7 Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses on Blood Transfusions


hello viewers in this video I’m going to be talking about blood transfusions and before I begin I just want to make it absolutely clear who I’m addressing in this video because obviously many of you watching this won’t necessarily be Jehovah’s Witnesses or maybe you were once a Jehovah’s Witness and you no longer believe and I appreciate you watching this video and my hope is that you will enjoy it and find it informative but I hope you don’t mind if I direct this video primarily to believing Jehovah’s Witnesses or former Jehovah’s Witnesses who still hold on to the belief that blood transfusions should be refused so the title of this video as you’ll have seen is 7 questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses on blood transfusions I believe that this information is most relevant to believing Jehovah’s Witnesses so that’s who I’m going to be talking to so with all that out of the way let me go through the questions that I’m going to be asking and answering and you’ll notice that I’m also providing the timing for each answer in the video so that if there’s a particular question that you’re most interested in you can if you want to just skip straight to where that question is dealt with but the 7 questions are as follows when did the blood teaching originate is the blood teaching internally consistent do witnesses abstained for medical or religious reasons is the blood prohibition a Bible command is abstaining from blood a personal decision is it ethical to deny blood transfusions for children and finally is the blood teaching worth dying for so let’s get straight into answering our first question when did the blood teaching originated so just by way of providing a little bit of context there’s a long history going back many decades in Watchtower literature particularly to the earliest beginnings of the watchtower movement there’s a long history of the organization dabbling in medical matters and giving advice to its readers on medical issues so for example you can find Watchtower quotes condemning the germ theory of disease you can find Watchtower quotes condemning aluminium cookware or aluminum cookware for those of you in America you can find Watchtower quotes condemning vaccinations all sorts of you know medical quackery basically can be found in some of the earliest spiritual food produced by watchtower so it’s really no surprise that as time passed they took an interest in blood transfusions particularly getting into the source of 1940s when blood transfusions were more widely available for people what’s interesting is that there is actually a 1940 consulation article and for those of you who don’t know consolation was the forerunner to the awake magazine it went Golden Age consolation awake magazine so we’re talking one of the main vehicles of spiritual food for Jehovah’s Witnesses there was an article a brief article published in the 1940 consolation it was the December 25th magazine on page 19 which read as follows in New York City a housewife in moving abour distinct accidentally shot herself through the heart with his revolver she was rushed to a hospital her left breast was cut around four ribs work us away the heart was lifted out three stitches were taken one of the attending physicians in the great emergency gave a quart of his blood for transfusion and today the woman lives and smiles daily over what happened to her in the busiest 23 minutes of her life now granted it makes no comment on whether it was proper for this woman to receive a blood transfusion but he would almost think reading this that it’s actually no big deal that this woman received someone else’s blood as part of her medical treatment and yet within just a few years watched her was to take a really firm stand on this issue in the 1945 January seventh Watchtower on page 201 watched how I said the following seeing then that the most high and holy God gave plain instructions as to the disposition of blood in harmony with his everlasting covenant made with Noah and all his descendants and seeing that the only use of blood that he authorized in order to furnish life to humankind was the use of it as a propitiation or atonement for sin and seeing that it was to be done upon his holy altar or at his mercy seat and not by taking such blood directly into the human body therefore it behooves all worshippers of Jehovah who seek eternal life in his new world of righteousness to respect the sanctity of blood and to confirm themselves to God’s righteous ruling concerning this vehicle matter so in 1945 it was decided but it was wrong for Jehovah’s Witnesses to receive blood medically and by 1961 it became a disfellowshipping affair it’s for a jehovah’s witness to receive blood you could be ejected from the organization and shunned if you received a blood transfusion now as of today it’s not a disfellowshipping event but it is a disassociation offence so if you consult the elders guidebook the Shepherd of the flock of God book you can clearly see that listed under the actions that would be considered as disassociation you can see they’re willingly and unrepentantly taking blood so it effectively means the same thing as disfellowshipping if you receive a blood transfusion and you’re not sorry for it you will be disassociated by the elders and shunned so that’s the briefest of histories on where this blood teaching came from basically we are talking about a teaching that was dreamt up in 1945 only a few years after in watchtower spiritual food blood transfusions were described as though they really weren’t a big deal by 1945 suddenly they are terrible they’re to be avoided by 1961 there it is there disfellowshipping offense and they basically continue to be an offense for which you can be shunned to this day my question to you as a Jehovah’s Witness watching this would be why did it take so long for this to become an issue for Jehovah’s organization we know that blood has been being transfuse medically since the 19th century and yet it takes 26 years after Watchtower is invisibly chosen by Jesus in 1919 to be his faithful and discreet slave it takes 26 years from 1919 to 1945 for them to figure out that it would be this or awful thing if a Jehovah’s Witness were to receive blood if it’s so serious and such a grave offense to Jehovah why did it take over two decades for God’s faithful and discreet slave to figure this out now that we know a little bit about where this blood teaching comes from we can get on with tackling our second question which is is the blood teaching internally consistent and in answering this question I want to talk a little bit about the fractions provision and as you will know if you are a Jehovah’s Witness in the year 2000 the teaching changed somewhat in that witnesses were allowed as a conscience matter to accept certain blood derivatives so long as they weren’t accepting either whole blood or one of the four main components of blood before we proceed further is worth stating what the four main components of blood are and how they’ve come to be thought of as the four main components of blood basically if you take a vial of blood and you spin it in a laboratory centrifuge what you will find is that the red blood cells drift down to the bottom the clear plasma moves to the top and in between the layer of plasma and a layer of red blood cells you get what’s called a buffy coat containing platelets and white blood cells so those are your four main components of blood red blood cells plasma platelets and white blood cells all of these are prohibited for jehovah’s witnesses to receive intravenously as a medical treatment however as of 2000 the rules changed so that if you could derive a treatment from one of those individual components if you could for example extract the my globin from a red blood cell well it would be a conscience matter you could in theory accept this without fear of punishment and it would be purely between you and God as to whether this was acceptable or not and this teaching was announced in the June 15 2000 watchtower I’m quoting now from page 29 Jehovah’s Witnesses hold that accepting whole blood or any of those full primary components violates God’s law significantly keeping to this Bible based position has protected them from many risks including such diseases as hepatitis and AIDS that can be contracted from blood however since blood can be processed beyond those primary components questions arise about fractions derived from the primary blood components how are such fractions used and what should a Christian consider when deciding on them so again as of this Watchtower article basically Jehovah’s Witnesses were allowed as a conscience matter to accept certain fractions that were derived from the four main components of blood now I can actually remember this provision being introduced and having some serious questions to ask myself as to whether I would personally accept fractions now that I was in theory allowed to as a jehovah’s witness on the conclusion i came up with was that I would have to refuse the fractions even if I was allowed them because I couldn’t accept that I would be receiving something that had been derived from donated blood when I wasn’t donating blood myself and my fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses weren’t donating blood themselves we as witnesses were receiving something through the altruism of non witnesses that would save our lives when we were unwilling to reciprocate by giving our own blood so that it could be used to produce these fractions so that’s just one immediate example of the internal inconsistencies in the blood teaching and specifically the two thousand fractions provision but there’s more because when you are a Jehovah’s Witness you are taught to believe that the only acceptable use of blood is in sacrifice and if blood isn’t being used in divinely appointed sacrifice such as the sacrifices that were made by the ancient Israelites where there was this huge list of laws and provisions that were handed down by God if blood wasn’t being used in one of those approved ways then it should be spilled out on the ground and any blood that isnt spilled out on the ground or used in a way that’s been approved by God is basically to be considered stolen you’ve stolen it from God God is the originator of life the life is in the blood so any use of blood beyond what God approves is a misappropriation of blood now just think about that for a moment and let me read to you from the book in search of Christian freedom by Raymond France who is a former who who was a former governing body member now deceased he makes some very interesting observations on pages 288 and 289 Franz reproduces part of a letter from a friend who’s giving some very compelling reasoning on this issue and he writes the blood it is claimed belongs to God but that is conveniently forgotten when the use of blood fractions is pronounced tolerable but it would hardly do to accept for any secular use what exclusively belongs to God because that would be the same as using stolen property a stolen car is a stolen car and it would not make the theft more tolerable if the car is separated into primary components say the motor coach and the transmission and then separated further into fractions such as carburetor pistons hood doors and driveshaft only if the car is not stolen would one have the right to take it apart and use or sell it as small parts and if the car is not stolen all parts both big and small can properly be separated and used at will so if blood fractions can be tolerated certainly the major components and even whole blood can this was such an important point because the guy who wrote this is spot on either blood is allowed or it isn’t if it’s not allowed to use blood for any other purpose than sacrifice it doesn’t suddenly become acceptable just because you’ve taken a tiny tiny part of that blood and used it for something else either it’s okay to use whole blood for reasons other than sacrifice for say medical reasons or it isn’t the fractions provision that was brought in again in 2000 is internally inconsistent and irrational now at this point in the video I just want to make it abundantly clear that I’m not trying to talk Jehovah’s Witnesses into refusing fractions if you’re watching this as a witness I actually want you to accept fractions I even want you to accept whole blood the point of this discussion is just to show you how logically inconsistent the fractions provision is and if the fractions provision is inconsistent it stands to reason that quite likely the entire blood teaching is logically flawed as well the whole point of going into the fractions provision in this detail another big problem with the fractions provision is how arbitrary it is in distinguishing between the four main components and fractions such as hemoglobin so again we arrive at the four main components by putting a vial of blood in loop in a laboratory centrifuge and spinning it why would God use that to determine what the for what the main components of blood are why would God be interested in how blood responds in a laboratory centrifuge and how blood is separated in that specific process versus the role played by the actual ingredients of blood and to drive home this point you’ll remember that red blood cells are one of the main components of blood well what is a red blood cell a red blood cell is a disc-shaped cell that is pretty much a rapper containing hemoglobin if you could just peel open that red blood cell what you would have inside is just hemoglobin and hemoglobin is a protein that the body uses to transfer oxygen when we breathe in oxygen in the air that works its way into the blood and it’s the hemoglobin in your blood that transfers that oxygen that you breathe to all of the various parts of your body that need oxygen hemoglobin is actually the reason why your blood is red it’s a significant part of your blood it’s actually it actually makes up 15% of blood volume and yet amazingly if there were a way to use this hemoglobin all by itself watch how it would be fine with that and incidentally you can’t just inject hemoglobin and it will perform the same role as red blood cells there needs to be some way of transferring it you need to have something like the wrapper of the red blood cell in order for it to do its job but nevertheless if there were a way to just utilize the hemoglobin watched how would be fine with that and they’ve even published in the 2006 our kingdom ministry I’m going to show you now where they’ve allowed witnesses to tick to say that they would accept hemoglobin if that were on offer so Watchtower has no problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses with you Jehovah’s Witnesses who are watching this receiving into your bodies then the thing that makes your blood red and the thing that is responsible for carrying oxygen to your bodies just think about how little sense that makes when we’re talking about red blood cells the body’s natural carriers of hemoglobin it would be an abomination for you to receive those according to Watchtower but if you could peel them open and get to the hemoglobin inside and just use the hemoglobin by itself suddenly that would be acceptable and to highlight just how irrational this is I’m gonna go back to Ray franzi’s book in search of Christian freedom because he continues I think his friend continues talking about the hemoglobin he writes on page 290 with or without the peel an orange is still an orange if a method to remove the segments of an orange and arrange the segment’s in groups of four without peel is invented the product will still be an orange and nobody would call it anything else in the same way slim dread cells freed and prepared hemoglobin will remain blood therefore to say that taking in red blood cells is a sin while seeing the freed vital hemoglobin is not is downright Ferris say hypocrisy again when we’re talking about hemoglobin we’re talking about something that makes up 15% of your body’s blood by comparison white blood cells which are one of those parts of your blood that gets fractionated in a laboratory centrifuge white blood cells make up only 1% of your blood and yet they are prohibited purely because it’s possible to separate white blood cells in a laboratory centrifuge whereas because hemoglobin can’t be separated because it’s inside the wrapper the red blood cells well that’s okay this makes no logical sense again why would God create these laws based purely on how blood responds andhe centrifugal forces rather than the actual role it plays in the body but we must press on to our third question which is do Witnesses abstain for medical or religious reasons and if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness watching this a common response that you will give when asked about the blood teaching say when you are doing the preaching work and someone says well isn’t it true that you let your children die by refusing blood transfusions as a witness you are trained to respond with something like the following well actually lots of doctors nowadays are realizing that it’s much safer to perform surgery and other treatments without the use of blood it’s safer it’s better for the patients it’s a more effective way of doing medicine and so by taking this position on blood transfusions we’re making things better not just for ourselves not just for Jehovah’s Witnesses but for all patients so witnesses will give this medical reasoning for refusing blood transfusions but is that honest I would argue that no it isn’t honest because bottom line the reasons why Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions is because they are convinced this is a command in the Bible from God and we’re going to get to the whole issue of whether it is or isn’t in the Bible later in this video but again it’s purely religious if blood transfusions had zero risk attached and I’m gonna go into the risk very shortly but basically almost all medical treatments have a degree of risk attached to them when we’re talking about serious medical intervention there will be some risk attached but hypothetically speaking even if there were no risks attached to blood transfusions even if there were no risks at all Jehovah’s Witnesses would still refuse them because as far as they’re concerned it’s a command in the Bible so I do find it rather disingenuous when you speak to witnesses and I was guilty of it too as a witness when you speak to witnesses and they try to pretend that it’s a medical thing and just to emphasize the fact that there isn’t a medical argument against blood transfusions I’ve pulled up a few figures for you from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute there I learned that each year almost 5 million Americans require blood transfusions so 5 million Americans in the space of a year will require blood transfusions that’s how much blood is being transfused if you can somehow imagine that on the website of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute they have like an FAQ section and one of these sections deals with viruses and infectious diseases and I think it’s worthwhile going through some of the points that are made here some infectious agents such as HIV can survive in blood and infect the person receiving the blood transfusion to keep blood save blood banks carefully screened donated blood the risk of catching a virus from a blood transfusion is very low HIV your risk of getting HIV from a blood transfusion is lower than your risk of getting killed by lightning only about one in two million donations might carry HIV and transmit HIV if given to a patient hepatitis B and C the risk of getting a donation that carries hepatitis B is about one in two hundred and five thousand the risk for hepatitis C is one in two million if you receive blood during a transfusion that contains hepatitis you’ll likely develop the virus variant creutzfeldt-jakob disease vCJD this disease is the human version of mad cow disease it’s a very rare yet fatal brain disorder there is a possible risk of getting B CJD from a blood transfusion although the risk is very low because of this people who may have been exposed to vCJD aren’t eligible blood donors so maybe you’ll remember from earlier in this video when Watchtower was unveiling its new light about blood fractions in 2000 they raised the issue of infections and particularly HIV they said significantly keeping to this bible-based position has protected them Jehovah’s Witnesses from many risks including such diseases as hepatitis and AIDS that can be contracted from blood and yet when we listen to what the professionals are telling us they are telling us that it’s a minut chance it’s obviously not zero chance because whenever you are dependent upon the general population for donating blood no matter how many safeguards you put in place there’s always the probability that one of those safeguards is going to fail in some way and you’re going to get an infected donor giving blood but even so the risks are so remote of you actually getting a disease a serious disease from a blood transfusion as it’s said in the case of HIV it’s that your risk of getting HIV from a blood transfusion is lower than your risk of getting killed by lightning let’s just again assuming you’re watching this as a Jehovah’s Witness let’s try and put this in perspective because I’m addressing this issue of is it medical or is it religious and if your reasons for refusing blood transfusions are medical I’m sorry but they’re just not good reasons if you are put in a position where your life is in danger and your doctor says you will die if you don’t receive a blood transfusion are you going to say well the risk of me getting HIV is so great that I would rather die of course you’re nuts you’re going to roll the dice every time if you truly value living that is you’re going to want to take your chances and based on these figures your chances are excellent that you will avoid any kind of infection and the risk is minimal if it was a 50/50 let’s say there’s a 50/50 chance that you will be receiving infected blood personally I would still take those odds I would still want to know that there’s half a chance that I’m going to survive again with death being the only other option but those aren’t the odds the odds armed 50/50 the odds are infinitesimal that there will be any problems so that again there are no good medical reasons and to really drive this point home I wanted to just share with you an example from watchtowers past literature past writings of them trying this strategy of scaring people because that’s what this amounts to when they write about the risk of HIV infections etc and yes I don’t deny there’s at least some risk but when watched how it does this they’re really not looking out for the welfare of Jehovah’s Witnesses they are trying to enforce their agenda they’re trying to justify their reasons for this prohibition but they’ve done this before with with even worse reasons for refusing a blood transfusion and I want to give you an example it’s actually from a 1961 watchtower the September 15th watchtower and this is on page 564 in the bound volume for that year allow me to read this quote dr. Americo Valerio Brazilian doctor and surgeon for over 40 years agrees moral insanity sexual perversions repression inferiority complexes petty crimes these often follow in the wake of blood transfusion he says yet it is acknowledged in the public press that organizations whose blood supply is considered reliable obtain blood for transfusion from criminals who are known to have such characteristics certainly no one who is trying to depart from the works of the flesh and use his life in the way that God directs through his word is going to lay himself open to such a ruinous future I kid you not that is a serious quote from spiritual food published in a in by the faithful slave in a Watchtower magazine in 1961 they are seriously suggesting that you can receive someone else’s moral insanity sexual perversions petty crimes by receiving their blood that’s the kind of medical quackery and pseudoscience that has informed watchtowers thinking over the decades and that’s the kind of backwards reasoning that they’ve been willing to fall back on in their desperation to persuade Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse blood well–that’s anyway we must press on with our next question which is is the blood prohibition a Bible command Jehovah’s Witnesses believing Jehovah’s Witnesses watching this video will be adamant that it is a Bible command and they will draw our attention to Acts chapter 15 verse 29 where it says keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols from blood from what is strangled and from sexual immorality now what most witnesses don’t understand about this first because it isn’t really shown in much context is the motivation for urging Christians to abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood the motivation behind urging Christians to do this was so that they wouldn’t stumble others and to show this it’s worth looking at 1st Corinthians 8 verses 8 to 10 where Paul writes food will not bring us nearer to God we are no worse off if we do not eat no better off if we eat but keep watching that your right to choose does not somehow become a stumbling block to those who are weak for if anyone should see you who have knowledge having a meal in an idle temple will not the conscience of that one who is weak be emboldened to the point of eating food offered to idols so again what most witnesses don’t understand is that the reason why this prohibition against blood and food sacrificed to idols was included in the first place wasn’t because it was inherently wrong or inherently evil in and of itself it was all about whether this had a capacity to stumble other believers and interestingly that’s exactly how this prohibition was interpreted by watchtowers founder Charles taze Russell in a 1909 watchtower Russell wrote it was advisable that the Gentile Christians abstain from the use of their Liberty in this direction out of deference to the weaker brethren Jews and Gentiles who could not so deeply philosophize and whose consciences might be injured but all of that no one’s is entirely ignored by watchtower they zero in on the words keep up staining from blood and they say well this is a concrete command and if the Bible says we are to abstain from eating blood then we certainly wouldn’t want to have it transfused into our bodies and they even use in the literature many witnesses watching this will be familiar with the analogy of a patient who is an alcoholic such a patient would be advised that a single drop of alcohol would be out of the question it would send them spiraling into their alcoholism so it would be out of the question for such a patient to have ah hole injected into his body intravenously if he’s not allowed to ingest the alcohol why would he be allowed to have it injected straight into his veins which is just a terrible analogy because alcohol is essentially a toxin and it’s gonna do pretty much the same thing whether you drink it or inject it straight into your blood veins blood is something completely different if you ingest blood it gets processed by your digestive system but if you have blood transfusion to your body provided it’s the correct match for your blood type it immediately starts fulfilling a life-saving role you cannot compare blood and alcohol it’s perfectly conceivable if you want to believe that God created us that God wants us to preserve our lives using whatever measures are necessary and objects to people eating blood but actually wouldn’t mind them using it medically again if life is in the balance bearing in mind the obvious of course which is that the Bible writers wouldn’t have known anything about blood transfusions because people only started to transfuse blood in the 19th century how could the Bible writers have had blood the transfusing of blood in mind when they were writing these verses but if you’re a witness watching this these aren’t the only reasons why it cannot be said that the blood teaching is biblical there’s also a rabbinic principle which you really should look into known as peacock nefesh the kawatte nefesh is basically a rabbinic principle that would have been understood certainly by Jesus but by Jewett by Jews of his day whereby the sanctity of life comes first the preservation of life comes first and there are no other laws that supersede the importance of keeping things alive and there are numerous examples of Jesus referring to this principle in the conversations he had with religious leaders of his day and one example can be found at Matthew chapter 12 if you look at verse tan it says so they asked him they being the religious leaders is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him he said to them if you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out how much more valuable is a man than a sheep so it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath Jesus was here appealing to pick nephesh he was reasoning with the Jewish religious leaders that life comes first and if you have a chance to save a life whether it’s human or animal you drop everything else you forget about any other restrictions such as the Sabbath which was a big thing for Jews or continues to be a big thing for Jews you drop everything else and you preserve life so just by way of a recap we’ve already considered multiple reasons why cannot be said the blood teaching is biblical firstly and most obviously the Bible writers wouldn’t have known anything about the medical use of blood they would only have thought in terms of eating it not in terms of its medical use and as I already explained there’s a huge difference between the role performed by blood when it’s in your veins versus what happens to blood when it’s in your digestive system there’s also the fact that when you cross-reference what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians chapter 8 it quickly becomes obvious that abstaining from eating blood wasn’t because eating blood was evil in and of itself it was really more to do with not stumbling other people and there’s also the rabbinic principle of pikuach nefesh keep panicking me I’m going to mispronounce that which Watchtower seemed to have completely overlooked which was a principle appealed to by Jesus when arguing with the Pharisees which said look the preservation of life clearly has to come first over all other considerations but believe it or not this actually yet another reason why we can dismiss the blood teaching on biblical grounds and to find this we need only go to a questions from readers article that was published in a 1994 watchtower the April 15 1994 Watchtower page 31 and the question under consideration was as follows whence all soldiers ate meat along with the blood why were they not executed since that was the punishment set out in God’s law again if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness watching this I would urge enly recommend that you seek out this particular article and you’ll be amazed at some of the reasoning that watchtower employees here basically we’re talking about an incident that’s recorded in first samuel 14 where due to a series of circumstances Israelite soldiers out of desperation slaughter animals on the ground and eat the meat along with the blood the obvious question then is well since eating blood is prohibited on pain of death in the Mosaic law why were these soldiers not executed if it’s such a huge deal as far as Jehovah is concerned how blood is used to the point where Jehovah’s Witnesses are to die rather than receive a blood transfusion why is it that these soldiers were allowed to eat meat with blood with seemingly no punishment Anna I’ll let you read the article but let me just skip to near the end where it says the following Jehovah extended mercy apparently because he knew what attempts the soldiers had made even though they were very tired and hungry God may also have taken into account that Saul’s rash oath had pressed his men into that desperate situation so this was a desperate situation that required mercy from Jehovah how could those words not be applied to a Jehovah’s Witness on an operating table whose life hangs in the balance why are they not worthy of mercy why are they not worthy of of special allowances in their desperate situation but you have hear this story in the Bible where all know you don’t understand the soldiers were in a desperate situation that required mercy to be extended so they got let off the hook it’s two completely different standards the watchtower doesn’t even try to address they’re just counting on you as a Jehovah’s Witness not stumbling on these verses and if you do stumble on them they’re counting on you not thinking this through rationally and realizing that there’s a huge double standard here but we must press on to our next question under consideration which is is abstaining from blood a personal choice lots of Jehovah’s Witnesses including some of you who may be watching this will argue that yes it is a personal choice we all get to decide what we do with our bodies what we allow into our bodies what medical treatments we allow to be performed on our own bodies and that’s certainly true but in the case of the blood prohibition and the way watched how it goes about enforcing it I would argue strongly that it isn’t necessarily a personal decision to abstain from blood Exhibit A in making my argument would have to be this notorious awake magazine cover from 1994 the lead article their youths who puts God first and the magazine doesn’t really require too much explanation here you have watchtower celebrating the deaths of children incidentally I’ve heard lots of people say that there are dozens of victims featured in this article I think that that might be a misinterpretation of the cover art when you look more closely at the cover it appears that some of the faces are actually stock imagery but certainly the three faces the three main children who are featured on that front cover all of them died refusing blood and when you go through the magazine it’s actually heartbreaking to read this awake and not just see children who are being coerced into throwing their lives away due to the indoctrination of their parents but the way this is being milked for propaganda value and my argument would be if if abstaining from blood if refusing blood transfusions is a purely personal choice why is this emotional manipulation why is this propaganda necessary why can’t it simply be a case of Watchtower making the information available letting witnesses decide for themselves and that’s that why do they have to publish this sort of grotesque material which again celebrates the essential Mart of young jehovah’s witnesses there are other examples throughout watchtower literature of children dying in observance of the blood teaching I won’t go through all of them in this video but there’s another example of Joshua Walker who died refusing blood in 1994 his story was just tragic and if any of you watching this have by any chance seen the Leah Remini Andy special which I was honored to be included in there one of the most poignant parts of that special show on Jehovah’s Witnesses was the part where Anthony Morris relates the story of Joshua Walker at a recent convention and seems to relish Joshua making the ultimate sacrifice for his beliefs and please respect my wishes best thing for me is respect the sanctity of life if I die I will good example of faith in the face of stressing persecution amazing young fellow and when he’s resurrected what this amounts to is emotional manipulation and peer pressure if it’s all about personal choice for you as a Jehovah’s Witness refusing blood why is this necessary why do you have to be manipulated in such a distasteful way with examples of children who have died being put in front of you and watched her effectively saying they did it you should do it too another tragic story which you’re not going to find in Watchtower publications or at least you won’t find it yet is that of LOA Dupree who tragically died on October 12 2016 at the age of 26 she died refusing blood at of medical facility in Canada after she developed serious complications giving birth she refused blood and she died but what’s interesting and also very disturbing about eloise story is what her relatives have to say particularly her non-believing relatives because they put forth a big effort to reach through to Eloise when it became obvious that things were very dire they tried to visit her to number one see her in her final hours but number two if possible I am persuade her to accept a life-saving blood transfusion and what’s incredible is that they were met with essentially a wall of washed our elders because if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness watching this you’ll know that when a Jehovah’s Witness is admitted to hospital and the issue of blood comes up a hospital liaison committee is dispatched and when you’re a witness the understanding is well they’re there to help you they are there to speak with the doctor and make sure that your rights are respected what you don’t consider when you’re a Jehovah’s Witness is that these elders are being sent to make sure that you toe the line make sure that you stand firm on the issue of blood because when you’re in a life-or-death situation you can’t sometimes change your mind when the chips are down and it’s it’s looking like you’re really going to die who knows what decision you might make who knows what personal decision you might make but because it isn’t really a personal decision because Watchtower doesn’t trust you as a Jehovah’s Witness to make this personal decision they send out these hospital liaison committees and in the case of Allah we Dupree these men stops eloise non JW relatives from getting through and seeing her in her final hours and I want to cover eloise story in more detail in a future video because there’s so much to talk about but I do just want to play a recording this is an interview with Ian Mitchell who is a doctor and medical ethicist from the University of Calgary and dr. Mitchell has some very interesting observations to make about the hospital liaison committees what I learn is that this young woman gave birth to a child had hemorrhage and which it was thought transfusion would be life-saving see it here’s the transfusion and died leaving of course a newborn infant instantly motherless at the same time she had many friends outside of her religious community who tried to have access to her who tried to persuade her to have the transfusion and were blocked by members of the religion these are the the groups that are called hospital liaison committees that belong to the Jehovah’s Witness faith these are specially trained elders who are dispatched when there’s an issue of transfusion they occupy space in the hospital they make it nearly impossible for often for ordinary work to be done and certainly for visitors not of the faith to have access to this young woman you’ve had experience with these groups yes can you describe what it’s like yes is very uncomfortable they are I have to say very polite they are never rude they are never violent they are they commend they’re well-dressed there are a number of them they are persistent they want to be part of a conversation that the physician has with the family which is a very unusual event they have very specific medical suggestions to make which is very unusual for people accompanying families not that we expect families to necessarily agree with us and not do the wrong looking but it is very unusual for family friends to come in and be so persistent and so specific in medical suggestions on treatment they are given information which is very dated they are told and I didn’t look at the website this morning but two or three days ago information on blood is that you oh great it’s that there’s now extremely unlikely which is medical work for nearly impossible extremely unlikely there if someone is homosexual and you get blood from non you become homosexual this is impossible so they’re given misinformation and the course so it does not fulfill the requirements or advanced directive so what’s a doctor to do faced with this decision faced with on the one hand the knowledge that you just told us about that’s that’s widely available that’s out there but on the other hand the knowledge that if they do disobey the the order on that card they could face legal consequences you ask what should the daughter I think we need to think about what should Healthcare Organizations and I will answer your question but let me deal with the health care organizations first we would expect in terms of Eloise this young woman who died in Quebec that her husband would have a role in guiding her that our parents my that perhaps if no she’s sisters but they would be part of it we would not expect strangers from her church to be part of that decision-making so I think our hospitals and health care organizations need to think about how they respond to these non family members coming in so the first thing is deal with these hospital liaison committees the physicians are in a nearly impossible situation because they’re given legal advice and the little bit of legal advice that you must accept a card and yet the physician you know we do try and do good most of us are law-abiding people don’t understand the subtleties of the question and are likely to let the person die and I have to say that every healthcare practitioner physician nurse technologist laboratory it’s clear to anyone are extremely saddened with these unnecessary deaths of young people so they’ll be enormous sadness but nevertheless most will obey the law and I’m sure to be fair enormous sadness on the part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who are in the room as well I would hope so I have no evidence of that because in fact markers have created dr. Mitchell thank you very much for joining us thank you Jenna so what dr. Mitchell had to say there I just found fascinating coming from a medical professional who is it who is frequently in situations where he’s desperately trying to save the life of a Jehovah’s Witness it’s his job to save their lives and they also they’re also the ones who have to deal with the trauma if they lose their patient especially the trauma of losing a patient who fuses life-saving treatment and additionally complicating matters is the fact that you’ve got these these random dudes showing up saying oh where the hospital lays on committee we’re here to help and rather than it being a case of the doctor helping the patient and having this line of communication there’s a third party involved and again if it’s if it’s a case of personal choice what is the relevance what is the need for the hospital liaison committee it’s quite obvious to any witnesses watching this I hope when you really think about it that this is a case of coercion this is a case of undue influence this is a case of witnesses in a desperate situation being bullied into following what Watchtower requires of them and just as a side note if they’re if there’s anyone watching this who happens to be involved in let’s say legislation for hospitals who is looking into the issue of Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusions and what can be done I would say that as an urgent measure we need to be keeping hospital liaison committees out of hospitals they are not there for the patient’s benefit they are there for the religion benefit and making sure that again that the patient capitulates that the patient toes the line these men have no right inside hospital wards manipulating the issue and coercing patients into what treatment they receive or don’t receive but another story I just want to quickly show you is that of Phil Dunn Phil Dunn is not thankfully a victim of the blood teaching I actually had the honor of interviewing Phil a few years ago now and his story is just phenomenal because again it highlights this issue of personal choice and I just want to show you a few clips from my interview with Phil I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma it’s a type of cancer of immune system it was a tumor in my stomach that had grown so large that actually tore a hole in it and one night I was just at home watching TV I felt very queasy I went up to the bathroom to throw up and I pass out on the floor and I had a seizure and when I got to the hospital they told me that I was bleeding internally and without a blood transfusion I most likely died within the next couple of days well if you’ve never been in that situation you don’t know but the doctors will come in privately and they will tell you that they can give you blood without anybody ever knowing they even can have bags that are not labeled that are not see-through see unless she would have to obviously not be see yeah they told me that you could even have somebody in the room and you wouldn’t they wouldn’t know that you were getting a blood transfusion but right it was mostly I I was terrified of dying but at the same time I felt that I couldn’t live with the guilt of having had a blood transfusion because at that time I was still you know believed in what Watchtower it taught me having to keep it secret from my family it would probably just tear me apart I would feel guilty especially they would probably be proud of me for refusing a blood transfusion I had secretly taken one then I would just feel guilty every time that it’s brought up and they use me as a good example so I even though I wasn’t sure at the time whether or not I really believed that I was gonna wake up in Paradise if I died I really was on the fence about it I just knew that I couldn’t go on living my life with that kind of guilt if I’d taken the blood transfusion so what I found fascinating there is that Phil basically admitted that when he was a believing jehovah’s witness in that situation he refused simply because he couldn’t live with himself if he went ahead and had the blood he couldn’t live with the guilt he couldn’t live with his congregation applauding him and viewing him as a hero when none of them knew that actually he had secretly received blood and so he was willing to die rather than go through a life of inner turmoil due to making that decision again how can this be called personal choice when you have emotional manipulation through propaganda articles that celebrate the martyrdom of children when you have hospital liaison committees dispatched to the bedside to make sure that the patient capitulates when you have people like Phil Dunn who feel as though they don’t have a choice they can’t conceive of going through life living a pretense when in actual fact they caved in and they accepted a life-saving transfusion and bottom line here is the ultimate reason why it simply cannot be said that the blood teaching is a personal choice if you as a Jehovah’s Witness are threatened with shunning if you accept a blood transfusion how can it be a personal choice if you are being threatened with being separated from your family and I’ve already shown in the elders Shepherd book where it says that if you willfully and unrepentantly take blood you are liable to disassociation and therefore to being shunned by everyone who’s a Jehovah’s Witness who you know and care about by your own flesh and blood they will be weaponized against you if you go ahead and accept a life-saving blood transfusion where is the personal choice in any of this which brings us to our penultimate question is it ethical to deny blood transfusions for children and I’m going to answer this as quickly as possible because I don’t think it requires too much reasoning or argumentation I don’t think he’s ever ethical to kill a child because of what your religious beliefs are you as an adult have the right as I’ve already said to decide what treatments you receive what medicine what fluids are permitted into your body you can I’m even I would even go as far as to say that it’s your right to die under certain circumstances if you feel that your life isn’t or intolerable if you have some illness that means you’re constantly in pain I’m one of those people who believes that your right to medicine includes your right to euthanasia under certain circumstances but what you absolutely cannot argue is that a child should be expected to die due to the religious beliefs of that child’s parents until they are considered by law to be an adult they absolutely should be protected by the courts and it should be ensured that they receive all the medical care that they need or that the doctors determine they need now thankfully we’re already seeing a story after story case after case in numerous countries where Jehovah’s Witness parents faced this by lemma and the decision is taken out of their hands by a judge and the doctors get the green light to save the child but I wanted to include this question anyway just in case you happen to be watching this as a Jehovah’s Witness as a believing Jehovah’s Witness with a child and I just want to basically employ you and reach out to your humanity do you really want to see your child die in this situation is it right that your child should have to pay the ultimate sacrifice because of your personal religious beliefs this is a question which if nothing else I would implore you to think very carefully about and before I move on to the next question indeed the final question I just want to leave you Jehovah’s Witness parents with this one thought especially if I’m speaking to a mother when your child was in your womb your child was already receiving your blood it’s commonly known that mothers pregnant mothers exchange blood with the babies in their wombs they exchange white blood cells through the breast milk but there’s also a medical condition called Rh sensitization Rh sensitization if you Jehovah’s Witness please research this it’s a bit complicated and I’m not sure my head fully understands it but basically Rh sensitization is something that happens because of the exchange of red blood cells between mother and baby so that future pregnancies there can be complications due to the the different types of blood between the mother and the child but you have this situation where you’re allowed to receive another human beings blood so long as you’re still in the womb and yet once you’re out of the womb once you’ve been born oh well from this point forward you’re not allowed to receive another human beings blood how why would you over have this crazy mixed-up way of doing things so this it’s okay to sustain a child’s life with someone else’s blood when they’re still in the womb but once they get out of the womb they’re on their own so now we’ve reached the point in the video where I’m down to my last question which is is the blood teaching worth dying for and that’s a question that you as a Jehovah’s Witness watching this have to obviously decide for yourself I can’t make that decision for you but I would certainly hope that based on some of the information I presented to you which I think you’ll agree not all of it is discussed in watched help locations in fact most of it is not discussed or is completely ignored hopefully I’ve presented some compelling reasons for you to at least re-evaluate whether this is number one a valid teaching and number two a teaching that is valid enough important enough for you to lay down your life and before I go I do just want to read from my book that we looked into prostate and actually this is the reluctant apostate it has a chapter in it chapter nine is blood and tears and the information I’ve presented in this video is mostly based on that chapter blood and tears because I obviously had to research this issue when writing that chapter and I would urge you if you’re interested too if you’re interested in exploring these issues in more detail by all means check out the book but I wanted to read to you from part of my chapter that explores the scope of this and the impact it’s having on Jehovah’s Witnesses the true body count resulting from the blood bond will perhaps always remain a mystery despite being proud of its stance Watchtower is not quite proud enough to report the number of witnesses who died observing it but every now and then we find Clues hinting at the scale of the carnage for example a paper was published in 2011 titled clinical benefits and cost effectiveness of allergenic red blood cell transfusion in severe symptomatic anemia the paper gave a chilling insight into the rates of witnessed mortality due to blood refusal results were shown from a study of four major public hospitals in New Zealand from 1998 to 2007 it found that out of one hundred and three witness patients who suffered severe anemia lack of hemoglobin in the blood 21 died all 103 refused blood but were agreeable to alternative treatments when 103 non Witness patients in similar circumstances were randomly picked it was found that only two of these died hence over the same period the mortality rate of witnesses who refused blood was 10 times that of non witnesses who did not but for me was one of the most chilling parts of my writing process for the entire book when you’re confronted with that scale of carnage when we’re talking about Jehovah’s Witnesses dying at a rate of 10 times that of non witnesses in the same situation I mean it’s very difficult to extrapolate meaningful numbers from just this one study this we’re talking about a finite period of time in New Zealand is it really fair to then say oh well let’s calculate what it would be worldwide because every country is different different you know different cultures can impact the numbers in different ways but even so I think it’s been estimated that based on these figures we’re potentially looking at tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses dying since 1945 due to this blood teaching as someone raised as a witness as someone who knows hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses albeit who were shunning me I just find it so sad that Watchtower has this much blood on their hands that they are responsible for killing this many Jehovah’s Witnesses if these numbers are anything to go by to be 10 times more likely to die when you’re in this particular situation it’s it doesn’t bear thinking just how much death there has been due to the blood teaching and if you’re Jehovah’s Witness it’s really worth thinking about whether it’s worthwhile whether it’s worthwhile sticking to this with so much at stake and I will leave you with one more thought which is something I have expressed in ion the Leah Remini show which is that how would Watchtower reverse this even if they wanted to even if the governing body wanted to stop this wanted to put an end to the carnage how could they at this point when you’ve already killed potentially tens of thousands of people how do you say we got that wrong you can’t can you you’re already committed at that point so more Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to die there will potentially be Jehovah’s Witnesses maybe even dying right at this moment due to this teaching which is a really disturbing thought but hopefully just by raising some of these issues in the form of different questions I’ve at least given you something to think about enabling you hopefully if you ever are in this life-or-death situation to reach a truly informed position so anyway I hope this video has given you food for thought again if you want this information more comprehensively you can find it in my book The Reluctant apostate which is on Amazon I also need to quickly thank my patreon supporters who actually suggested this video we have a monthly vote where they let me know what subjects they want me to discuss and this was one they picked and they keep picking interesting subjects for me to get my teeth into and I’m very grateful for their input but that’s about all I’ve got for you please don’t forget to subscribe to the john cedars channel for more videos and as always thank you for watching [Applause] [Music] [Music]

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