ANSWERS: 57
  • http://www.watchtower.org/library/hb/article_04.htm This article should give some sound answers to your question.
    • Gone!
      Read at your own risk... wolves in sheep's clothing.
    • Gone!
      I recently read that they've had a lot of "New Light" come to them on the subject. They can now use 95% of blood components, and still not call it blood. Not sure if that's true... but... there ya are.
  • I think that if they wish not to have blood transfusions for their children it is their right. I wanted to ask this question as well, after I read about the Canadian case that is in the news at the moment, and I thought maybe the parents feel that if their children are meant to survive, they will. I don't think the state should intervene.
  • No, they should not have the right and the state should step in. Children are not mature enough to choose their own religion. They are more or less, forced to adopt their parents' religion. No parent should have the right to place some God or religion above their family's health. If adults want to die instead of having a blood transfusion, then they should have the freedom to consent. Children cannot even vote, let alone make decisions about life and death. It is totally wrong and immoral to let children die in name of some God of which there is not even any evidence that such God exists.
  • Personally i find it very difficult to justify the potential death of a child for religious reasons. With my wife being a nurse, i have heard many stories. I cannot see how this tradition is still upheld. Furthermore, i cannot fathom parents making these decisions for their own children when their life is on the line.
  • Since I live in America, NOBODY can tell me which religion is right or wrong. If my religion says that neither I nor my family may receive a blood transfusion than we wouldn't. We can't have it both ways, freedom of religion but only if everybody agrees with EVERYTHING that religion believes in. Then it is no longer a freedom, it is a mandate. This is not my belief, but only God can judge those who do hold this belief. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I feel for those parents, and am grateful that is not a decision I will have to make. God Bless, <:))))<><
  • If they are in the hospital then they are under the doctors care, and the doctor is sworn under oath to keep people alive, no matter what... so yes, if they need it and the parents refuse.. then the child should be kept alive with whatever means available to them, such as a transfusion.
  • Religious freedom be damned in this instance. If it's a parents obligation to protect a child from harm, I find it a bit of an about face that parents following this particular doctrine should allow their child come to harm by refusing potentially life saving treatment. Especially when that particular doctrine is derived from a twisting of words in the bible. In NO place does it state in there that transfusions are forbidden by God or any divine order.
  • To play devil's advocate, I believe Johovah's Witness parents see more harm, physical or moral, in allowing the transfusion. They aren't refusing medical care out of malice or willful neglect. It is their true faith that impells them to follow certain dictates. The argument could be made that a parent has every other right to raise their children in the faith of my choice, utilizing church practices -- baptism, prayer ritual, confession -- what have you. Then why not the right over the choice to use medical treatment or not? I agree that it seems somewhat backward not to want to preserve the life of your child through advanced medicine, but if you want to protect the children, maybe trying to sway the tenet of the faith is more productive in the longterm than legally dictating what a religion can and cannot do.
  • Its the patient's right if the patient is under age then its the parent have to decide. I know the prats didn't believe in even going to a doctor so there children suffer with Mumps, when I was going to school and the state didn't step in and say neglect. I see no difference. The JW have a an old testament passage that says the blood is sacred but even I'm holiness and nondenominational I don't believe in living in sin, but I don't agree to refuse a tranfusion though am a little scared with all the dieases going around. Not to mention if they don't have blood on hand they take someone local and the only test done is a cross-match antigen. That's scary!! I can't agree with someone taking our freedom just because of a couple of nonbelievers that don't have faith. I hate it for these people the constitution was founded on christian faith and won't change. I can say I see both sides being a worker in medicine and a minster. If we take religous right away why don't have a law that any children being raised in a nonbelieving home have their children taken away and be taken to jail. Freedom has to swing both ways. This would be like if you didn't believe in God but the state step in and had a minster come to your house and pray for your children.
  • to answer tis question better. JW do not belive what people that dont know beleive there is so many other ways to have blood transfusion. and we do do it. the blood cannot be someone elses. being one of them i know. we talk to the doctor and ask what we can do and they give us so many options that people who are not jw also do. we doi not mix blood bc it is unclean. and there is plenty of proof that god excists. were living on a planet that man still cannot create.
  • if there are other options then they should be given them. no person should be forced to accept a course of treatment, if there are other, morally and ethically neutral courses eg tonsillectomy vs antibiotic therapy. Most of the cases that have come up in courts however, have been life-threatening. A judge would not intervene where there is not a risk of imminent death (eg bleeding from an accident etc) One thing I would be worried about is what would be the attitude of the parents and JW community towards the child who had received the transfusion against their will. Other "sins" see people shunned with the JW community- could it happen to the family and or the child here? Clearly the father of premmie quads born in Canada was very upset and was quoted as saying that he "could not bear to be at the hospital when they were violating [his] little girl." I have anecdotal stories of such children being held at arms' length by the family who could not deal with the situation. This has to be monitored by the authorities, in case neglect takes place.
  • the answer is yes and no. if the person is of legal age in his/her state or province, then yes they do have the right to refuse medical attention. that being said, it doesnt help the medical profession any by doing so, as they have the right to preserve life, not take it, or limit it in any circumstances. with a person who is a minor, i know here in Canada, we are undergoing a situation that is exactly as the question is asked. with a minor, or a person under the legal age, he or she cannot make that dicision, and neither can the parents. the right to refuse blood, as the only means of survival, cannot be made by a parent,which any sane parent wouldn't even consider.this dicision, religous or not, cannot and should not be made by a parent. these are minors, who know nothing of the religion, beliefs, or practices, and cannot be asked to make such a decision. i feel the state or province has to put the sole intrests of the childs well being first, regardless of religion. This child has not had a chance to make it to be a adult, and should be given the best chance of reaching legal age. we as a people, regardless of religion, are responsible of making sure all children reach adulthood, live a fulfilling life, and contribute to society. this is not possible if we take that basic right away, and dont give them that chance.
  • Well I dont know about that, but they shouldn't have the right to knock on your door and stay for hours!
  • Jevhovah's witnesses or anybody should not have the right to refuse blood transfusions for their children, and the state does have an obligation to protect the right of the child to live rather than the right of the parent to believe and raise their children how they want. A child not given the opportunity to live is a tragedy. It's awful for someone to push their religion over someones health. And if a child suffers or dies because of a parent not getting a transfusion they should be charged with second degree murder and neglect. If a parent doesn't protect their child from harm someone has to.
  • See this website: http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com/ It contains over 200 actual court cases involving children of Jehovah's Witnesses who were refused blood transfusions by their loving parents.
  • The issue of whether children should be granted blood transfusions or not, based on their parents' religious beliefs is not as simple as most would like to think it is. I would like to state, first of all, that I do not agree with the JW stand on blood transfusion, believing it to be a doctrine based on mistaken exegesis but...to be honest, JWs are not the only people in this world to have a problem with Western medical practices, that could involve the losing of their own life or that of their children. Practising Buddhists, for example, have big problems with operations of any kind. Surgery is only ever considered as a last resort, after all other options have been considered and/or tried. (eg here is a site on Tibetan Buddhist healing: http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2006/100806whatyear.htm) With some medical problems, this could lead to the loss of a life. If we take away the rights of JW's to make decisions for their children, then do we also take away the rights of Buddhists? Western medicine is at an impasse. It needs to define what are its goals. If they are that the world will be rid of all disease, that is noble, but fantastic. If they are that no one should die, that is also fantastic. The truth is, people do die, and children die, both against the will of their parents, and WITH the consent of one or both parents. Many thousands of abortions now being performed are on children of a gestational age that has now been proven viable outside the womb. Yet, Western medicine says that this is acceptable, because the mother and/or father made the decision to end the child's life. Yet "It is estimated that over 130 Jehovah’s Witness children die each year due to the religion’s application of religious doctrine to health care. " http://www.huliq.com/16121/jehovahs-witnesses-child-custody-assistance Only 130 in the entire US? Yes, I know. The deaths of 130 children strikes me to the heart, especially if they are preventable, but many more die of AIDS/HIV, of drug addiction, of poisonings, shootings etc Between 1995 and 2002 171 deaths of children in parked cars were identified from onlne news reports alone: "A total of 171 fatalities that met the case criteria were identified. Twenty seven percent (46) were children who gained access to unlocked vehicles and 73% (125) were children who were left by adults. More than a quarter of the adults were aware they were leaving children in the vehicles, while half were unaware or forgot. Forty three percent (54) of deaths to children who were left were associated with childcare: 32 children were left by family members who intended to take them to childcare but forgot and went to work instead; 22 children were left by child care providers or drivers. http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/11/1/33?etoc ON a larger scale,throughout the world, 30 000 children die a day, most of preventable problems. Before we come down on the JW's, why not dialogue with them and do some proactive health research? Let the leaders of the JW's be presented with a range of options that are open to treat children with blood loss or possible blood loss, and let health services know which options are open to JW's and which are not (so easy to do with a press of a button online). Let this be annually reviewed, as new discoveries are made. Let health care workers also be cued up on the options available to other religious groups which may have problems with some aspects of western medicine (eg Buddhists, Jains even Roman Catholics and some mainline Christians. I am even sure that there COULD BE some things I don't agree with. Haven't come across them yet, but some aspects of stem cell research are worrying for many mainline christians such as me.) And, when we talk of children, let us not only think of the small ones. Of course, those who cannot articulate their personal stance are of particular concern, but then, what of the anecdotal evidence that some children given transfusions against parental will have been shunned by their families and religious community? We have to be careful of the social ramifications of forcing transfusions on small children. Then there are the bigger ones. Some of these have said that they, themselves, do not want a transfusion. Most do-gooders then say,"They are just parroting their parents". Well, maybe they are, but then, maybe they aren't. Anyway, there are those who are old enough to decide for themselves (if it were a custody case older childrens' opinions are taken into consideration legally), and if they are of an age where they can be shown to be understanding of the consequences of their decision, then their decision should stand. As I said, I hate the thought of a child dying when it is preventable. I work with children in developing countries, where parents would give an eye to have their children receive a transfusion, or some other medical intervention, but either it is not available or is too expensive. But, although in the past I might have fought a JW parent on this issue, I would rather, now, dialogue and see what CAN be done rather than focussing on what cannot be done. As our societies become increasingly muticultural, we are going to have to become much more sensitive to religious and cultural differences. If we cannot deal with a small group such as the JWs, what are we going to do with Muslims (who hate autopsies and contraception)and other groups who do not accept that western medicine has all the answers?
  • I agree, they should not have a say, childs life comes before their religion, however its a bit like when patients refuse treatment, when its gonna save their lives. I was in hospital recently and there was a lady next to me who was slowley loosing it and she kept refusing the medicine unless her husband was there, because i think she thought they were gonna poison her. Their only there to help.
  • Yes! No! Religion is no little thing! Ignorance about blood transfusions is one major problem. The other is people who just want to blast the JW beliefs out of hatred. Why my answer? Case in point: For years, because of the blood issue, Mount Sinai hospital in Miami would cast JW's out of the emergency rooms as uneducated fanatics. Many at deaths door who died. These Doctors were notoriously relentless in their abuse to JW's. Over time...after being presented with bloodless surgery statistics... especially 'huge' recovery percentages and minimal post surgery issues...they acquiesced and began to recognize the professionalism of the organization and the depth of knowledge they brought forth. They were caught very much off guard. Incredibly these same Doctors now demand bloodless surgery for themselves and their families! Point being...this change in the behavior of Chief Medical surgeons should be no little thing!
  • If Jesus had a child...would it be OK if he broke Gods law to extend its life a few years? Yours is a cruel twisted question to portray JW's as blind and ignorant fanatics. First, the question implies that the taking of blood will save the children's lives. This 'guarantee' will never be in writing!! Blood is not a magic tonic! In fact it is considered in the medical field as 'toxic'. Stored blood is coated in chemicals to retard the coagulation process. Because of this, when transfused, it cannot absorb oxygen for 24-48 hours. Why the need for a transfusion? The truth is, after extreme loss of blood, it is the lack of 'fluid' in the system that results in pulmonary collapse. THIS is the 'real' deadly danger! It has been proved by numerous studies that transfused 'fluids' will fill up the circulatory system and remove this danger, as it allows the continuation of circulation without deadly side effects contained in whole blood! Blood is now known to be a very complex organ, and tests have confirmed when transfused it shatters the immune system! Many tests show survival rates in cancer victims are 'extremely higher' in non-transfused patients! This is why informed, non-JW Doctors sign a NO BLOOD form for themselves and family, when admitted. Although this is a nice perk... isn't a Christian suppose to 'always' be obedient to Gods word? Or just when it's convenient? Acts 15:20,29 is clear on Gods view of blood being sacred. This dates back to Noah! Gen.9:4-6 Jehovah's point...only Jesus blood can save us... anything else is temporary. The comments on this site that state JW as a whole accept blood transfusions in other parts of the world are lies. To reiterate..JW accept transfusions...just not blood!
  • As has been stated here (alot).Bloodless surgery Is one of the options that numerous people choose,and find a better alternative than blood transfusions.When people start to take the attitude(*religious freedom be damned) Well,that is the start of just another loss of freedom of choice, how people choose to worship and and live (within the limits of law)is a (guaranteed)right in America.And who of you is to say that the refusal of blood is a wrong choice?As has been pointed out previously many medical professionals now agree that bloodless surgery is probably better.Someone stated that Jehovahs Witnesses should come out of the dark ages in their thinking as far as transfusions are concerned.Perhaps that persons thinking is out of fashion!Jehovah God does not make mistakes,what applied in ancient times as far as blood and what is good for human beings is still in affect,and will not change due to what humans consider enlightenment. (1Cor.3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God;for it is written:"He catches the wise in their own cunning.") So, any who would think that a law to force people into unrightious acts should consider just what they are trying to force on others.
  • This really is one of those hot topics that evoke much emotion. I admire and respect those who are sincerely disagreeing with others of us. My thinking is much like that of perryman. Maybe we can get some perspective. (I wrote another post that deals with blood, but i'm not a good enough navigator to tell you where it is.) While science and medicine have changed greatly over the years, the Bible's counsel has not. George Washington died because of medical bleeding, the state of the art in his day. Many with vested interest still tout transfused blood as the remedy to many problems. For some very objective information on the subject, please ask JW's to let you see our blood videos which quote many non-Witness health professionals who respect our religious view but for medical reasons. Questions have arisen about adults smoking and driving intoxicated with children. Should the state step in and take away their children? Should the same state that allows abortions prevent parents from seeking the best possible non-blood medical management? Lack of space prevents a true in-depth discussion of this question. I ask any who strongly feel that we are doing wrong to try to look at the issue openly and dispassionately, if only for a time. Our reasons are not medical, but more and more the medical community is seeing and saying that our decision is medically sound. We do NOT take life lightly. That is why very few of us go for extreme sports, take unnecessary risks or go to war. If you believe that soldiers should be in areas where there are children, if you believe the use of landmines is okay or if you believe that bombing any city is acceptable and you still believe that we are wrong in POSSIBLY risking a child's life, will you please explain how you reconcile these two views? So much more could be said, but we urge you to examine the reasonableness and loving nature of our view toward using blood.
  • The goverment would have to be careful no to intervene in such matters regarding blood transfusions forced onto jw children, if things went wrong and the blood contained the Aids virus or Hep b or c the goverment would have a very heavy price to pay and the parents would sue the pants off them. Everyone has the right to choose for themselves and parents have a right to choose for their children, some people refuse many different treatments for various reasons, some people refuse chemotherapy, its freedom of choice, there is much more chance of survival without blood than with it, but you need to really understand the blood issue before you will understand why Jws refuse blood for themselves and their children Jws do have many different transfusions but just not including blood but at the end of the day to obstain from blood is a command from Jehovah God, the one who created mankind and understands how we tick and to him and us blood is sacred and unique.
  • This is so tough, because I really don't want the state stepping in on MY medical decisions, so why should I want them to interfere with other people's? But it seems so unfair to a child who can't help what household they were born into.. the same child who is denied medical care because of their parents' religion might have gotten the medical care they need if they were born to another set of parents. Whether it's refusing blood transfusions, using quack treatments instead of chemotherapy, or denying vaccines, it REALLY burns me up when parents do this. Children have *died* in situations like this. When I think about it, it's no different for the child who was born to poor parents who can't afford any treatment at all - it's not their fault, and it isn't fair for them to get no medical care or substandard care because of their parents' situation. It makes me think that there should be standard care provided for every child up to a certain age, when they are more able to decide what they want. Their decisions will still be guided by the parents at that point anyway, but it gives a window of time for them to receive the highest quality medical care and possibly educate parents about the medical establishment. It also guarantees that every case will be treated the same, and will require some kind of democratic agreement as to what that treatment should be. I'm a bit sqeamish about that solution as well, but it's the best I can come up with. Tough question.
  • I am very big on individual rights, but in this case it is not the child's fault that their parents are borderline retarded.
  • Not only should the state step in, the stupid ass JW's who let their children die because of their twisted beliefs need to be brought to justice and incarcerated for their crimes against children.
  • I don't know why they believe that rule personally but I think it's kind of stupid in my opinion. Blood transfusions are of utmost importance when it comes to medical treatment in a wide variety of illnesses and surgeries.
  • Even if we did not have the right we wwould still refuse and fight it as much as we can, for we obay God as ruler rather then men
  • In most events, "the state" should mind it's own f*cking business. Not that I agree w/ the content/concern of this particular question. Just a "less is more" kinda guy when it comes to government intervention in general. Thanks.
  • I am not a Witness, but I have deep respect for them and after some of the comments, feel the need to share my two-cents. It never ceases to amaze me the people who will comment about a topic who are mostly, if not completely, "clueless" about, yet still feel their comments hold some merit. A few of you need to educate yourself about a topic before you comment about it so you don't appear as ignorant as you obviously are. That means going directly to Witnesses to find out the CORRECT answer to a question instead of talking to others who are probably as ignorant/opinionated as you are, or worse, going to some moron website of Witness-haters for information. Obviously this type of individual(s) is/are already biased, so what do you think they're going to say? First of all, JW's DO NOT WITHHOLD medical treatment from their minor children. Like any parent, they want their children to be happy and healthy. Next, JW's do not accept BLOOD transfusions, however, they DO accept other alternate forms of treatment, for example, NON-BLOOD EXPANDERS or whatever other NON-BLOOD alternatives are currently available. I can't help but believe that a big issue with the medical industry that is STILL fighting this issue with Witnesses, is the fact the actual BLOOD is more expensive than the alternate treatments. So, could this ridiculous argument be partly because the hospital won't be able to charge as much for other treatments?? Me thinks that the whole medical industry is operated and based primarily on the "bottom line" and what will make them more money. I know of an example 25+ years ago of a Witness couple who had a baby born with a certain defect (I don't remember what it was now)that required an immediate transfusion. Of course, the parents refused. The doctor proceeded with the transfusion anyway calling the parents irresponsible - well, the child died. It had nothing to do with a long time-frame passing waiting for a court order either because the doctor proceeded without it. The situation ended up in court, however, and the doctor was severely reprimanded for playing "GOD". It was determined that the child would not have lived anyway. So much for "Medical" wisdom. There is so much "talk" of the latest and greatest medical technologies, yet a lot of medicine still seems to be stuck in the "dark-ages" when it comes to blood transfusions or even cancer treatments for that matter. Ask yourself why. Witness children, like ALL children, grow up and have the choice to pursue their childhood beliefs or not. As far as doctors and courts that FORCE these procedures on Witnesses or their minor children, they will answer for their actions in due course from a higher authority. And no, Witnesses who have had these procedures "forced" on them are not scorned by fellow Witnesses. There is even more at stake here - medical, religious, personal, and other freedoms. Some of you say, "it's cruel and insane to withhold a blood transfusion from your child if they need it to save their life". How do you (or the doctor) know FOR SURE that something will save their life? Current cancer "treatments" are supposed to save lives, yet many people still die from these "treatments". Of course, insurance companies are still billed. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want the Government making choices for me about my medical care. We already have too much government in our face. I don't mind my doctor making recommendations to me but I certainly don't want him/her playing God with my life. I wonder how many of you non-witness "parents" out there are allowing your kids to do things each day that may be life threatening, over the long term, and yet you don't have a second thought about it. But you have time to berate Witnesses instead of watching over your own households. As another poster mentioned, how many of you with kids smoke in their presence? As I'm sure you're aware, second-hand smoke kills thousands in this country every year. Why is that not considered child-abuse? Why is the medical industry not screaming about that? Where are the "court orders" for that?? How many of you feed your kids fast-food crap everyday or every week and watch them get fatter and fatter? How many of you let your kids play violent video games daily, poisoning their minds? Why isn't this considered child-abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor? How many of YOU are making life-altering/changing decisions for your minor children because YOU are the parent and they are too young to decide? How do you know they would make the same choice??? The list goes on and on. I can almost guarantee that some of these people that are slamming Witnesses are the very same people doing the things I just mentioned. Before judging others, why don't you "clean your own house first"? And to the person who made the comment about them staying at your house for hours.......well, if that's true and not a fabrication on your part, then obviously you didn't make clear that you didn't want them there for hours, or at all, because they would have left. They do not wish to waste anybody's time especially theirs, on people who are not interested in their message. As far as Witnesses being "borderline retarded". Well, that kind of comment really doesn't tell me anything other than the person who wrote it is very narrow-minded and incredibly ignorant. Please refer to my second paragraph above.
  • Yes we have every right too ITS IN THE BIBLE...Acts 15:19-21 it says abstain from blood. The state has no right meddling in peoples personal religious decisions. Even doctors have said they would never give blood to their family members, its unsafe anyways. -Prince
  • People are people. We're talking about humans here. Regardless of sex and religion. We all have the right to refuse blood transfusions specially if we don't know the "origin" or the donor or simply where it came from. A good chemistry from the hospital itself would be sufficient but still. No one knows the "perfectly matched" blood even from your own siblings or relatives.. and yes even twins.
  • The same way that the Fundies feel entitled to tell women what to do with their bodies, the Jehovah's Witnesses should be stopped from such actions. After all, that transfussion is the difference between the life or death of that child
  • Parents should determine HOW, not IF they children get treated medically - as long as there are physicians who agree and will provide the treatment.   Virtually every and anything can be treated without having a blood transfusion IF the medical team is competent. If they claim that the condition absolutely requires a blood transfusion, just hire a more competent doctor. It's really not that hard.
  • No. Yes.
  • I would say... yes if there is an alternative, but... If its blood transfusion or death... I can't say that I would necessarily be okay with someone choosing to let a child die for that purpose.
  • Fortunately, in the United States, we have the freedom of religion. If we are morally opposed to a certain practice, the state should not be allowed to force it upon our children. Imagine that somehow consuming the flesh of a human was believed to cure some illness... And, on a regular basis, it happened to be effective. Would you want the state telling you that "your child is dying, and we think if we feed your child human flesh, it might save them. And, you have no choice in the matter... we're feeding your child human flesh right now." Would that not offend most people? What if they had to drink human blood rather than eat human flesh? Would that be OK? What if, instead of drinking the blood, it was injected into their veins? Where do you draw the line? Why is cannibalism SO universally appalling, but injecting human blood into yourself something people want the state forcing upon our children? Especially considering there are PLENTY of non-blood alternatives out there that are not offensive, do not carry the risk of infection, and are at least as effective as stored blood? Why do people INSIST on "blood?"
  • J.W's are being obedient to what is commanded in the Bible... (Acts 15:20) but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. ABSTAIN FROM BLOOD... And as time goes on, with the problems of AIDS and hepatitus, J.W's have been able to protect themselves from these things... And if a child dies from severe trauma, a massive loss of blood, loving parents have the promise that their child will be resurrected... (Acts 24:15) and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.
    • Gone!
      THAT... is not the command in Acts 15:20. I guess it could be if you take it out... waaaay out... of context. Acts 15:20: and from blood--in every form, as peremptorily forbidden to the Jews, and the eating of which, therefore, on the part of the Gentile converts, would shock their prejudices. See on JF & B for Ac 15:28. The eating of which... not transfusion. And if you'd like to argue that it is putting it in your body at all, then why does the Watchtower allow you to have 'blood fractions'. It's still blood!! lol Very sad the control the Watchtower wields over it's followers.
  • My grandfather had a triple bypass years ago, with the use of a cell salvage machine, and he recovered far more quickly ,and had none of the post operative infections, that the other patients who received blood, had. Before his operation, he had discussed the fact that he didn't want blood, with his surgeon. The surgeon asked, "Why would I want to give you someone else's blood?" In a survey, most doctors and surgeons admitted that they would not accept blood transfusions themselves, because they know of the dangers involved. The use of blood in treatment is a great concern for many who are not Jehovah's Witnesses, and this is reflected in the fact that there is now a form which is at the end of the hospital beds, which gives everyone the choice to refuse blood, whether for religious reasons or not. Ask any haemophiliac who now has hepatitis C through infected blood, and I'm sure they would tell you that they wish they had known about bloodless alternatives. So, although people think that Jehovah's Witnesses are putting the lives of their children at risk by not accepting blood transfusions, it is people who allow their children to have blood transfusions who are unwittingly - and I repeat UNWITTINGLY - putting their children's lives at risk, because they are not informed of the alternatives. We need to educate ourselves, so that we are aware of the reported and unreported dangers associated with blood, and of the wide range of alternatives that are available to everyone, such as the cell salvage machine. The machine used by the hospital where my grandfather had his operation was actually bought by Jehovah's Witnesses. Although Jehovah's Witnesses do not refuse blood primarily for health reasons, it is a big protection. The official website Watchtower.org provides much information about this matter, and a DVD called Transfusion Alternatives, is also available.
  • Although it must be frustrating at times for the doctors, I believe a person or a family should be entitled to believe what they want to believe and have their rights respected by others. Although it would be morally right for the doctor to overrule the father and save the child, that would just put us all one step closer to not being allowed to decide anything for ourselves.
  • Allowing medical authorities to "force" anything on any family is a very dangerous game.
  • Not if it's endangering the child's life, no. I mean, come on religion is religion but it's child abuse.
  • The state should take a responsibility for children and if that involves saving a child's life then they should intervene. Let the parents refuse critical medical treatment for themselves or not become parents with responsibility for another life.
  • Yes. No, the fact that the state intrudes in this matter proves that freedom of religion is a farce, you are living in a dictatorship.
  • Yes. No. There are such things as alternatives to blood. Jehovah's Witnesses have a much higher calling to answer to then the Almighty State. In addition, they have faith in a future that the State has nothing to do with.
  • Yes the state should step in when the life of a child is at stake. Most children are not capable of making an informed choice regarding either their religion or their medical treatments. Denying a child life saving medical treatment in the name of religion is obscene! Martyring your child in the name of God is even worse. It is child neglect at best.
  • The state does not have the right and I don't think this is right.
  • Blood transfusions have been shown to cause some life threating side effects such as AIDs and thus it should be up to the patient in each case to decide if they want to take the risk of either of the two alternatives.
  • Say you were dangerously malnurished... The doctor says "You need to eat something, here, have some of this human flesh." Would you just say "OK" and chow down? Most people would say "no, do you have any 'food?'" The doctor says "Well, yea, we're serving pork-shoulder steak in the cafeteria... but I think you should eat this human flesh instead." You might say "I don't want to eat human flesh, that's cannibalism, can I please just have some food?" ... so, they get a court order and forces you to consume human flesh when there's food just down the hall that would've worked just as well. Btw, you get a lung infection from eating human flesh and die. As odd as this example may sound, this happens quite often... People lose blood volume, so Doctors want to inject human blood into you. Meanwhile there are much safer alternatives readily available in the medical field. There's functionally NO advantage to using blood over the blood-alternatives... yet Doctors insist. If a patient denies human blood, and just wants a blood-alternative, doctors often deny any further treatment until the patient takes the blood... just to intimidate the person into giving in. So, no... just like I wouldn't want the state having the "right" to force me to eat human flesh, I would not want the state injecting me with human blood against my will. I WOULD like the state to encourage more hospitals to make available blood alternatives. There's already over 100 hospitals across the US that are completely "blood free." They've found the alternatives to be at LEAST as effective, cost less, and produce fewer complications, plus patients tend to recover about 30% faster. ... Why haven't more hospitals switched over? Because they don't like the idea of "medical advancement." Especially when it agrees with bible principles.
  • Ask the child what s/he wants. It's his/her body, not the parents and certainly not the governments. Next, if the child can't speak, the parents should dictate what medical treatment is received. Significantly, almost 100% of the time blood transfusions are optional anyway. So, it's a non-issue unless the medical staff is just plain incompetent.
  • I think this is a more difficult issue than it would seem at first. . It is easy to say and I would tend to agree, that the state would be acting to protect the child who cannot yet protect imself by making his own decision . The problem is, parents are entrusted with many other decisions which can affect their children's futures and lives where the state does not interfere. . Some parents opt for their children not to receive some inoculations, believing them to be harmful. . The basic issue is the same, so how would we vote then? . In the case of the blood transfusion, it is my understanding they believe that accepting the transfusion condemns the child to hell. . While i personaly do not beleive this, do I or the state have the right to impose this on someone else? Should the J.W.s be right, have we then not harmed the child more than we have protected him?
  • This debate comes down to a simple question. Who owns the child? Or if you prefer, who has primary responsibility for the child? There are those who will maintain that the state has a primary role in determining the proper medical treatment for a child, irrespective of the parents sincerely held religious beliefs. The state derives this authority from the proposition that children are potential taxpayers and thus the state has a right to protect their lives and future revenues. Others may maintain that the state has the right to intervene in cases of child abuse. I find it interesting that those who would most willingly dismiss a religious objection to a particular course of medical treatment, in order to “protect the life of the child” are also usually willing to see that child killed if it has not yet had the opportunity to be born yet. Now this is not to say that religious objections trump all other considerations. There is a case, in Florida I believe, in which a muslim man killed his daughter because he felt that she was becoming too westernized. It has to be recognized that all medical procedures carry with them a potential risk. Even the act of shaving has its risks due to infection from small cuts. The question is, are the potential benefits worth the risk? In the case of blood transfusions, there are potential risks. I recall the early 1980’s aids problem in which infection through tainted blood transfusions was not only possible, but a real concern. How many people died due to that? If a safe and effective alternative were available to blood transfusions, why shouldn’t that be considered. The JW’s maintain that there are effective alternatives to blood transfusions. If this is the case, then they should be allowed to elect that. Even if they are not as effective, on what basis does the state have a right to intervene? If the state can intervene with the selection of medical treatment, over your objections, then where does the power of the state stop? Under the current healthcare bill being proposed in congress, examine the following scenario. Assume you are a 70 year old male, who has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The choices for treatment of this disease at present are varied. Radiation, surgical implanting of radioactive “seeds” into the prostate, surgical removal of the prostate, chemotherapy, or perhaps some others I have not named. The government may decide that they will only provide you with a surgical option. Or they may, through their “end of life counseling” decide that as a 70 year old your continued treatment is not cost effective, with regard to the limited resources available, and so refuse you treatment entirely. From where does the state derive that power from? If ultimately your body belongs to you, then you have the right to determine the best course of medical treatment. Your children, until they reach the age of majority, are your responsibility. Your decisions with regard to medical treatment, where they are educated, what kind of nutritious food they eat, are yours to make without interference by the state. If the state can intervene in the medical treatment of your child, then could they intervene in other areas as well. Let us suppose you are a Roman Catholic. If the state determines that the Catholic churches stand on homosexuality or the ordination of women presents a danger to equality and fairness of society, then what prevents them from removing them from the exposure to the church? If you were threatened with the seizure of your children and loss of all parental rights if you continued to go to a particular church, which would you choose? How then is the exercise of your religious beliefs with regard to medical treatment any different? Imagine if the state said that eating pork products is perfectly healthy and your religion did not allow you to consume pork. Would the state have the right to mandate your children eat state issued bologna sandwiches at school, which contain pork, as part of a school lunch program? Would they threaten to take your children away because you refused to feed them properly? It’s a very slippery slope you tread on if you decide in favor of the state intervening. Just as a disclaimer, I am not a Jehovah's Witness, I do eat pork, and I do not object to blood transfusions.
  • just like any human is given the right to accept a blood transfusion, the same goes for a witness to have the right to refuse the transfusion in favor of an alternative that does not violate his bible trained conscience.
    • Gone!
      Except for the fact that it's not Scriptural. It would just be a matter of conscience, but don't try to squeeze it from Scripture. It can't be done.
    • Gone!
      Is it true that JW's can now use up to 95% of blood 'parts'? I find that very interesting. It's still blood. What changed? I know, I know... new light! lol
  • ANY, ANY procedure which requires someone or something to pierce your flesh comes with a risk. You cannot force a "free" human to take a risk that they choose not to take. Your children are under your umbrella of freedom.
  • As a human being... you can refuse anything you want. Free choice. However, if you try to say it is because of Scriptural reasons... then that is a lie. If you tell other people that they'll go to hell if they do... also a lie. It is not scriptural in anyway shape or form, and the verses they use are out of context craziness.
  • Yes they have the right. For the state to step in would violate their rights.
  • 8-30-2017 The parents are legal guardians of the children and they have that authority. You - you personally, you individually - have to come up with a VERY good excuse to set aside parental authority. Remember, if you support overriding their rights, you are also supporting the overriding of YOUR rights.
  • i think they can take kids away for that

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