development of alterna-
tives. The phrases chosen are meant to support the JWs leaders position but a
more balanced presentation wouldn't support the JWs leaders' stance that follow-
ers should refuse all medical use of blood transfusions and major blood frac-
Awake! August 2006 "What Is the Most Precious Fluid of All?"
"A 'Circular of Information' prepared jointly by three U.S. blood agencies
states on its first page: 'WARNING: Because whole blood and blood components are
made from human blood, they may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents,
eg, viruses.... Careful donor selection and available laboratory tests do not
eliminate the hazard.'
"What are the greatest transfusion-related threats to patients in developed
countries? Errors and immunologic reactions. Regarding a 2001 Canadian study,
the Globe and Mail newspaper reported that thousands of blood transfusions in-
volved near-misses because of 'collecting blood samples from the wrong patient,
mislabelling samples and requesting blood for the wrong patient.' Such mistakes
cost the lives of at least 441 people in the United States between 1995 and
"Those who receive blood from another person face risks essentially similar to
those undergoing an organ transplant. Immune responses tend to reject foreign
tissue. In some cases, blood transfusions can actually prevent the activation
of natural immune responses. Such immunosuppression leaves the patient vulner-
able to postoperative infections and to viruses that had previously been inac-
tive. It is no wonder that Professor Ian M. Franklin, quoted at the outset of
this article, encourages clinicians to 'think once, twice and three times before
GTW note: as noted above, the physicians look at methods to minimize immuno-
suppression and transfusion use, based on a reasonable concern to minimize risk
and provide the best chance of successful treatment, which isn't a defense of
the JWs leaders' stance, including forced points about scriptural interpreta-
tion, that followers should refuse all medical use of blood and major blood
fraction transfusions before less risky substitutes are established.
"Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), first reported in the early
1990’s, is a life-threatening immune reaction following a blood transfusion. It
is now known that TRALI causes hundreds of deaths each year. Experts, however,
suspect that the numbers are much higher, as many health-care workers do not
recognize the symptoms. Although it is not clear what causes the reaction, ac-
cording to the magazine New Scientist, the blood that causes it 'appears to come
primarily from people who have been exposed to a variety of blood groups in the
past, such as...people who have had multiple transfusions.' One report states
that TRALI is now near the top of the list for causes of transfusion-related
deaths in the United States and Britain, making it 'a bigger problem for blood
banks than high-profile diseases like HIV.'"
GTW note: see p.14a for non-JWs leaders information about TRALI.
"Some manufacturers now process hemoglobin, releasing it from human or bovine
red blood cells. The extracted hemoglobin is then filtered to remove impurities,
chemically modified and purified, mixed with a solution, and packaged. The end
product—not yet approved for use in most lands—is called a hemoglobin-based oxy-
gen carrier, or HBOC."
JWs can use it--"each must be guided by his Bible-trained conscience."
"Complaints about the JWs leaders' use of reference material: the issue of in-
telligent design" on p.1a cont.
"Complaints about the JWs leaders' use of reference material under the heading
'We must preserve the sanctity of our stance on blood--truth and other's lives,
we're not crazy about'" on p.1a cont.
"Complaints about the JWs leaders' use of reference material: the issue of de-
termining when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem" on p.1c.
"Complaints about the JWs leaders' use of reference material: the issue of
early Christian history and related research material" on p.9.
The children of JWs
This doesn't just regard a choice for yourself or a JWs leader's choice for
what to teach followers. This also involves the ability of parents to decide
on the medical treatment of a minor child. The JWs leaders teach JWs to refuse
the medical use of blood and blood products for their children in any circum-
stances involving an infant or a child the court doesn't consider mature enough
to decide for themself.
This doesn't just involve a choice to refuse the treatment as the government
permits it. In cases in which refusal is ruled as illegal, JWs are taught to
refuse the treatment, anyway--even to flee from, and remove their children from,
hospitals and legal officials who mean to enforce the use of them.
In 1994, the JWs leaders called attention to the children who died for the JWs
leaders' rules, attributed to God, about the medical use of blood and major
blood fractions: "thousands of youths died for putting God first." ("Awake!"
May 22, 1994, p.2)
The three on the infamous cover (Adrian, Lenae, and Lisa) are described in the
issue as dying refusing blood transfusions following the JWs leaders' propaganda
about the Bible and the medical use of blood.
Scripture indicates the faithful should follow man-made law unless it requires
them to be unfaithful to God's will (Ex.1:15; Dan.3:6; Luke 20:20-26; Acts 5:29;
Rom.13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet.2:12-17), and the JWs leaders teach that their
transfusion ban is God's will. Therefore, the JWs leaders have taught their
followers to consider legal punishment as "suffering for the sake of righteous-
ness" and that enforced use of the treatment is akin to rape.
"The Watchtower," June 15, 1991, p.31 (a JWs leaders' tract)
"How Can Blood Save Your Life?" 1991, pp.21,22,28, and 29 (a JWs leaders'
According to ex-JWs member Edmond C. Gruss, "Hayden C. Covington [then the
legal counsel for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society] "told the author" [Ed
Gruss] "that Fred Franz saw the prohibition against blood transfusions as a way
to accomplish two things: to continue to publicize the religion, and to create
an uproar in the community. This reaction would convince the membership they
were being 'persecuted' and 'suffering for righteousness sake,' a sure sign they
were 'in the truth.'"