Jehovah's Witnesses and Blood Transfusions:
Whose Choice &Whose Conscience?
Jehovah's Witnesses feel that blood transfusions are a source of nutrition and base their refusal to blood transfusions on three biblical passages that prohibits the eating of blood. These texts are: Genesis 9:3&4, Leviticus 17:20, and Acts 15: 28&29
Before submitting to any serious medical procedure, a thinking person will learn the possible benefits and risks. What about blood transfusions? They are now a prime tool in medicine. Many physicians who are genuinely interested in their patients may have little hesitation about giving blood. It has been called the gift of life. Millions have donated blood or have accepted it. For 1986-87, Canada had 1.3 million donors in a population of 25 million. In the most recent years for which figures are available, between 12 million and 14 million units of blood were used in transfusions in the United States alone (The New York Times, February 18, 1990).
How can blood save your life? This no doubt is of interest to you because blood is linked to your life. Blood carries oxygen through body, removes carbon dioxide, and aids in your fight against diseases. The linkage of life to blood was made long before William Harvey mapped the circulatory system in 1628. The basic ethics of major religions focus on a Life-Giver, who expressed himself about life and about blood. A Judeo-Christian lawyer said of him," He himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things. For by him we have life and move and exist (Paul, Acts 17:25, 28)." People who believe in such a Life-Giver trust that his directions are for our lasting good. A Hebrew prophet described him as "the one teaching you to benefit yourself, the One causing you to tread in...