watchtower-magazineWhat follows is a collection of quotes from Watchtower Society literature.This information will help you understand the development of the blood doctrine, and document the many changes in policy through the years.

Quotes are presented in chronological order. Our editorial comments are in red.

“The public is not generally aware of how large an industry is the manufacture of serums, anti-toxins and vaccines, or that big business controls the whole industry…. the boards of health endeavor to start an epidemic of smallpox, diphtheria, or typhoid that they may reap a golden harvest by inoculating an unthinking community for the very purpose of disposing of this manufactured filth….Vaccination summed up is the most unnatural, unhygienic, barbaric, filthy, abhorrent, and most dangerous system of infection known. Its vile poison taints, corrupts, and pollutes the blood of the healthy, resulting in ulcers, syphilis, scrofula, erysipelas, tuberculosis, cancer, tetanus, insanity, and death.”
– The Golden Age, January 3, 1923, p. 214

“It has never been proven that a single disease is due to germs.”- The Golden Age, Jan 16, 1924

“I HAVE named this new discovery, which I believe will be epochal in the history of the treatment of disease, and which I am exclusively announcing in THE GOLDEN AGE prior to its general publication elsewhere, The Electronic Radio Biola, which means life renewed by radio waves or electrons. The Biola automatically diagnoses and treats diseases by the use of the electronic vibrations. The diagnosis is 100 percent correct, rendering better service in this respect than the most experienced diagnostician…. THE principle of operation of the Biola is the collection… of the disease vibrations…. the fluid containing the same waves or vibrations enters the body, meets the disease waves and destroys them…. This is a great step forward, marking the Biola as the most valuable treatment apparatus obtainable today, and well worthy of notice in the columns of a magazine like THE GOLDEN AGE.” – The Golden Age, April 22, 1925

Vaccines are useless, poisonous, a violation of God’s law, and a tool of the Devil.

“Thinking people would rather have smallpox than vaccination, because the latter sows the seed of syphilis, cancers, eczema, erysipelas, scrofula, consumption, even leprosy and many other loathsome affections. Hence the practice of vaccination is a crime, an outrage and a delusion.”
– The Golden Age May 1, 1929 page 502

“ON READING a report in The Golden Age that seventy percent of New York’s children are defective, and eighty-five percent of Chicago’s children, we must all realize that this terrible condition is only of very recent years.

How can it be otherwise? The streets are just lined with M.D. poison squirters. They are seen everywhere with grips full of the most deadly poisons and needles for injecting them. This they do to every child they can corner.

Without doubt the fifteen and thirty percent found O.K. are in most cases those who have escaped the poison squad. First, there is the M.D. vaccinating mania. Then comes the antitoxin for other excuses, etc., until the children are full of the most deadly poisons known. Added to this is the fact that they are compelled to drink milk from cows that have also been subjected to a liberal injection of tuberculin, a most terrible deadly poison. This poison enters directly into the blood circulation. Hence the milk. Then this milk is sterilized, or scalded to the boiling point or nearly so, destroying much of the life-giving nourishment of the milk, but not injuring the poison therein. Scalded milk, for either adults or children, is very constipating. This in turn causes more deaths and resulting ailments than do all other causes combined, I surely believe.” – The Golden Age 07/24/1929 p. 682

“Avoid serum inoculations and vaccinations as they pollute the blood stream with their filthy pus.”- The Golden Age 11/13/1929 pp. 106, 107

“…the vaccination law reduces the father and mother to mere slavery, almost as bad as the colored people were in, when their children were put up on the block and sold. In many slave-sale cases the mother and father were even forbidden to shed tears.

Vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood.” – The Golden Age 02/04/1931 p. 293 (Emphasis ours)

– The Golden Age 02/04/1931 p. 294/297

“The Journal of the A. M. A. is the vilest sheet that passes the United States mail…. Nothing new and useful in therapeutics escapes its unqualified condemnation. Its attacks are generally ad hominem. Its editorial columns are largely devoted to character assassination…. Its editor [Morris Fishbein] is of the type of Jew that crucified Jesus Christ.”

– The Golden Age, September 26, 1934

“Serum for “Christmas”!

A CERTAIN “health” commissioner offered the suggestion a short time ago that no mother could give her child a better present for “Christmas” than diphtheria immunization, meaning an injection of filthy and poisonous serum.

It is said that diphtheria is particularly deadly of late, and that seems likely. Parents cannot give their children the foods needed to build sturdy bodies that can resist the disease. But while parents are not able to get proper foods, they can get the serum injections for their children free.

The Devil is bent on destroying the human family, denying them the necessary comforts of life, and urging them to give their children “Christmas” presents of germ-laden pus. What a travesty of civilization!”
– The Golden Age 03/27/1935 p. 409 (Emphasis ours)

Organ Transplants Spoken of Favorably

“Corneas from the Dead to the Living

AT Moscow in the past year there were 100 cases of grafting of corneas from the eyes of the dead to the eyes of the living but blind. Many of the patients upon whom this operation was performed are now able to read and work.” – The Golden Age 09/23/1936 p. 816

“…the irrefutable logical fact that serums and vaccines are products of contamination…rise in cancer is attributed to the use of serums…for the best part they are but handicaps to inherent healing forces of the human body…these are by-products of pus matter…in reality and action it is worse than the proverbial “seven plagues”…One may go through life without having serious manifestations of what has been injected into his blood-stream, thus thinking he was “immunized”, but, suddenly, it may begin its satanic work on his child, or even ‘unto third and fourth generation’. ” – Consolation 03/22/1939 p. 21 (Emphasis ours)

Blood Transfusions Spoken of Favorably

The following quotation is taken from LUZ y VERDAD (The Golden Age as printed in Mexico) of June 1934, page 91. A quick translation reads as follows:

“Many mothers don’t sell the milk that the nature gave them for their children, do they? For this reason we should not admire those who trade with their blood. After Landsteiner’s discoveries, special entities have been formed that provide blood for necessary transfusions. Only those have the luxury [to give blood] that belong to the group O (zero), because, as has already been said, their blood is compatible to all humans. From statistics we see that in 1929, 7,000 persons sold blood in the hospitals of the United States, [in resonse to] calls in urgent cases and that they saved the lives of many people that had lost their own blood for one cause or another.

In England there are societies whose members offer their blood freely to those that have need. A society that was created in London that is affiliated with the Red Cross is spoken of with praise because its members offer needed blood in urgent cases. The majority of those [who donate blood] are strong and healthy youth, of diverse backgrounds, that contribute in this way in a really generous fashion to the salvation of the sick or injured. They are not paid a cent for their contribution, but society knows them and it respects them as they deserve to be respected.”

For those who know Spanish, here is the original:

“Comercio con La sangre

No venden muchas madres la leche que la naturaleza les dió para sus hijos? Por esto no debe admirarnos que haya quienes comercien con su sangre. Después de los descubrimientos de Landsteiner se han formado entidades especiales que proporcionan sangre para las transfusiones necesarias. Sólo pueden permitirse este lujo las personas que pertenecen al grupo O (cero), por ser, como ya dijimos, su sangre inofensiva para todos los humanos. De una estadística vemos que en 1929 véndieron sangre, en los hospitales de los Estados Unidos, 7,000 personas, llamadas en casos urgentes y que salvaron la vida de muchas personas que por una u otra causa habian perdido su propia sangre.

En Inglaterra hay sociedades cuyos miembros ofrecen gratuitamente su sangre a los que necesitan. Se habla elogiosamente de una sociedad creada en Londres y adherida a la Cruz Roja, cuyos mienbros se presentan en los casos urgentes y ofrecen la sangre necesaria. La mayoría son jóvenes fuertes y sanos, de entidades diversas, que contribuyen asi, en forma realmente generosa, a la salvacion de los enfermos o heridos. No cobran ni un centavo por su contribución, pero la sociedad los conoce y los respeta como lo merecen.”

“The Mending of a heart

In New York city a house wife in moving a boarder’s things accidentally shot herself through the heart with his revolver. She was rushed to a hospital, her left breast was cut around, four ribs were cut 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 gaily over what happened to her in the busiest 23 minutes of her life.”
– Consolation 12/25/1940 p. 19

Blood Transfusions officially banned.

“Blood transfusions and blood products are officially banned as “pagan and God-dishonoring.”
– The Watchtower 7/1/45, p. 198-201

Dutch Witnesses Fail to Get New Light in a timely manner

“God has never published a decree which forbids employing medicine, injections and blood transfusions. It is a human invention like the Pharisee’s disregard for mercy and grace. To serve Jehovah with all the mind does not mean to put our intelligence in a box. Principally because there is a human life at stake. The life being of great value is holy to Jehovah.”
– Consolation 09/1945 p. 29 (Dutch ed.) – Emphasis added.

“According to God’s law, humans are not to take into their system the blood of others.” – Awake! 10/22/1948 p. 12


“Is vaccination a violation of God’s law forbidding the taking of blood into the system? – G. C., North Carolina.

The matter of vaccination is one for the individual that has to face it to decide for himself….our Society cannot afford to be drawn into the affair legally or take the responsibility for the way the case turns out….all objection to vaccination on Scriptural grounds seems to be lacking….We merely offer the above information on request, but can assume no responsibility for the decision and course the reader may take.”
– The Watchtower 12/15/1952 p. 764 (Emphasis added)

 Blood Transfusion – Definition

“Transferring blood from the veins or arteries of one person to another. As in intravenous feeding, it is a feeding on blood. An unscriptural practice.”
– “Make Sure of All Things”, 1953, p. 47

 Blood serums are wrong, same category as blood transfusions.

“We are told that it takes one and a third pints of whole blood to get enough of the blood protein or “fraction” known as gamma globulin for one injection. And since from the foregoing it must be admitted that such use of human blood is highly questionable, what justification can there be for the use of gamma globulin? Further, those interested in the Scriptural aspect will note that its being made of whole blood places it in the same category as blood transfusions as far as Jehovah’s prohibition of taking blood into the system is concerned.” – See Leviticus 17:10 – 14; Acts 15:20, 28, 29. Awake! 01/08/1954 p. 24 (Emphasis added)

Blood fractions and Albumin are wrong.

“While this physician argues for the use of certain blood fractions, particularly albumin, such also come under the Scriptural ban. In fact, these fractions are being used not only by physicians but also by food processors, and so it would be well to note the labels on such products to see if they contain any blood substances or fractions. When in doubt, it would be best to do without.”
– Awake! 09/08/1956 p. 20 Emphasis added.

“…trouble over the draft in World War II…Approximately 4,500 of Jehovah’s witnesses were sentenced to prison in the District Courts…One of the more serious problems I had to deal with, as I remember, was vaccinations. An order was received from the health department in Washington for all the inmates and guards to be vaccinated. Some of our boys in one prison in particular considered this the same as blood transfusions, and refused to submit. This caused considerable trouble….”I was in prison,” I reminded them, “and I bared my arm and received the shot. Furthermore, all of us who visit our foreign branches are vaccinated or we stay at home. Now vaccination is not anything like blood transfusion. No blood is used in the vaccine. It is a serum. So you would not be violating those Scriptures which forbid taking blood into your system.”

– Faith on the March, by A. H. Macmillan, WTBTS vice-president, published by Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1957, pp. 186, 188, 189 {See The Watchtower, May 15, 1957, pp. 302, 303, 304.}

Blood fractions and serums are now OK.

“Are we to consider the injection of serums such as diphtheria toxin antitoxin and blood fractions such as gamma globulin into the blood stream, for the purpose of building up resistance to disease by means of antibodies, the same as the drinking of blood or the taking of blood or blood plasma by means of transfusions? – N.P., United States.

No, it does not seem necessary that we put the two in the same category, although we have done so in times past. While God did not intend for man to contaminate his blood stream by vaccines, serums or blood fractions, doing so does not seem to be included in God’s expressed will forbidding blood as food. It would therefore be a matter of individual judgment whether one accepted such types of medication or not.”
– The Watchtower 09/15/1958 p. 575 Emphasis added.

 Even a brief storing of one’s blood is a scriptural violation.

“Consequently, the removal of one’s blood, storing it and later putting it back into the same person would be a violation of the Scriptural principles that govern the handling of blood….if the blood were stored, even for a brief period of time, this would be a violation of the Scriptures…Again, if one’s own blood would have to be withdrawn at intervals and stored until a sufficient amount had accumulated to set a machine in operation, this too would fall under Scriptural prohibition.”
– The Watchtower 10/15/1959 p. 640 Emphasis added.

“Little do men in general appreciate today that they are under the Creator’s law concerning blood and that they will be punished for violating its sacredness. It is no light punishment, but it will call for their very life.”

– The Watchtower 11/01/1959 p. 645

The receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off.

“In view of the seriousness of taking blood into the human system by a transfusion, would violation of the Holy Scriptures in this regard subject the dedicated, baptized receiver of blood transfusion to being disfellowshiped from the Christian congregation?

The inspired Holy Scriptures answer yes….According to the law of Moses, which set forth shadows of things to come, the receiver of a blood transfusion must be cut off from God’s people by excommunication or disfellowshiping….if in the future he persists in accepting blood transfusions or in donating blood toward the carrying out of this medical practice upon others, he shows that he has really not repented, but is deliberately opposed to God’s requirements. As a rebellious opposer and unfaithful example to fellow members of the Christian congregation he must be cut off therefrom by disfellowshiping.”  The Watchtower 01/15/1961 pp. 63, 64

“Since it was forbidden to take the blood of another creature into one’s own body, it would necessarily follow that it would be wrong to give one’s blood to be infused into the body of another person….We cannot drain from our body part of that blood, which represents our life, and still love God with our whole soul, because we have taken away part of ‘our soul – our blood – ‘ and given it to someone else.”

– Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, pp. 7,8

Blood components (fractions) once again wrong.

“Is it wrong to sustain life by administering a transfusion of blood or plasma or red cells or others of the component parts of the blood? Yes!…The prohibition includes “any blood at all.” (Leviticus 3:17) It has no bearing on the matter that the blood is not introduced to the body through the mouth but through the veins. Nor does the argument that it cannot be classed with intravenous feeding because its use in the body is different carry weight. The fact is that it provides nourishment to the body to sustain life.”
– Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, pp. 13, 14 Emphasis added

Blood substances and momentary storage are wrong.

“But regardless of the method used to infuse it into the body and regardless of whether it is whole blood or a blood substance that is involved, God’s law remains the same. If it is blood and it is being used to nourish or to sustain life the divine law clearly applies…Mature Christians… are not going to feel that if they have some of their own blood stored for transfusion, it is going to be more acceptable than the blood of another person…Nor are they going to feel that a slight infraction, such as momentary storage of blood in a syringe when it is drawn from one part of the body for injection into another part, is somehow less objectionable than storing it for a longer period of time.”
– Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, pp. 14, 15 Emphasis added

Acknowledgement of fetal/mother blood transfer

“While there is no direct flow of blood between the mother and the fetus, yet by osmosis there is some transfer of blood between the mother and the baby through the placenta.” – Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 25

Watchtower speaks for God

“Jehovah’s witnesses do not argue that blood transfusions have not kept alive patients who otherwise might have died. We do not take it upon ourselves to conduct an objective debate of the advisability of the use of blood in medical therapy. The point is not for us to determine. God himself has ruled on the matter, and it would be presumptuous for us, in the name of medicine or humanitarianism or anything else, to open the issue to debate, to pit human wisdom and experience against the law of God….Although Jehovah’s witnesses will not eat blood as a food, nor in medical use consent to any kind of blood transfusion or, in place of it, an infusion of any blood fraction or blood substance, this does not rule out all medical treatment.”
– Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, pp. 38, 39, 40 Emphasis added

Watchtower better qualified than doctors to give medical advice.

“These facts render completely untenable the claim by any physician that a patient absolutely must have blood transfused in order to live.”
– Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, pp. 51, 52, 53

 Witness parents indoctrinated and made fearful.

“Jehovah’s witnesses…know that if they violate God’s law on blood and the child dies in the process, they have endangered that child’s opportunity for everlasting life in God’s new world.” – Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 54 (Emphasis added)

 God uses the Watchtower to deliver death penalty warning.

“…resorting to blood transfusions even under the most extreme circumstances is not truly lifesaving. It may result in the immediate and very temporary prolongation of life, but that at the cost of eternal life for a dedicated Christian.”
– Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 55 Emphasis added

 Organ donation is OK

“The question of placing one’s body or parts of one’s body at the disposal of men of science or doctors at one’s death for purposes of scientific experimentation or replacement in others is frowned upon by certain religious bodies. However, it does not seem that any Scriptural principle or law is involved. It therefore is something that each individual must decide for himself.”
– The Watchtower 08/01/1961 p. 480

Blood components (fractions) are still wrong.

“Is it wrong to sustain life by infusions of blood or plasma or red cells or the various blood fractions? Yes!”
– The Watchtower 09/15/1961 p. 557 Emphasis added

“…regardless of whether it is whole blood taken from one’s own body or that taken from someone else, whether it is administrated as a transfusion or an injection, the divine law applies.”
– The Watchtower 09/15/1961 p. 558 Emphasis added

“Whether whole or fractional, one’s own or someone else’s, transfused or injected, it is wrong.”
– The Watchtower 09/15/1961 p. 559 Emphasis added

Be afraid of blood. Be very afraid.

“The poisons that produce the impulse to commit suicide, murder, or steal are in the blood.”…”Moral insanity, sexual perversions, repression, inferiority complexes, petty crimes – these often follow in the wake of blood transfusions.”
– The Watchtower 09/15/1961 p. 564 (Emphasis added)

“While it may produce seemingly beneficial results at the moment, it may ultimately take its toll in disease and stillborn children as a direct result of such an ill – advised course. Even if no physical harm results to the patient or to one’s off – spring, violation of the law of God sin God’s new world.”- The Watchtower 09/15/1961 p. 565

Vaccines are an acceptable contamination, blood fractions are wrong, substances made with blood might be OK.

“Since the Bible forbids the eating of blood, how are Christians to view the use of serums and vaccines? Has the Society changed its viewpoint on this? – J. D., U.S.A.

The Bible is very clear that blood could properly be used only on the altar; otherwise it was to be poured out on the ground. (Lev. 17:11 – 13) The entire modern medical practice involving the use of blood is objectionable from the Christian standpoint. Therefore the taking of a blood transfusion, or, in lieu of that, the infusing of some blood fraction to sustain one’s life is wrong. As to the use of vaccines and other substances that may in some way involve the use of blood in their preparation, it should not be concluded that the Watch Tower Society endorses these and says that the practice is right and proper. However, vaccination is a virtually unavoidable practice in many segments of modern society, and the Christian may find some comfort under the circumstances in the fact that this use is not in actuality a feeding or nourishing process, which was specifically forbidden when that man was not to eat blood, but it is a contamination of the human system. So, as was stated in The Watchtower of September 15, 1958, page 575, “It would therefore be a matter of individual judgment whether one accepted such types of medication or not.” That is still the Society’s viewpoint on the matter. – Gal. 6:5.

However, the mature Christian is not going to try to find in this a justification for as many other medical uses of blood substances as possible. To the contrary, recognizing the objectionableness of the entire process, he is going to stay as far away from it as he can, requesting other treatment where such is available.” – The Watchtower 11/01/1961 p. 670 Emphasis added

“Are idolatry and fornication damaging to the Christian personality? Disastrously so! So too is the taking in of blood, whether through blood foods or blood transfusions…Transfusing blood, then, may amount to transfusing tainted personality traits.”

– The Watchtower 05/15/1962 p. 302 Emphasis added

Another reversal – All blood products are wrong.

“As to blood transfusions, he knows from his study of the Bible and the publications of the Watch Tower Society that this is an unscriptural practice. (Gen. 9:4; Acts 15:28,29) Now it is up to him to carry his own load of responsibility in applying what the Scriptures have to say on this matter. One day he may go to the hospital for surgery. There he explains his position to the doctor. “All right,” the doctor says, “then we will use plasma.” Or the doctor may tell him, “What you need is red cells to carry oxygen. We have red cells that we can use. How about that?” The Christian may not be well versed in medical matters. Shall he call his congregation servant or the Society? That should not be necessary, if he is prepared to carry his own load of responsibility. He need only ask the doctor: “From what was the plasma taken?” “How are the red cells obtained?” “Where did you get this substance?” If the answer is “Blood,” he knows what course to take, for it is not just whole blood but anything that is derived from blood and used to sustain life or strengthen one that comes under this principle. Someone may argue with you that the Scriptures are referring to the “eating” of blood but that blood is not taken into the digestive system during a transfusion. True, but the fact is that by a direct route the blood serves the same purpose as food when taken into the stomach, namely, strengthening the body or sustaining life. It is not the same as a vaccine given to a healthy person to build him up, just as food is given to nourish him.”
– The Watchtower 02/15/1963 pp. 123, 124 Emphasis added

Blood serums spoken of negatively

“…an effective human serum against lockjaw has been developed…Now some of it will be from human blood!”
– Awake! 05/08/1964 p. 30 Emphasis added

“Some may claim that a transfusion is not really drinking blood, so it would be different. But such argument is not valid for conscientious persons, because the Bible says to “abstain” from blood, regardless of how it is taken into the body. If a doctor advised you to abstain from drinking alcohol, would you inject the alcohol into your bloodstream instead? If he told you to abstain from drinking coffee, would you inject it into your body? If you were warned to abstain from smoking, would you take the nicotine and inject it into your veins? Of course, these actions would be senseless. So, too, a Christian has the right, when he reads God’s law warning him to abstain from blood, to do just that – abstain. Injecting the blood directly into his bloodstream is hardly ‘abstaining’ from blood.”
– Awake! 09/08/1964 p. 24

“In the event of a transfusion or other therapeutic measure of that type without consent, the aggrieved party would have the right to sue in the civil courts. Transfusion without consent is technically a ‘battery,’ a tort or civil wrong, and a trespass to the person. The first basic essential then of blood transfusion from the legal aspect is that it can only properly be carried out with real [explicit] consent.”
– Awake! 09/08/1964 p. 25

A softer position on blood serums.

“The Society does not endorse any of the modern medical uses of blood, such as the uses of blood in connection with inoculations. Inoculation is, however, a virtually unavoidable circumstance in some segments of society, and so we leave it up to the conscience of the individual to determine whether to submit to inoculation with a serum containing blood fractions for the purpose of building up antibodies to fight against disease. If a person did this, he may derive comfort under the circumstances from the fact that he is not directly eating blood, which is expressly forbidden in God’s Word. It is not used for food or to replace lost blood. Here the Christian must make his own decision based on conscience. Therefore, whether a Christian will submit to inoculation with a serum, or whether doctors or nurses who are Christians will administer such, is for personal decision. Christians in the medical profession are individually responsible for employment decisions….In harmony with Deuteronomy 14:21, the administering of blood upon request to worldly persons is left to the Christian doctor’s own conscience. This is similar to the situation facing a Christian butcher or grocer who must decide whether he can conscientiously sell blood sausage to a worldly person.”
– The Watchtower 11/15/1964 pp. 680, 681, 682, 683 Emphasis added

“The fact that serums are prepared from blood makes them undesirable to Christians because of the Biblical law against the use of blood. However, since they do not involve the use of blood as a food to nourish the body, which the Bible directly forbids, their use is a matter that must be decided by each person according to his conscience.”

– Awake!, 08/22/1965 p. 18 Emphasis added

Vaccines a personal decision, not contamination.

“The question as to whether you and your children should be vaccinated is something for personal decision. You must decide on the basis of what you feel is the best course for the health of your children as well as for your own health. No one should be criticized for his decision. In view of the many risks involved with vaccinations, the course of wisdom seems to be one of caution.”
– Awake! 08/22/1965 p. 20 Emphasis added

Organ Transplants are cannibalistic!

“Is there any Scriptural objection to donating one’s body for use in medical research or to accepting organs for transplant from such a source? – W. L., U.S.A.

…removing the organ and replacing it directly with an organ from another human, this is simply a shortcut. Those who submit to such operations are thus living off the flesh of another human. That is cannibalistic. However, in allowing man to eat animal flesh Jehovah God did not grant permission for humans to try to perpetuate their lives by cannibalistically taking into their bodies human flesh, whether chewed or in the form of whole organs or body parts taken from others.”
– The Watchtower 11/15/1967 p. 702 Emphasis added

Parent’s must prevent blood transfusions.

“Whereas the Mosaic law with its provisions about fat was abolished when Christ died as a sacrifice, the Apostolic Christian Council of Jerusalem reaffirmed God’s law to Noah and applied it to the true Christian congregation. Christian fathers are obliged to teach this law and enforce it with regard to their minor children, for by God’s law the fathers are the spiritual, religious guardians as well as the domestic parental caretakers of their underage children. The Christian witnesses of Jehovah today recognize that fact and follow the divine rule of conduct. They endeavor to keep their children from violating God’s law to Noah and also the Jerusalem Council’s decree. (Eph. 6:4) Rightly they try to protect their children from taking foreign blood into them.”
– The Watchtower 12/01/1967 p. 724

“There are those, such as the Christian witnesses of Jehovah, who consider all transplants between humans as cannibalism; and is not the utilizing of the flesh of another human for one’s own life cannibalistic?”

– Awake! 06/08/1968 p. 21

Hemodilution is Wrong!

“Operating with Stored Blood

Men of science are constantly developing new methods for performing surgical operations. The Journal of the American Medical Association, dated November 15, 1971, described a procedure for open-heart surgery that employs sever hemodilution. Early in the operation a large quantity of blood is drawn off into a plastic blood bag. Though the bag is left connected to the patient by a tube, the removed and stored blood is no longer circulating in the patient’s system. It is replaced with a plasma volume expander, which dilutes the blood remaining in the veins and which gradually dissipates during the operative procedure. Near the conclusion of the operation the blood storage bag is elevated, and the stored blood is reinfused into the patient….. These techniques are noteworthy to Christians, since they run counter to God’s Word. The Bible shows that blood is not to be taken out of a body, stored and then later reused.”
– Awake 4/8/72 29-30 Watching the World – Emphasis added.

An even softer position on Blood serums. Now a matter for personal decision.

“Serums or antitoxins are used. These are obtained from the blood of humans or animals that have already developed the antibodies for fighting the disease. Usually the blood is processed and the blood fraction (gamma globulin) containing the antibodies is separated and made into a serum. When this is injected into the patient it gives him temporary passive immunity. This is temporary, for the antibodies do not become a permanent part of his blood; when these pass out of his body he is no longer immune to the disease. It can thus be seen that serums (unlike vaccines) contain a blood fraction, though minute….What, then, of the use of a serum containing only a minute fraction of blood and employed to supply an auxiliary defense against some infection and not employed to perform the life – sustaining function that blood normally carries out? We believe that here the conscience of each Christian must decide.”
– The Watchtower 06/01/1974 pp. 351, 352

“Decades ago, the transfusing of one person’s blood into another’s veins became a common practice. Then the transplanting of organs came into vogue. Where might this all lead?…men today contemplate wholesale ‘cannibalizing‘ of bodies. And even that seems too mild a term…This shows where things can lead once men begin to violate Bible standards, including its prohibition of taking the blood of another creature into one’s own body.”

– The Watchtower 10/15/1974 p. 684 Emphasis added

Hemophilia treatments (Factor VII & IX) are wrong!

“Hemophilia Treatment Hazard

Certain clotting “factors” derived from blood are now in wide use for the treatment of hemophilia, a disorder causing uncontrollable bleeding. However, those given this treatment face another deadly hazard: the Swiss medical weekly Schweizer Med Wochenschrift reports that almost 40 percent of 113 hemophiliacs studied had cases of hepatitis. “All these patients had received whole blood, plasma, or blood derivatives containing [the factors],” notes the report. Of course, true Christians do not use this potentially dangerous treatment, heeding the Bible’s command to ‘abstain from blood.'”
– Awake! 02/22/1975 p. 30 Emphasis added

“Could God’s law on blood be set aside in times of emergency? The Bible answers, No. There was no special dispensation for times of stress. We can see this from what occurred with some soldiers of Israel in the days of King Saul. Famished after a long battle, they slaughtered sheep and cattle and “fell to eating along with the blood.” They were hungry and were not deliberately eating blood, but in their haste to eat the meat they did not see to it that the animals were properly bled. Did the fact that this seemed to be an “emergency” excuse their course? On the contrary, their God – appointed king recognized their action as ‘sinning against Jehovah by eating along with the blood.'” – 1 Samuel 14:31 – 35. – Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, 1977, p. 9

“There is no denying that in Bible times God’s law had particular application to consuming blood as food. Intravenous administration of blood was not then practiced. But, even though the Bible did not directly discuss modern medical techniques involving blood, it did in fact anticipate and cover these in principle. Note, for example, the command that Christians “keep abstaining…from blood.” (Acts 15:29) Nothing is there stated that would justify making a distinction between taking blood into the mouth and taking it into the blood vessels. And, really, is there in principle any basic difference?”

– Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, 1977, p. 18

Blood transfusions are organ transplants.

“…whether having religious objection to blood transfusions or not, many a person might decline blood simply because it is essentially an organ transplant that at best is only partially compatible with his own blood.”
– Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, 1977, p. 41 (See “ORGAN TRANSPLANTS”, below) Emphasis added

…”a bottle of blood is a bomb.”…”…donating blood can be compared to sending a loaded gun to an unsuspecting or unprepared person….”

– Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, 1977, p. 41

“Does this brief consideration of only some of the medical risks of blood mean that Jehovah’s Witnesses object to transfusions primarily for medical reasons? No, that is not the case. The fundamental reason why they do not accept blood transfusions is because of what the Bible says. Theirs is basically a religious objection, not a medical one. Nevertheless, the fact that there are serious risks in taking blood simply underscores the reasonableness, even from a medical standpoint, of the position that Jehovah’s Witnesses take.”

– Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, 1977, pp. 48, 49 Emphasis added

“Doctors know that alternative solutions are not really “blood substitutes.” Why not? Because the hemoglobin of the red cells delivers oxygen throughout the body. Nonblood solutions do not contain this.” – Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, 1977, p. 51

“…God’s command to ‘abstain from blood’ rules out ingesting it by the mouth as well as through injections into the veins.”

– The Watchtower 06/15/1978, p. 24

All Blood serums are a matter of personal decision! Hemophilia treatments (Factor VII & IX) are OK.

“Are serum injections compatible with Christian belief?

What, however, about accepting serum injections to fight against disease, such as are employed for diphtheria, tetanus, viral hepatitis, rabies, hemophilia and Rh incompatibility? …This seems to fall into a ‘gray area.’…Hence, we have taken the position that this question must be resolved by each individual on a personal basis….How concerned should a Christian be about blood in food products? …This may call for a degree of care….Christians, individually, must decide what to do.”
– The Watchtower 06/15/1978 pp. 29, 30, 31. See the opposite view in Blood, Medicine and the Law of God, 1961, p. 11; Awake! 02/22/1975 p. 30 Emphasis added

Organ Transplants are no longer Cannibalism!

“Should congregation action be taken if a baptized Christian accepts a human organ transplant, such as a cornea or a kidney?

Regarding the transplantation of human tissue or bone from one human to another, this is a matter for conscientious decision by each one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
– The Watchtower 03/15/1980 p. 31

Albumin is now OK, if you’re reading close.

“While these verses are not stated in medical terms, Witnesses view them as ruling out transfusion of whole blood, packed RBCs, and plasma, as well as WBC and platelet administration. However, Witnesses religious understanding does not absolutely prohibit the use of components such as albumin, immune globulins, and hemophiliac preparations; each Witness must decide individually if he can accept these.”
– Awake 06/22/82 p. 25

The battle cry remains the same.

“So too abstaining from blood means not taking it into your body at all.”
– Live Forever p. 216 – 1982

Hemodilution now mentioned favorably!

“It is with this in mind, and not just to honor the requests of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that Denton Cooley [of Houston, Texas] has performed open-heart operations now for over seven years, limiting transfusions wherever possible by substituting hemodilution, diluting the patient’s blood with a glucose and heparin solution. If this method has given excellent results since then . . . one wonders why it has not been extended to present-day surgery.”
– Awake 83 3/22/83 p.16

“The doctor may suggest that you have some of your own blood withdrawn and stored for use, if necessary, during a later operation. Would you agree? Remember that, according to God’s Law given through Moses, blood removed from a creature was to be poured out on the ground. (Deut. 12:24) We today are not under the Law code, but the underlying message is that blood is sacred and, when removed from a creature’s body, is to be returned to God by pouring it out on his footstool, the earth. (Compare Matthew 5:34, 35.) So how could it be proper to store your blood (even for a relatively brief time) and then put it back into your body?”

– United in Worship of the Only True God, 1983, p. 158 Emphasis added

“But what if the doctor says that, during surgery or in the course of other treatment, your blood would be channeled through equipment outside your body, and then, right back in? Would you consent? Some have felt that, with a clear conscience, they could permit this, provided that the equipment was primed with a nonblood fluid. They have viewed the external equipment as an extension of their circulatory system. Of course, situations vary, and it is you that must decide.”

– United in Worship of the Only True God, 1983, p. 158 {Compare this to 1961, above.}

“Loyalty to Jehovah ought to make us resist {blood} resolutely, because we choose to obey God rather than men.”

– United in Worship of the Only True God, 1983, p. 159

“To persons who do not yet know Jehovah, arguments in favor of blood transfusions may at times seem to show high regard for the sacredness of life. But we do not forget that many who argue in this way also condone the destruction of life by means of abortion.”

– United in Worship of the Only True God, 1983, p. 159

“Could a Christian accept a bone-marrow transplant, since blood is made in the marrow? Doctors perform most bone-marrow transplants by withdrawing some marrow from a donor (often a near relative) and then injecting or transfusing it into the sick patient….Of course, marrow used in human marrow transplants is from live donors, and the withdrawn marrow may have some blood with it. Hence, the Christian would have to resolve for himself whether – to him – the bone-marrow graft would amount to simple flesh or would be unbled tissue. Additionally, since a marrow graft is a form of transplant, the Scriptural aspects of human organ transplants should be considered. See “Questions From Readers” in our issue of March 15, 1980….a personal decision has to be made on this matter…” – The Watchtower 05/15/1984 p. 31 Emphasis added

“….our position on blood is nonnegotiable.”

– The Watchtower 04/15/1985 p. 13

Hemophiliac treatments require lots of stored blood.

“Each batch of Factor VIII is made from plasma that is pooled from as many as 2,500 blood donors.” (The Watchtower, June 15, 1985, p. 30)

“Dr. Margaret Hilgartner of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center said: “A severe hemophiliac is exposed to the blood of 800,000 to 1 million different people every year.””

– Awake! Oct. 8, 1988, p. 11

Brief storage of blood outside the body is now OK, and so is Hemodilution!

“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses allow the use of autologous blood (Autotransfusion), such as by having their own blood stored and later put back into them?

This clearly rules out one common use of autologous blood – preoperative collection, storage, and later infusion of a patient’s own blood….Jehovah’s Witnesses, though, DO NOT accept this procedure….In a somewhat different process, autologous blood can be diverted from a patient to a hemodialysis device (artificial kidney) or a heart – lung pump. The blood flows out through a tube to the artificial organ that pumps and filters (or oxygenates) it, and then it returns to the patient’s circulatory system . Some Christians have permitted this if the equipment is not primed with stored blood….What, though, if the flow of such autologous blood stopped briefly, such as if a heart – lung machine is shut down while the surgeon checks the integrity of coronary – bypass grafts?…a Christian having to decide whether to permit his blood to be diverted through some external device ought to focus, not primarily on whether a brief interruption in flow might occur, but on whether he conscientiously felt that the diverted blood would still be part of his circulatory system.

Galatians 6:5. What about induced Hemodilution?…Some Christians have accepted this, others have refused. Again, each individual must decide whether he would consider the blood diverted in such a Hemodilution circuit to be similar to that flowing through a heart/lung machine, or he would think of it as blood that left him and therefore should be disposed of. A final example of autologous blood use involves recovering and reusing blood during surgery. Equipment is used to aspirate blood from the wound, pump it out through a filter (to remove clots or debris) or a centrifuge (to eliminate fluids), and then direct it back into the patient. Many Christians have been very concerned whether in such salvage there might be any brief interruption of blood flow. Yet, as mentioned, a more Biblical concern is whether the blood escaping into a surgical wound is still part of the person. Does the fact that the blood has flowed from his circulatory system into the wound mean that it should be ‘poured out,’ like the blood mentioned at Leviticus 17:13? If an individual believes so, he would probably refuse to permit such blood salvage. Yet, another Christian (who also would not let blood flow from him, be stored for some time, and later be put back into him) might conclude that a circuit with recovery from a surgical site and ongoing reinfusion. would not violate his trained conscience….When faced with a question in this area, each Christian is responsible to obtain details from medical personnel and then make a personal decision….While modern medicine might be able to help us extend our lives for a time, we certainly would not want to extend our present life by doing anything that would violate our Christian conscience or would displease our Life – Giver.” – The Watchtower 03/01/1989 pp. 30, 31 {compare Awake 4/8/72 29-30 & Blood, Medicine and the Law of God – 1961} Emphasis added

Satan wants us to have blood.

“The faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses is under attack from all sides _ by the clergy of Christendom who hate the Kingdom message we take from house to house, by apostates who collaborate with Christendom’s clergy, by medical authorities who want to impose blood transfusions on us and our children, by atheistic scientists who reject belief in God and the creation, and by those who try to force us to compromise our neutrality. All this opposition is orchestrated by Satan, the ruler of darkness and ignorance, the enemy of accurate knowledge.”
– The Watchtower, Dec. 1, 1989, p. 12; bold added)

“Those who respect life as a gift from the Creator do not try to sustain life by taking in blood.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 6

“…a transfusion is a tissue transplant.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 8 Emphasis added

“A healthy person may tolerate a 50 percent loss of red blood cell mass and be almost entirely asymptotic if blood loss occurs over a period of time.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 14

“The conscience of some Witnesses permits them to accept organ transplants if done without blood.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 16

“Blood…is the most dangerous substance we use in medicine.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 19

“…to force blood on a Christian would be the equivalent of forcible sex – rape.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 20, Emphasis added

“Each year thousands die as a result of transfusions; multitudes more get very sick and face long – term consequences.”

– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 22

The writer/editor of the blood brochure seems to not be aware that intraopertive collection and induced hemodilution is now OK.

“Witnesses believe that blood removed from the body should be disposed of, so they do not accept autotransfusion of predeposited blood. Techniques for intraoperative collection or hemodilution that involve blood storage are objectionable to them.”
– How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 27 Emphasis added.

“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept injections of a blood fraction…Each must resolve the matter personally before God.”

– The Watchtower 06/01/1990 pp. 30, 31 Emphasis added

“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept injections of a blood fraction, such as immune globulin or albumin? Some do, believing that the Scriptures do not clearly rule out accepting an injection of a small fraction, or component, taken from blood….In view of the command to ‘abstain from blood,’ some Christians have felt that they should not accept an immune globulin (protein) injection, even though it was only a blood fraction. Their stand is clear and simple – no blood component in any form or amount. Others have felt that a serum (antitoxin), such as immune globulin, containing only a tiny fraction of a donor’s blood plasma and used to bolster their defense against disease, is not the same as a life – sustaining blood transfusion. So their consciences may not forbid them to take immune globulin or similar fractions….That some protein fractions from the plasma do move naturally into the blood system of another individual (the fetus) may be another consideration when a Christian is deciding whether he will accept immune globulin, albumin, or similar injections of plasma fractions. One person may feel that he in good conscience can; another may conclude that he cannot. Each must resolve the matter personally before God.”

– The Watchtower 06/01/1990 p. 30 Emphasis added

“He describes blood as “the most dangerous substance we use in medicine.”

– The Watchtower 07/15/1990 p. 30

“Is it proper for a Christian to receive an injection of a blood fraction, such as immune globulin or albumin? Responding to God’s law, Christians do not accept blood transfusions of the major blood components – plasma, red cells, white cells, or platelets. Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, have conscientiously felt able to receive an injection of one of the small protein fractions of the plasma. Interestingly, some of these proteins naturally pass from the bloodstream of a pregnant woman to the separate blood system of her fetus.”

– The Watchtower 08/15/1990 p. 29

“In 1979 Mr. and Mrs. Malette of Quebec, Canada, were involved in a car accident…she was carrying a signed Medical Directive/Release Card, clearly refusing blood transfusions…The doctor…ignored those instructions…Mrs. Malette sued the doctor and the hospital…she was awarded $20,000.”

– Awake! 09/08/1990 p. 31

“The evidence mounts that blood transfusions are harmful to the immune system.”

– Awake! 11/22/1990 p. 12

In another case a 16 – month – old baby with meningitis was becoming more anemic. As is often the case, the anemia was due to many blood samples being routinely taken for testing purposes. [Compare to How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, p. 14, which says: “A healthy person may tolerate a 50 percent loss of red blood cell mass and be almost entirely asymptotic if blood loss occurs over a period of time.”]

– 1991 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 37

“…Jehovah’s Witnesses abstain from blood not because it is unhealthy but because accepting it is unholy.” – The Watchtower 01/15/1991 p. 29

“The reality is that blood transfusions are fraught with many risks. They can even be fatal. –            The Watchtower 06/15/1991 p. 10

“Appreciation for this value helps Jehovah’s Witnesses to be resolved not to misuse blood, even if a physician sincerely claims that a transfusion is vital. He may believe that potential benefits of a transfusion outweigh the health risks posed by the blood itself. But the Christian cannot ignore an even graver risk, the risk of losing God’s approval by agreeing to a misuse of blood.”

– The Watchtower 06/15/1991 p. 15

“If you have children, are you sure that they agree with and can explain the Bible – based stand on transfusions? Do they truly believe this stand to be God’s will? Are they convinced that to violate God’s law would be so serious that it could put at risk a Christian’s prospect for everlasting life? Wise parents will review these matters with their children, whether they be very young or almost adults. Parents may hold practice sessions in which each youth faces questions that might be posed by a judge or a hospital official. The goal is not to have a youth repeat by rote selected facts or answers. It is more important that they know what they believe, and why. Of course, at a court hearing, the parents or others might present information about the risks of blood and the availability of alternative therapies. But what a judge or an official would likely seek to learn from speaking with our children is whether they maturely understand their situation and options and also whether they have their own values and firm convictions.”

– The Watchtower 06/15/1991 p. 18 Emphasis added

“How strenuously should a Christian resist a blood transfusion that has been ordered or authorized by a court? God’s law must be obeyed!…if a court – authorized transfusion seemed likely, a Christian might choose to avoid being accessible for such a violation of God’s law….If a Christian did put forth very strenuous efforts to avoid a violation of God’s law on blood, authorities might consider him a law-breaker or make him liable to prosecution. If punishment did result, the Christian could view it as suffering for the sake of righteousness.”

– The Watchtower 06/15/1991 p. 31 Emphasis added

“Currently a small amount of albumin is also used in injections of the synthetic hormone EPO (erythropoietin). Some Witnesses have accepted injections of EPO because it can hasten red blood cell production and so may relieve a physician of a feeling that a blood transfusion might be needed….As noted, many Witnesses have not objected to accepting an injection that contains a small quantity of albumin.”

-The Watchtower 10/1/94 p. 31

“Is the RhIG shot made from blood?

Yes. The antibodies that make up the shot are harvested from the blood of individuals who have become immunized or sensitized to the Rh factor…. .Genetically-engineered RhIG not derived from blood may become available in the future.

Can the Christian conscientiously take RhIG?

….This journal and its companion, The Watchtower, have commented consistently on the matter*. ….some Christians have concluded that to them it does not seem a violation of Bible law…” The decision whether to take RhIG remains finally, though, a matter for each Christian couple to decide conscientiously.”


*See The Watchtower of June 1, 1990, pages 30, 31; June 15, 1978, pages 30, 31; and How Can Blood Save Your Life?, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. – Awake 12/8/94 p. 27. Awake 12/8/94 p. 23-26 -Emphasis added

Note: The writer of this article has forgotten that the RhIG injection was forbidden until 1974, and still discouraged until 1978. Incidentally, the injection requires that your blood be cross matched and typed, and you receive the same band on your wrist that other blood transfusion recipients wear. You and your baby may accept the shot or any of the other blood serums, hemophiliac preparations or albumin. The Watchtower says “Go ahead and dip into the blood supply if you care to. But don’t even think about contributing to the blood supply.”

 Call it an injection, but make no mistake, it’s a transfusion.

“The doctors decided to provide alternative treatment. Plasma was extracted from the blood, and thus antibodies attacking my blood cells and kidney tissues were removed. I was then given injections of Ringer’s solution together with albumin. I had discussed this treatment with the doctors and gave them written permission to administer it.”
– Awake!, 02/22/1995 p. 21

Some autologous blood transfusions spoken of positively.

“Because of such dangers, the Center for Bloodless Surgery utilizes alternatives to blood transfusions, including the reinfusion. of a patient’s own blood, a technique that some Witnesses may find unobjectionable under certain circumstances.”
– The Watchtower 08/01/1995 p. 30

“Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood?

The fundamental answer is that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood. We firmly believe that God’s law on blood is not open to reform to fit shifting opinions. Still, new issues arise because blood can now be processed into four primary components and fractions of those components….Just as blood plasma can be a source of various fractions, the other primary components (red cells, white cells, platelets) can be processed to isolate smaller parts…some Christians reject such products, just as they reject transfusions of whole blood or of its four primary components. Their sincere, conscientious stand should be respected. Other Christians decide differently…they might allow a physician to treat them with a fraction extracted from the primary components….when it comes to fractions of any of the primary components, each Christian, after careful and prayerful meditation, must conscientiously decide for himself.” – The Watchtower 6-15-2000 p.29-31

HemopureTo the casual reader it would appear that nothing has changed with this article. That “Christians”, meaning Jehovah’s Witnesses, have always had a conscientious free choice regarding blood fractions. Obviously, the earlier quotes paint a very different picture. It is in just this manner the Watchtower Society generally announces such changes. In this particular case, this Questions from Readers article announces the most sweeping reforms to the Watchtower’s Blood Policy in over three decades. In one fell swoop, Jehovah’s Witnesses may now freely elect to use not only plasma proteins but also all other blood fractions. This change accomplished at least two things. One it deflected criticism from AJWRB regarding the inconsistency of the plasma policy and it opened the door to the use of the single largest component of blood – hemoglobin. 

A necessary step to permit oxygen carrying based blood substitutes that are made from Hemoglobin like Hemopure. These products even now remain under development. Their use has fract-eREDbeen fraught with difficulty and complications. One thing remains clear, however. This landmark change in the policy of the Watchtower Society now permits 100% of blood. Everything may be used if it is fractionated.

Concluding Remarks of AJWRB:

As one examines the ever-changing doctrines of the Watchtower regarding vaccines, organ transplants, blood serums, blood fractions, hemophiliac treatments, albumin, and storage of blood outside the body. It is only reasonable to wonder whether Jehovah God changed his mind so many times, or whether we are simply dealing with the befuddled policies of a group of men who know very little about science or medicine.

The Watchtower has stated:

“It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communicating to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watch Tower is used for that purpose.

It is up to you to decide whether you personally can accept such a claim based upon the available evidence.

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