A Brief Explanation of Our ViewpointJehovah's Witnesses stand by the standard set by the first century Christians to "abstain . . . from blood" as expressed at Acts 21:25 . This was the result of a decision based upon whether non-Jewish Christians from among the nations were under obligation to observe the law. Their conclusion was that there were only 4 commands by Jehovah that remained binding upon Christians because they precede the Law of Moses. Blood remained binding because it was laid upon Noah and his descendants, of whom we belong. (Genesis 9:4) Back then, there were no blood transfusions, so a command to not put blood in one's veins would not have made any sense and might have given them ideas.
The Jews considered the Law on blood binding, as they did not even include it in pultices, as the Egyptians did, or as any other ingredient. Regarding how blood was to be handled, the Mosaic Law stated, "you should pour it out on the ground like water." (Deuteronomy 12:16; 15:23) Thus, instead of putting the blood to use, we perceive "abstain" to mean to pour it out, that is, consider it unfit for use, not having anything to do with it, just as we would abstain from (have nothing to do with) idolatry, sexual immorality or things strangled. Since sexual immorality is not a food, we do not view the restriction on blood as applying only to food. Paul instructed Christians to "flee from idolatry", (1 Corinthians 10:14) and Joseph fled from sexual immorality, (Genesis 39:12) so we view the use of blood in similar terms.
This is not simply a matter of following a rule. It is a matter of faithfulness to God. We put God before all other things, even our own lives. Performing one of the other sins simply to prolong life would likewise be a sin against God, but by remaining faithful to God, it shows what place God serves in our lives and demonstrates our faith in the resurrection hope. We put God first and everything else follows, rather than the other way around. For example, if someone held a gun to our heads, we would not worship a false God or an idol just so we could keep living. That would mean we hold our own lives as more important than God. (Acts 20:24)
Who Is At Fault for the Mortality Rates?Our opposers would have you believe that it is our stand against blood that is what has caused most deaths among most patients with blood volume needs, but it is not. As more and more bloodless cures prove more successful than blood-based cures, the truth is steadily coming to light: that people do not die because of bloodless medicine, but because of doctors refusing to treat patients without blood.
What seems to be criminal are the hospitals, and the courts that back them, that, from the beginning, have refused to treat Jehovah's Witnesses because they would not take blood transfusions. If they had allowed Jehovah's Witness patients to get treatment without blood transfusions, these success stories below would have been occurring long ago and in many more hospitals. There are still many hospitals today that refuse to treat Jehovah's Witnesses, yet medical advancements are proving non-blood management to be superior.
It is not because of our beliefs that our members have to fly thousands of miles, and spend a lot more money, to get bloodless surgery, thus we often go broke trying or just don't have the money to begin with. This is because hospitals refuse to treat us with bloodless surgery. The hospitals claim that it is because they cannot deal with the lawsuits for failed surgeries, but this is a blatant lie. Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a habit of suing just because bloodless surgery failed to help. Think about it. Why would we shoot ourselves in the foot? People don't sue hospitals because surgery doesn't work. They sue for negligence. The fact is, it takes an investment of training that the profit-making business arm of those hospitals are unwilling to pay for. Some may even be imposed upon to refuse treatment specifically to Jehovah's Witnesses by the religious organizations that run their hospitals.
If they did not refuse to treat us, we would get the treatment we need when we need it, rather than having treatment delayed until our blood count drops below treatable levels. If one of Jehovah's Witnesses is losing blood, what do you think happens when the hospital they are rushed to refuses to treat them because they are one of Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions? That Witness is forced to locate another hospital that is willing to operate, and in the hours that intervene, the Witness exsanguinates. If they had simply done their jobs to begin with, most of those casualties would have been prevented. But now, whose fault is it that the Witness exsanguinates? Is it because of the Witness's stand against blood transfusions? No. It is because a doctor (whose job it is to save lives and whose Hippocratic oath requires not only that he does no harm, but that he attend to any and all people who need it with whom he has the power to help,) refused to treat them. It's not like the Witnesses ask these doctors to perform unethical practices. They have simply refused one simple procedure for which there are many viable, practical, and in many cases, better alternatives.
Blood is a profitable business for hospitals and the Red Cross, which is why hospitals tend to be reluctant to consider alternatives. As of my writing this, there are over 2,700 hospitals providing blood transfusions in the U.S., but only 127 hospitals in 31 states (mostly northern states) providing comprehensive bloodless medicine and surgery programs in the U.S., (53 of which are only in 5 states,) leaving only 11 in 7 other countries in the entire world (out of 256 countries and colonies). So how easy do you think it is for Jehovah's Witnesses to get the care they want and need? If there were bloodless medicine and surgery programs in every hospital in the world, do you really think there would be anywhere near so many casualties among Jehovah's Witnesses? Of course not, because we would be getting the care we need when we need it.
The Truth About Ashya KingOur apostates love to exult over the alleged questionable statement of Ashya King's father to the Telegraph, that he would permit the state to determine whether his son needed a blood transfusion. However, after the hospital in the UK refused the parents to have anything to do with the child's treatment in fear that their stand as Jehovah's Witnesses would interfere with their ability to treat the child, they kept the child in a secured wing. So the father sneaked into the wing and wheeled his son out in a stroller and they, with Ashya's mother, fled the country to Spain, where they were arrested.
However, after a court hearing, they were released. Why? Because the father was actually seeking to save his son's life by avoiding a procedure that had a very low success rate and could cause severe discomfort to Ashya while the boy wastes away, and instead try a newly developed procedure that showed promise and would not likely cause his son to waste away. They permitted the father to take Ashya to Prague to receive laser surgery.
After surgery, the child has recovered and the tumor is completely gone. But what you will not see mentioned in any report, especially by those of our apostates, is that there was no need for a blood transfusion. What these hypocrites don't want you to know is that for all the news that was reported about the father's refusing treatment over blood transfusions while he was on the run, the best and safest treatment for his son did not need a blood transfusion at all, which radiation therapy often requires blood replacement because the blood dies or other complications in the blood.
The radiation kills the blood and the body rejecting transfused blood kills the blood. But non-blood management has few, if any chances of complications, which is why it results in faster turn-around times, shorter hospital stays, and more complete recoveries with significantly fewer and less life-threatening post-operative complications. Not to mention, it's a lot less expensive.
Australia Revamping Its Medical Practices to Favor Non-Blood ManagementIn a full turn-about from funding and encouraging a strong blood supply for transfusions, the Australian government is pushing for what they call "patient-centered care" to focus on asking whether blood is absolutely necessary for the patient's survival or not. They believe that in the great majority of patients, it will not be necessary. They highlight that blood transfusions had become about selfishly bringing comfort to the physician rather than to the patient. See the following link for details:
Australian National Blood Authority (for Media)
Bloodless Cures for Traditionally Blood-Dependent SurgeriesInstead of listing this link below, read it here. It shows that among the eight Jehovah's Witness in the bone marrow transplant patients in this Leukemia test group, in 2003, only two died of no causes that could have been prevented with blood transfusions, leading the researchers to recommend further research that has lead to major advancements in Leukemia treatments as found in articles below: Myeloablative therapy and bone marrow transplantation in Jehovah's Witnesses with malignancies: single center experience
Douer then treated the patient with another experimental drug called arsenic trioxide. Again the patient went into remission — without the need for blood products. “This is a revolution in the treatment of leukemia, because both drugs are not chemotherapy agents,” Douer says. “You can’t treat leukemia without blood products, but APL is one form of cancer that responds to this medication.”
. . . Before the development of an H.I.V. screening test for donors, in 1985, almost half of all hemophiliacs became infected with the virus. . . . When red blood cells are stored, they become more rigid and undergo chemical changes that make them less efficient at carrying oxygen. . . donor blood can suppress recipients’ immune systems, or it can trigger overactive immune responses, thanks to the waste products the cells secrete. A bag of blood that’s been sitting in storage is “like a dirty fish tank you haven’t cleaned in a month,” Patricia Ford, a hematologist at Pennsylvania Hospital, told me. And of course, while the risk of H.I.V. infection is now extremely low in the developed world, proponents worry about new pathogens. . . .
"Patients receiving bloodless management are doing as well or in some cases better than those with blood transfusions," says Dr. Linda Resar of the Johns Hopkins Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery in Baltimore. "What we learn will be relevant to all patients. It makes the whole field more exciting."
We present the first Jehovah’s Witness patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated successfully with azacitidine. After achieving complete remission (CR) with one course of azacitidine therapy, the patient received conventional postremission chemotherapy and remained in CR. In the case of patients who accept blood transfusions, there are reports indicating the treatment of AML patients with azacitidine. In these reports, azacitidine therapy was less toxic, including hematoxicity, compared with conventional chemotherapy. The CR rate in azacitidine-treated patients was inadequate; however, some characteristics could be useful in predicting azacitidine responders. The present case is useful for treating Jehovah’s Witnesses patients with AML and provides a clue for anti-AML therapy requiring minimum blood transfusions.
A standardized blood management program presents treatment options. Patients should be medically optimized preoperatively, and measures should be taken to minimize intraoperative blood loss. Patients must be educated about transfusion alternatives and the higher risks associated with revision surgery. High-risk surgical patients with multiple medical comorbidities must be warned about the chances of prolonged hospitalization and the risk of death. However, if surgeons familiarize themselves with blood management treatment protocols and adequately evaluate and optimize patients preoperatively, surgery on Jehovah’s Witnesses can be performed safely with favorable clinical outcomes. . . .
Doctors sometimes give heart patients a transfusion of red blood cells if tests show they have low levels of hemoglobin or hematocrit after the procedure to prevent severe anemia, despite some transfusion-related risks. Because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have that option, surgeons typically take extra pre-procedure precautions – such as giving patients B vitamins and iron – to ensure their red blood cell counts don’t get too low during surgery. And those precautions seem to be working, according to the new study. . . .
We present a case in which a young woman was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, FAB-classification type M2. As a member of Jehovah's Witnesses she refused to accept any treatment involving blood transfusions. A modified induction and consolidation chemotherapy regimen was applied, tailored to reduce prolonged myelosuppression. Despite severe anaemia, she survived to achieve complete remission. She is currently under treatment-free observation after two courses of consolidation treatment.
Physicians around the world are now successfully treating patients with bloodless surgery. Evidence shows that many benefits are being realized by using alternative medicine. . . .
Includes Risks of Allogeneic Transfusions, Informed Consent for Transfusion Therapy, Blood Transfusion Economics, Blood Management Strategies, and Cost-Effectiveness of Transfusion Alternatives.
The father of four surviving sextuplets vowed yesterday to prevent his newborns from having further blood transfusions to save their lives. Government social workers seized three of the four babies on the weekend and, the dad said, at least one received a blood transfusion. "Because we choose alternative medical treatments to blood transfusions, we have been stripped of our parental rights and have been labelled unfit," the father, a Jehovah's Witness, said in an affidavit in B.C. Supreme Court. "We want the best medical care for our children and want them to live. We have consented to all required treatment and have asked the doctors to more actively employ available alternatives to blood transfusions. We will not, however, consent to blood transfusions." [...] The government yesterday backed off its bid for legal custody of the three babies. "When the government came to court, they announced they were withdrawing," said Shane Brady, the parents' lawyer. No explanation was given, he said. "They just withdrew."
Among the human herpesviruses, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the only one that has assumed significant importance in blood transfusion. Transfusion transmission of CMV (TT-CMV) to seronegative immunocompromised patients can lead to lethal CMV disease. Studies over the past 30 years have demonstrated that monocytes latently infected with CMV represent the primary vector for TT-CMV, and that TT-CMV can be largely abrogated by transfusing at-risk patients with either seronegative units or blood filtered to remove white blood cells. However, the small number of cases of breakthrough TT-CMV that follow transfusion of either seronegative or filtered blood still produce morbidity and mortality. These circumstances have motivated ongoing efforts to provide improved protection from TT-CMV, including the use of CMV DNA amplification for blood screening, and pathogen inactivation to sterilise all blood components prior to transfusion.
Blood transfusions given routinely to tens of thousands of critically ill patients may be killing them, doctors have found. Canadian researchers have found that giving extra blood, despite its essential role in maintaining life, can cause more harm than good in those who have been thought in greatest need of it. . . .
Uncemented total hip replacement surgery without blood transfusion is described in 12 Jehovah's Witnesses and morbidity is compared with a group who each received 3 units of blood. There were no deaths and all the patients except two, one from each group, left hospital within 3 weeks.
Hit harder by AIDS than perhaps any other group, the nation's 15,000 hemophiliacs have been racked by anguish, confusion and anger, and forced to confront a threat that is taking the lives of many and scarring the emotions of many more. . . .
Ninety patients who were Jehovah's Witnesses underwent 107 total hip replacements without transfusion; all procedures were performed under spinal anesthesia. Of these 90, 87 had not previously undergone hip replacement surgery. They sustained an average intraoperative blood loss of 300 mL, which was a significant reduction compared with that in controlled groups of patients reported by other authors. Factors other than spinal anesthesia that aided in reducing blood loss were posterior surgical exposure of the hip without capsulectomy or removal of the greater trochanter, hemostasis without electrocauterization, and rapidly performed surgery. There were three operative complications and one death, none of which were related to spinal anesthesia.
Search Google for the more than 300,000 entries for "dies after blood transfusion".
A means of supplying oxygen to the blood is needed to replace the use of blood transfusions where oxygenation of the blood is required. There is currently no such treatment. However, since this field of medicine is still very young, it is still quite reasonable to expect improvement in this area. If an oxygen carrier is developed, blood transfusions will immediately become archaic. In all other areas, non-blood management has excelled.