Favorite Watchtower’s Approved Blood Transfusions

bloodchartAThe 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
  • Platelets

Read the rest of this article. . .

Watchtower “No Blood Card”

blood-transfusion-jw The “No Blood Card” that Jehovah’s Witnesses carry with them has experienced very significant changes over the years, as you will see in this article. It was simply referred to as “the blood card” for many decades, then came to be called “the Advanced Medical Directive”. The last major change occurred in 2004, when it was combined with a Durable Power of Attorney specific to each state and is at times referred to as the “DPA”.

The first example shown is one of the older versions of the blood card that Witnesses carried back in the 1960’s. You will note its clear and uncompromising statement about the use of blood. It says specifically “I demand that blood, in any way, shape or form, is NOT to be fed into my body…”

Read the rest of this article. . .

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Blood Transfusions, and the Tort of Misrepresentation.

may26-94-awAfter the death of her mother, we were contacted by Kerry Louderback-Wood. She later wrote the following article for the Journal of Church and State’s Autumn 2005 issue. The article shows how the Watchtower Society might be held legally responsible for failure to properly disseminate its religious beliefs to followers. She dedicates the article to the children who have been harmed by the Watchtower’s policies on the use of blood and she continues to speak out on this subject.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Blood Transfusions, and the Tort of Misreprersentation

Watchtower Commits Perjury

councilIn 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].

Agency Law and the Watchtower Society

Those considering legal action against the Watchtower Society (hereafter WTS) may wish to explore the potential for holding them liable for negligently providing inaccurate medical advice. The WTS has placed itself in the role of divinely inspired and spirit directed advisor, counselor and agent as a brief survey of their writings demonstrates:

*** w71 9/1 526 Fortify Yourself So as to Maintain Integrity ***
“Contrary to the advice of the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses…”

*** km 2/84 4 Expanding Your Ministry as a Regular Pioneer ***
“God’s Word and spirit, along with the good advice offered by Jehovah’s organization…”

*** g92 5/22 27 The Truth Has Set Me Free ***
“By applying the therapy along with the good advice from Jehovah’s organization…”

*** g81 10/8 14 The Real Brotherhood of Man Today ***
“Bryan Wilson, professor at Oxford University, England, made a study of “the recent rapid growth” of the Witnesses in Japan. He wrote: “Witnesses offer a wide range of practical advice . . . “

By advising millions of persons on a whole range of issues and more specifically how they should go about selecting acceptable and non-acceptable blood products, the WTS may have created an agency relationship with its members. If this is established, the WTS then owes a fiduciary responsibility towards those who are contractually required by their baptismal vows to look to the WTS as “God’s spirit directed organization” for advice on the use of blood products.

Loyalty

In a fiduciary relationship the WTS would be required to demonstrate loyalty towards its members. This requires their being entirely open and not keeping any information from members that has any bearing on the relationship. It can likely be proven that the WTS has not demonstrated loyalty towards its members and this violates its duty owed to members if they are are legally established as “principals.”

Skill and Care

An agent under these circumstances is under a special duty to exercise more than an ordinary degree of skill and care. Life and death decisions are made based upon the WTS analysis of the scientific and medical facts on the use of blood. As we have shown, the WTS has either misrepresented the facts, or they have negligently failed to carefully research the available scientific literature and have simply provided millions of persons with bad medical advice.

Full Disclosure

One who advises or acts as an agent on behalf of another must by law make a full disclosure of all the facts. The WTS has not complied with this legal requirement. Time and again they show only those facts that support the current WTS blood policy and they distort or withhold important information that should be available to members facing life and death choices. Additionally, they go so far as to threaten, intimidate and coerce members so that they will not even seek outside information to supplement the medical advice they are receiving from the WTS.

There are other legal theories that could be explored in an action against the WTS such as “undue influence” or moral turpitude (legally wrongful) since they violate the generally held moral standards of most communities, and hence likely qualify as torts (the French word for” wrongs”). The potential for wrongful death cases appears significant and additional research is needed.

In the United States medical information is private and there are complex laws governing its use. The Advance Directive that Jehovah’s Witnesses are asked to sign by the WTS requires doctors and hospitals to share their medical records with the WTS Hospital Liaison Committee (HLC). While we would argue this is a gross violation of doctor patient confidentiality, the WTS would argue this is simply to provide the HLC with relevant information so they can best advise their doctors on how to treat them with WTS approved blood components or alternatives. The simple fact that the WTS takes this extraordinary step makes it clear in our view that Agency Law is applicable.

In cases where the HLC uses their access to confidential medical information to learn that a member has taken an unapproved blood product and then reports the member to the local congregation for investigation, we believe they have violated the HIPPA laws by not limiting their use of the information to the minimum necessary.