Many 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 (WTS) with respect to the various blood components or blood products like albumin, erythropoietins, vaccines, immunoglobulins, and hemophiliac treatments. It does not seem possible to explain why it is a violation of God’s law to accept plasma, platelets, red and white cells when all the fractions of these are permitted by the WTS. These contradictions have caused a number of elders and Hospital Liaison Committee Members to quietly resign.
The Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses in general still cling to the “no blood” mantra. As you will see in this section, that claim is extraordinarily dishonest. The Watchtower has approved the use of all red cell, white cell, platelet and plasma derivatives. The list of blood products Jehovah’s Witnesses can choose to use in good conscience has grown larger and larger over the last three decades. If fact, the list has become so extensive, it’s easier to say what they don’t permit:
- Whole Blood
- Red Cells
- White Cells
Most Jehovah’s Witnesses will be completely unaware of the Watchtower Society’s (WTS) once firm position against the “crime” of vaccination. During the centuries great plagues and illnesses have taken hundreds of millions of victims, sometimes even devastated civilizations. In the early part of the last century humanity was on the verge of a new age, when plagues as old as mankind were about to be extinguished. The tool was compulsory vaccination programs. Especially smallpox, one of the most deadly diseases in history, was targeted for extermination, and thanks to the vaccination program this was accomplished.
The WTS did not consider this program a benefit to humankind:
Largely as a result of the work of AJWRB and its supporters, it has become fairly well-known that the Watchtower permits the use of all plasma derivatives. These are concentrates of specific plasma proteins that are prepared from pools (many units) of Plasma.
(This illustration is taken 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?)
Plasma derivatives are obtained through a process, known as fractionation, developed during World War II, and are heat-treated and/or solvent detergent- treated to kill certain viruses, including HIV and hepatitis B and C. Plasma derivatives include:
As with blood, the Watchtower Society (WTS) originally had no objections to organ transplants. In a Questions from Readers section in The Watchtower, Aug. 1, 1961, page 480, the question about organ transplants is answered pointedly:
“• Is there anything in the Bible against giving one’s eyes (after death) to be transplanted to some living person?—L. C., United States.
The question of placing one’s body or parts of one’s body at the disposal of men of science or doctors…is frowned upon by certain religious bodies…”
In a shocking development, we have learned the Watchtower Society perjured itself before the European Commission on Human Rights. This is a commission that operates under authority of the World Court, and to which the Watchtower Society apparently submitted a false and misleading application regarding objections to legal recognition that were raised by the government of Bulgaria.
By reading the Press release issued by the commission, it will be readily apparent to anyone familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses, that Watchtower officials lied.
Here is one key paragraph regarding children and the blood issue:
As regards the alleged involvement of children the applicant association submits that children cannot become members of the association but only participate, together with their parents, in the religious activities of the community. In respect of the refusal of blood transfusion, the applicant association submits that there are no religious sanctions for a Jehovah’s Witness who chooses to accept blood transfusion and that, therefore, the fact that the religious doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses is against blood transfusion cannot amount to a threat to “public health”. Emphasis ours
It is not unheard of for children to be baptized, and to become members of the association before reaching the age of ten, although most Jehovah’s Witness children are probably in their early teens when they officially become members of the congregation, and subject to its judicial process.
As for a Witness who accepts one of the banned blood products, or a whole blood transfusion, the Watchtower’s historical position has been quite clear:
“…the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God’s people by excommunication or disfellowshiping….if in the future he persists in accepting blood transfusions or in donating blood toward the carrying out of this medical practice upon others, he shows that he has really not repented, but is deliberately opposed to God’s requirements. As a rebellious opposer and unfaithful example to fellow members of the Christian congregation he must be cut off therefrom by disfellowshiping. – The Watchtower 01/15/1961 pp. 63, 64 Emphasis ours
Anyone can see view the press release for themselves by visiting the archive of the website for the Commission on Human Rights where the Press Release is still maintained. You can also view the friendly settlement between the Watchtower and Bulgaria where they perjured themselves which is still maintained on the commission’s web site – view document.
Is it possible that the European Commission on Human Rights is fabricating all of this as some Witnesses have suggested? No since all the Watchtower Society would have to do is produce the original application to vindicate themselves.
We invited the WTS to respond to these serious charges by contacting us and remain willing to post their official response. Sincere Jehovah’s Witnesses call to mind, and take seriously the words of the Bible. Clearly their leaders do not.
*** Rbi8 John 8:44 ***
YOU are from YOUR father the Devil, and YOU wish to do the desires of YOUR father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of [the lie].
*** Rbi8 James 3:14-15 ***
…do not be bragging and lying against the truth.
*** Rbi8 Colossians 3:9 ***
Do not be lying to one another…
*** Rbi8 1 John 2:21 ***
…no lie originates with the truth.
*** Rbi8 Revelation 21:27 ***
But anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life [will].