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From "The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood",

Elders and Hospital Liaison Committee Members

Do Jehovah's Witnesses

Really Abstain From Blood?


Most Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely believe that it is a gross sin to accept a blood transfusion, since the Bible states that we must "abstain from blood." (Acts 15:29) It is quite understandable that many are confused by the position taken by the Watchtower Society with respect to the various blood components or blood products like albumin, non-synthetic EPO (Erythro-poietins), vaccines, Immunoglobulins, and hemophiliac treatments. It does not seem possible to explain why the Watchtower Society will permit a Witness to accept these components, whereas it is a violation of God's law to accept others such as plasma, platelets, redÆ and white cells. These contradictions have caused a number of elders and Hospital Liaison Committee Members to quietly resign.

Additionally, the trend in recent years has been to allow more and more blood products. This coupled with the WTS statement to the European Commission on Human Rights that their are no "controls or sanctions" for a Witness who accepts blood and that minors may not carry "Advance Medical Directives" prohibiting blood transfusions are significant indications that the WTS may significantly modify their blood policy or abandon it altogether at some point in the future.1

"...contradictions have caused a number

of elders and Hospital Liaison

Committee Members to resign..."

Important questions go unanswered


The data in illustration is from the October 22, 1990 issue of Awake!

You will note that plasma constitutes 55% of the blood. Since the Watchtower Society allows Witnesses to accept the separate components of plasma, it is only reasonable to ask why they forbid the use of plasma itself?

Hospital Liaison Committee members have been asked this question by doctors from around the world. They in turn have sought answers from Brooklyn Bethel and various Watchtower branches. Thus far they are simply told to drop the matter and not to question any further. Why can't the WTS answer this important question?

Since nowhere in the Bible can one find any support for allowing certain blood fractions or products, it is reasonable to ask:

Where does the Watchtower Society find

support for their partial ban on blood?

Learning from Jehovah God's creation


Current Watchtower teaching is that the allowed blood components are limited to only those that pass through the placental barrier during pregnancy and that on this basis a Witness may accept them in good conscience. 2ß The reasoning is that since Jehovah God allows these blood components to pass from mother to child, it is logical to conclude that God wouldn't break his own law. This might seem reasonable were it not for the fact that medical science has shown that practically all blood components pass through the placental barrier. 3

"....practically all blood components pass

through the placental barrier."

Are only the smallest blood

components permitted?


Sometimes it is argued that the blood components allowed by the Watchtower Society are tiny fractions of blood. Even this line of argument cannot be used since albumin, which is found in blood plasma and is approved for use by the Watchtower Society, makes up a much greater percentage of the blood volume (2.2%) than forbidden blood components like white blood cells (1%), and platelets (0.17%), which Witnesses must reject. Additionally, hemophiliac treatments, which are permitted, require the collection and storage of massive quantities of blood (up to 2500 blood donors for a single treatment), yet the Watchtower Society forbids Witnesses from storing their own blood. Why does a double standard exist? 4

"...the blood components allowed by

the Watchtower Society are tiny fractions of blood."

Learning from the context

of Biblical statements regarding blood


If one takes the time to carefully study all of the Biblical accounts regarding blood, it becomes quite clear that whenever the wrongful use of blood is mentioned, it is always in the context of eating blood, as the Watchtower itself has acknowledged at various times.

"Each time the prohibition of blood is

mentioned in the Scriptures it is in connection

with taking it as food, and so it is as a nutrient

that we are concerned with in its being forbidden.

"The Watchtower 9/15/58, p. 575

Is a blood transfusion a feeding on blood?

At one time the Watchtower Society taught that it was. 5 Then in the mid-1960's they learned that transfused blood is not digested but retained in the body much like a transplanted organ. Tragically, by then many Jehovah's Witnesses had already died. Since the Governing Body believed that the end was extremely near, 6 and that Science would soon provide an effective alternative to blood, 7 the blood ban was retained, but more and more of the separate blood products were permitted. 8 The current policy has been developed in a careless fashion over the years and there are many similarities to the Watchtower's previous bans on vaccines and organ transplants. 9

Simply stated, to receive a nutritional benefit from blood, you would have to eat and digest it so that it could be broken down and used as food. No nutritional benefit accrues from a blood transfusion.

"Transfused blood cannot be used by

your body as food anymore so than can

a transplanted heart or kidney."


The Watchtower has tried to overcome this fact by arguing that a blood transfusion is no different than being fed intravenously with dextrose or alcohol. These comparisons are misleading, however, because sugar and alcohol can in fact be used by the body as food without digestion. Transfused blood cannot be used by your body as food anymore so than can a transplanted heart or kidney.

Consider two patients who are unable to eat, and are admitted to a hospital. One is given a blood transfusion and the other intravenous feedings, which one is receiving nourishment and will live? Clearly, doctors do not prescribe blood transfusions to treat malnutrition, but rather to replace something your body has lost, usually the red cells needed to transport oxygen and keep you alive.

Since it cannot be established that a blood transfusion is a feeding on blood or the equivalent of eating blood, then the critical link necessary to Biblically support the Watchtower blood policy does not exist.

How does the Watchtower Society

justify their partial ban on blood?

No reputable modern doctor or scientist would state that a blood transfusion is a feeding on blood, or the equivalent of eating blood, but rather an organ or liquid tissue transplant as the Society itself now acknowledges. 10 To overcome this fact the Watchtower has created a new law for Witnesses by stating that it's wrong to sustain life by means of blood. The problem here is that nowhere in the Bible do we find such a restriction on blood stated in those terms. Is eating and sustaining life the same as the Watchtower argues? Well, there are many things that we do to sustain our lives like drinking, breathing, sleeping, etc. Eating is just one of the things necessary to sustain life. This word shuffle is both dishonest and reckless on the Watchtower's part, and obscures the truth of God's word, "going beyond the things that are written."(1 Cor. 4:6)

"...the Watchtower has created a new

law for Witnesses by stating that it's

wrong to sustain life by means of blood."

Do Jehovah's Witnesses

really abstain from blood?

Most Jehovah's Witnesses would answer a resounding YES! But as even this brief consideration of the facts has shown, the answer is no. Can you explain why the Watchtower Society permits the use of blood products like albumin, EPO, blood serums/Immunoglob-ulins, and hemophiliac treatments (clotting factors VIII & IX) since these are clearly taken to sustain life? How can this honestly be considered as abstaining from blood? The obvious answer is that it cannot. If the medical use of blood is wrong, we cannot pick and choose which blood fractions or products we will abstain from anymore than we can engage in a little fornication or a little idol worship. Such reasoning is seriously flawed.

"So too abstaining from blood means

not taking it into your body at all."

Live Forever p. 216

The human cost of maintaining

the Watchtower blood policy

In previous decades untold numbers of Jehovah's Witnesses loyally supported the bans on vaccines and organ transplants. In some cases this loyal support cost them their lives, and we are left wondering how their families must have reacted when the Watchtower Society finally received "new light," and reversed their previous position. 9 Donning the cover of the May 22, 1994 Awake! magazine are the photos of 26 children, ages varying up to 17 years, with the caption: "Youths Who Put God First." Inside the magazine proclaims: "In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue." (page 2) (Italics ours). The feature article on page 9 titled 'Youths Who Have "Power Beyond What Is Normal"' tells the stories of three of these children who died after refusing blood treatment. Were their deaths truly necessary?

"...the blood doctrine has cost thousands

of Witnesses their lives...

were their deaths truly necessary?"

Loyal adherence to the blood doctrine has cost thousands of Witnesses their lives. Despite this fact, many elders, Hospital Liaison Committee members and longtime Watchtower observers believe it is only a matter of time before the organization reverses their blood policy, and the use of all blood products becomes a matter of conscience.

In the meantime, you are encouraged to fully educate yourself on the issues so that you can make an informed and conscientious choice regarding the use of blood or blood products. Seek alternative non-blood therapies under the advice of qualified medical professionals who can best advise you as to the risks and potential benefits of both accepting or rejecting the use of all blood products, regardless of whether or not these products are presently approved for use by the Watchtower Society.

The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood, is a diverse group of Witnesses from many countries, including elders and other organization officials, Hospital Liaison Committee members, Doctors, Lawyers, Child Advocates and members of the general public who have volunteered their time and energies in an effort to bring about an end to a tragic and misguided policy that has claimed thousands of lives, many of them children.

More Info at: http://www.ajwrb.org

Email: theliberalelder@hotmail.com

P.O. Box 190089 - Boise, ID 83719-0089 U.S.A.


1 - Decision on Admissibility of Application 28626/95, p.22, pp.6; Information note no. 148, B. II. (a); Commission Report on Application 28626/95 adopted March 9, 1998, p.4, 17. II. The Council of Europe - European Commission of Human Rights.

2 -Watchtower, 6/1/90 p.31.

3 -Walknowska, J., Conte, F.A., Grumback, M.M. (1969). Practical and theoretical implications of fetal/maternal lymphocyte transfer, Lancet, 1, 119-1122; Simpson JL; Elias S., JAMA 1993 Nov. 17;270(19):2357-61; Isolating Fetal Cells in Maternal Circulation For Prenatal Diagnosis by Joe Leigh Simpson and Sherman Elias; Prenatal Diagnosis, Vol. 14: 1229-1242 (1994); Early Human Development 47 Suppl. (1996) S73-S77.

4 -Watchtower, June 15, 1985, p. 30.

5 -"Make Sure of All Things", Revised 4/1/57, p. 47; Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1961, p. 558. Although the WTS will still occasionally imply that a blood transfusion is feeding on blood, this position has been quietly abandoned beginning in the 1960's, and we usually read statements like "it is wrong to sustain ourselves with blood," although this expression or idea is not found in the Scriptures.

6 -Watchtower, 5/1/68, p.272 para. 7; Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 499; The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah - 1971, 2nd ed. p. 216.

7 -Awake! 6/22/72 p.29-30.

8-Awake! 6/22/82 p.25.

9 -Vaccines see Golden Age, 5/1/29, p. 502, Watchtower 12/15/52 P. 764. Organ transplants see Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1967, p. 702; Watchtower, March 15, 1980, p. 31.

10 -Awake! 10/22/90, p. 9

Copyright © 1998 Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood

Printed by permission.

This link will take you to the ECM website and the JW settlement.




On March 9, 1997, the European Commission of Human Rights decided to accept the amicable settlement agreed to by the Government of Bulgaria and the Christian Association of Jehovah's Witnesses (Khristianski Sdruzhenie "Svideteli nu Iehova"). Word of this decision reached the attorneys for the Witnesses on March 20, 1998.

Bulgaria has agreed to grant the Christian Association of Jehovah's Witnesses recognition as a religion. Bulgaria also agreed to create without delay a bill that will allow alternative civilian service for those whose conscience will not allow them to engage in military service. The agreement also includes an acknowledgment that each individual has the freedom to choose the type of medical treatment he receives. With the amicable settlement, the Witnesses agreed to withdraw their complaint against Bulgaria.

Jehovah's Witnesses are pleased that, through open communication, an amicable settlement was made between the Christian Association of Jehovah's Witnesses and the Government of Bulgaria. The terms of the agreement do not reflect a change in the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses. Rather, the agreement reflects an increased understanding of the concerns and actions of both parties.

The complaint before the Commission came because, on June 28, 1994, the Bulgarian Council of Ministers refused to renew the Association's registration as a religion. Following this decision, "various measures were taken against the activities of [Jehovah's Witnesses] and of its members. These included arrests, dispersal of meetings held in public and private locations and confiscation of religious materials," according to the Commission report.

"The more than 2,000 associated with Jehovah's Witnesses in Bulgaria feel confident that this agreement will allow them the freedom to practice their religion in Bulgaria," said Alain Garay, one of the attorneys for the Witnesses. "Not only is this a step forward for religious freedom in Bulgaria but it sets an example for religious freedom in all states with membership in the Council of Europe."

Jehovah's Witnesses, an international Christian brotherhood, number some five million worldwide. Presently, over 85,000 congregations, in some 230 lands, operate in conjunction with 104 branch offices.

For the complete article related to the following

browse this web.Welcome to JWTruth.com


Welcome to JWTruth.com

JWTruth.com is not an official site of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (the global corporate organization of the 'Jehovah's Witnesses' religion) and is not in any way affiliated with, run by or endorsed by them.

This is a campaigning web site. Its purpose is to provide authoritative information about, and to campaign to change, the abusive policies of the Watchtower Society. These have blighted the lives of thousands of people, and continue to harm even more every day they remain unchanged.

Our first major campaign concerns Watchtower's sometimes lethal blood policies. Other campaigns are in the pipeline. Click the link at the top of the page to register and receive free newsletters and notifications of future campaigns. Your details will never be disclosed to any third parties.

Send a protest email NOW to Watchtower Society: tell them what you think of their blood policy.

Blood transfusion exposé paves the way for massive Jehovah's Witness lawsuits

A new article in the Autumn issue of Baylor University's prestigious Journal of Church and State (opens in a new window), exposes the vulnerability of the Jehovah's Witnesses' religious organization to massive claims for damages because they misrepresented the medical risks of blood transfusions to bolster their religious tenets.


Send a protest email NOW to Watchtower Society: tell them what you think of their blood policy.

"Could Your Child Make a Mature Decision?"

The December 2005 Kingdom Ministry has an article "Could Your Child Make a Mature Decision?" It instructs parents to indoctrinate their kids to refuse blood and make themselves a martyr.


complete article at:Welcome to JWTruth.com