Friday, November 30, 2007

Too young to die for religion?

A recent case in the Seattle area of a 14 yr old boy with leukemia who refused a blood transfusion because of his adherence to the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses has raised questions about whether a juvenile is sufficiently competent to refuse lifesaving medical treatment due to religious beliefs.

To add more to the story, the boy was living with his aunt, who is a devout Jehovah's Witness, not with his biological parents, who are not.

A lot of the bloggers at ScienceBlogs are commenting on this tragedy to varying degrees, some questioning the patient's age, some considering undue influence from the aunt. Given current laws regarding medical treatment, protection of minors, and indeed, refusal of elective procedures like tubal ligation for competent adult women, this ruling will force us all to rethink our own standards on what is considered sufficiently competent in a patient, to what extent parents and guardians ought to be held accountable to harm that comes to those in their care because of beliefs they enforce, and which reasons are applicable enough to use to choose something as permanent as death.

(Of note: there have been other incidents recently involving Jehovah's Witnesses refusing lifesaving medical treatment, such as a woman who chose to die after giving birth to twins.)

2 comments:

Danny Haszard said...

Jehovah's Witnesses elders will investigate and disfellowship any Jehovah Witness who takes a blood transfusion,to say the issue is a 'personal conscience matter' is subterfuge to keep the Watchtower out of lawsuits.

Many Jehovah's Witnesses men,women and children die every year worldwide due to blood transfusion ban.Rank & file Jehovah's Witness are indoctrinated to be scared to death of blood.

FYI
1) JW's DO USE many parts aka 'fractions' aka components of blood,so if it's 'sacred' to God why the hypocritical contradiction flip-flop?

2) They USE blood collections that are donated by Red cross and others but don't donate back,more hypocrisy.

3) The Watchtower promotes and praises bloodless elective surgeries,this is a great advancement indeed.BUT it's no good to me if I am bleeding to death from a car crash and lose half my blood volume and need EMERGENCY blood transfusion.

Know this,the reason that JW refuse blood is because of their spin on the 3000 year old Biblical old testament,modern medicine will eventually make blood donations and transfusions a thing of the past.When this technology happens it won't vindicate the Jehovah's Witnesses and all the deaths that have occured so far.
The Watchtower's rules against blood transfusions will eventually be abolished (very gradually to reduce wrongful death lawsuit liability) even now most of the blood 'components' are allowed.
In 20 years there will be artificial blood and the Red Cross will go on with other noble deeds.

None of these changes will absolve the Watchtower leaders or vindicate their twisted doctrines
Are there dangers from blood?There are over 500 aspirin deaths in USA yearly.
---
Danny Haszard born 1957 3rd generation Jehovah's Witness

Anonymous said...

Misinterpreting the Old Testament prohibition against eating animal blood as a routine food item, in 1945, the WatchTower Society began teaching that receiving a blood transfusion was "eating human blood". Jehovah's Witnesses believe that receiving an infusion of human blood into their body's circulatory system is scientifically the exact same thing as eating or ingesting blood into their body's digestive system:

"A patient in the hospital maybe fed through the mouth, through the nose, or through the veins. When sugar solutions are given intravenously it is called intravenous feeding. So the hospital's own terminology recognizes as feeding the process of putting nutrition into one's system via the veins. Hence the attendant administering the transfusion is feeding the patient through the veins, and the patient receiving it is eating through his veins." -- The WATCHTOWER magazine, July 1, 1951.

Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that when human blood is transfused into their body's circulatory system that the transfused human blood remains to be human blood and continues to function as human blood. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that if blood is eaten, then the ingested blood enters the body's digestive system, where the blood would be treated by the body exactly the same as it would treat a hotdog, a potato chip, or any other food item. Ingested blood would be completely digested and broken down into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and waste; which are then either assimilated or excreted by the body.

The WatchTower Society uses scriptures which speak about the blood of slaughtered animals to teach Jehovah's Witnesses that blood is "sacred" because blood is the "symbol of life". Then, the WatchTower Society turns around and requires Jehovah's Witnesses to sacrifice their own "life" to maintain the alleged "sacredness" of a "symbol" of the very thing they are sacrificing -- their life. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that the WatchTower doctrine on blood moronically places a higher value on the SYMBOL than it does on the THING SYMBOLIZED

In fact, the Old Testament scriptures permitted the eating of unbled animal meat, which the Bible treats exactly the same as eating animal blood itself. In isolated occasions, when humans needed to eat unbled meat in order to sustain their own human life, the Mosaic Law permitted such, but then required the eaters to fulfill the requirements of being "unclean" for a few days. Thus, the Bible recognized that the sustaining of human life was more "sacred" than maintaining the sacredness of animal blood. To do otherwise would be doing exactly what the moronic WatchTower Society does. It would make the SYMBOL more SACRED than the THING SYMBOLIZED.

In fact, the WatchTower Society is leading Jehovah's Witnesses to disobey GOD and violate the Holy Scriptures in one of the most serious ways possible. Because humans were created in GOD's image, GOD considers human life sacred. A Jehovah's Witness who sacrifices their SACRED LIFE in order to maintain the sacredness of a SYMBOL of that SACRED LIFE varies little from those who profane life by committing suicide. Those Jehovah's Witness Elders who teach and police this moronic doctrine vary little from common accessories to murder. The Bible is fairly clear in how GOD views murder, and how He deals with Murderers.

This moronic twisting of scripture would be laughable if not for the fact that it has lead to the pointless deaths of numerous Jehovah's Witnesses in the past, and it will continue to lead to the pointless deaths of many more Jehovah's Witnesses in the future.


The following website summarizes over 315 U.S. court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witness Parents, including 200+ cases where the JW Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their dying children:

DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com