While the Watchtower has never published either actual statistics or estimates of the impact of their blood policy on Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is well-known in the medical community that the policy has caused or contributed to numerous premature deaths among followers who observe the policy.1 2 3 It has certainly been within the ability of Watchtower officials to collect data on the numbers of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have died prematurely because of the blood policy, as they already carefully track the activity of every member. Additionally, Watchtower HLC and HVC representatives are frequently involved in many of these cases. The likely explanation, as to why the numbers have never been released, is that such data would create a liability for the Watchtower Society in much the same way as their database of known and suspected pedophiles has done when it came to light.4 AJWRB medical adviser, Dr. Osamu Muramoto, M.D., and AJWRB Science Adviser Marvin Shilmer looked at the available medical studies and independently developed extrapolations of the impact of Watchtower’s policy in terms of estimated lives lost since the beginning of the Watchtower’s blood transfusion prohibition and a projection of lives potentially lost annually. We begin with a review of these estimates, then adjust them to bring the numbers current. Dr. Osamu Muramoto, MD – AJWRB Medical Adviser In 2001, Dr. Muramoto used a study by Kitchens CS: Are transfusions overrated? Surgical outcome of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was published in the February 1993 issue of The American Journal of Medicine on pages 117-119. The study was based on 1404 “bloodless” surgeries performed on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and showed that 1.4% of these patients died to a lack of blood as either a primary or contributing cause of their death. Simply stated, this means that every time a JW had “bloodless surgery” their chance of death was 1.4% greater due to refusing blood.In an abundance of caution, Dr. Muramoto elected to round down this figure to 1% to allow for some who may have died anyway, so stated another way he determined that for every one hundred “bloodless” operations on Jehovah’s Witnesses, one death could be attributed to blood refusal. At that time the American Association of Blood Banks reported that approximately 4 million patients received blood transfusions from 12.6 million units of donated blood every year. That meant that 4 million or 15 of every 1000 Americans had conditions requiring blood each year. There were about 1,000,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States at the time, so approximately 15,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses would have had conditions that would normally require a blood transfusion. If their rate of death increased by 1% due to blood refusal, this means that about 150 Jehovah’s Witnesses died that year in the United States due to observing Watchtower’s blood prohibition.5 Since Jehovah’s Witnesses are a multi-national religious organization, we have to extend this extrapolation to account for these members in other countries, and we also have to account for the fact that the policy has been in place since 1945. However, since observing the policy was optional until 1961, we have elected to leave out the intervening years (from 1945-1961). Like Dr. Muramoto, we want to error on the side of caution, even though it can be reasonably assumed that many deaths occurred during this period due to the very limited availability of “bloodless” treatment. We have compiled the Watchtower’s published data on Jehovah’s Witness publishers between the years of 1961-2016. Over this 56 year period, the average number of publishers per year was 3,957,868. Converting the factor determined by Dr. Muramoto this would indicate that 33,246 Jehovah’s Witnesses died during this 56 year period. On an annual basis that works out to an average of 594 deaths per year, with 1220 deaths in 2016. It is our conclusion this represents a conservative estimate since many of the high-tech treatments and medical equipment currently in use did not exist in earlier years, and to this day does not exist in third world countries where Jehovah’s Witnesses have experienced much of their growth. While actual numbers will never be known, it is probable that the actual number of deaths among the Jehovah’s Witnesses population is higher, perhaps significantly higher. Marvin Shilmer, AJWRB Science Adviser In 2012 Marvin Shilmer, a former Jehovah’s Witness official, prepared a second estimate of the impact of Watchtower’s blood policy on Jehovah’s Witnesses and their children.6 In this case he was able to use a more recent study by Beliaev et al, entitled Clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of allogeneic red-blood-cell transfusion in severe symptomatic anemia, published in VoxSanguinis in 2012. This was a multicenter observational study pairing Jehovah’s Witness patients (excluding those under age sixteen and those with advanced cancer) who refused red blood cell products with matched patients who received red blood cell (RBC) products. Data was collected from four public hospitals in New Zealand between 1998-2007. During this period, the study found 103 JW patients who suffered severe anemia, and of these 20.4% died (21 patients). The death rate among the matching group who accepted RBC products was just 1.9%. So the net difference in mortality can be directly attributed to following Watchtower blood policy. 20.4 – 1.9 equals 18.45%. Put another way, this means that if this group of 103 JW’s had accepted RBC products instead of having 21 deaths, there would have been just 2 deaths. Since the study covered a ten year period, and there were 19 JW’s who died unnecessarily, approximately 1.9 deaths per year occurred. Over this 10 year period, the average number of JW publishers was 12,700. 1.9 deaths per year amounts to 0.015% of the JW population. This is consistent with the factor that Dr. Muramoto arrived at in his 2001 analysis based on a separate study. Both Dr. Muramoto and Marvin Shilmer’s calculations resulted in the same mortality factor (0.015% annually). If we apply that computation to the current population of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is relatively straightforward to arrive at an updated mortality figure. According to the Watchtower Society’s published annual report, the average number of publishers during the 2016 service year was 8,132,358. If we multiply that number by 0.015% (0.00015) we arrive at 1,220 Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide that died prematurely in 2016 as a result of Watchtower’s blood policy. This is a staggering number by any measure, and amounts to more deaths on an annual basis than all of the victims of the People’s Temple massacre in Jonestown, Guyana that claimed 918 lives on November 18, 1978.7 However, the tragedy of the Jonestown Massacre was a one time occurrence. The deaths that the Watchtower’s blood prohibition has been responsible for have been occurring for over 7 decades. The Watchtower’s tragic blood policy can be traced back to its beginnings in 1945. By 1961 Watchtower leaders began to take their policy so seriously that they made failure to observe it an offense worthy of everlasting death. Not content to leave the matter is God’s hands, they began to judge, and officially disfellowship, those refusing to accept their interpretation. The impact on the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses forced to observe this policy has been devastating, both on an individual level, and as an organization. We compiled the Watchtower’s annual reports from 1961, the year that taking a blood transfusion became a disfellowshipping offense, up to 2016. During that 56 year period, there were average annual publishers of 3,957,868. If we multiply this figure by 56 (years) and by the annual death factor of 0.015%, there have been approximately 33,246 deaths caused by Watchtower’s policy during that period. It is not an exaggeration to think of this as a tragedy approaching genocide. Conservative Estimates Staggering as these numbers are, it is a conservative estimate of the loss of life. As noted above, Dr. Muramoto rounded down the actual increase in mortality from 1.4% to 1%. If we use the 1.4% mortality rate (the actual conclusion reached by Kitchens) this results in casualties that are 40% higher: 1708 deaths caused by Watchtower’s blood policy in 2016, and a total of 46,544 deaths between 1961-2016. Marvin Shilmer notes that the New Zealand study draws from the records of four hospitals in the more densely populated Northern and midland regions which contain 57% of the country’s population. New Zealand has more than eighty hospitals in less densely populated regions that account for approximately 43% of the county’s population, and they are similarly equipped. If the mortality rate is appropriately prorated for 57% of the nation’s population, it results in an increase of the annual mortality factor to .00026, and the extrapolation indicates 2,114 deaths caused by Watchtower’s blood policy in 2016, and 57,626 deaths between 1961-2016. While actual numbers can never be known, the most likely toll probably falls somewhere between these various estimates. To offer perspective, consider there were 33,739 U.S. Service members killed in action in the Korean War,8 and 40,934 U.S. Service members killed in action in the Vietnam War.9 If we add up all of the deaths caused by terrorist attacks attributed the Taliban, Al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and ISIL between 2000-2013, we arrive at a total of 23,899.10 These numbers will come as a surprise to many, particularly Jehovah’s Witnesses. AJWRB has seen many examples of deaths that have occurred due to the blood ban, and we have documented many of these experiences so that others can understand what has happened and learn from it. The simple truth, however, is that the Watchtower Society is a very large organization with more than 8 million members at present. When one of these cases leads to a premature death, it is always tragic. However, it is seldom newsworthy unless a child, adolescent or pregnant JW is involved. As a result, the vast majority of these cases are not covered by the media and remain unknown. This is particularly the case when countries like the United States have health privacy laws that restrict doctors from sharing the medical information of their patients. We typically only learn of cases where:
- AJWRB members personally report experiences.
- Non Jehovah’s Witness family members report to the media.
- Physicians or hospitals go to court to obtain a court order to treat a minor JW.
26,156 days passed from December 30, 1945 to August 8, 2017. Imagine all the bodies of JWs murdered by the heads of the Watchtower organization over them.
This article is an eye opener. I can’t believe the ammount of people that are dying as a result of this Cult Policy. Why the people imposing this cruel policy not persecuted by our goverments?
The following is taken from The Gnostic Society Library ;Augustin; Reply to Faustus the Manichaean—-Books1–XX1—400 A.D———-Point 13 “——(in part)—For, allowing that the apostles did on that occasion require Christians to abstain from the blood of animals, and not to eat of things strangled, they seem to me to have consulted the time in choosing an easy observance that could not be burdensome to anyone,,and which the Gentiles might have in common with the Israelities–for the sake of the cornerstone, who makes one in Himself(8) while at the same time they would be reminded how the Church of all nations was pre-figured by the Ark of Noah, when God gave this command—a type which began to be fulfilled in the time of the Apostles by the accesion of the Gentiles to the faith. But since the close of that period during which the two walls of the circumcision and the un circumcision , although united in the Cornerstone, still retained some distinctive pecularities, and now that the Church has become so entirely Gentile tha none who are Outwardly Israelites are to be found in it, no Christian feels bound to abstain from thrushes or small birds because their blood has not been poured out, or hares because they are killed by a stroke on the neck without shedding their blood. Any who are afraid to touch these things are LAUGHED at by the rest; so general is the conviction of the truth, that”not what entereth into the mouth defileth you, but what cometh out of it”(9) tht evil lies in the commision of sin,an not in the nature of any food in ordinary use.”——-So if Augustin and the early Church felt ok to eat meat with it’s blood Why not be allowed to take a life saving blood transfusion?
JW’s (Watchtower Society) will never change their fallacious policy, because to do so will leave themselves open to litigation. They will ever say it’s a religious prohibition and regardless of any proven benefits, they will not go against doctrine.
Vaccination and organ transplant bans were also considered religious prohibitions by the Watchtower. Additionally, so were every one of the multitude of blood products (fractions) including hemoglobin.
Lee, thank you for your continuing work, exposing this criminal practice.
Here is my humble musical answer:
Very moving, and quite accurate as it turns out.
Assuming the conclusions given here are valid*, counterbalancing and overriding these findings is the fact that post-operation, bloodless patients enjoy higher survival ratings.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses…carefully track the activity of every member.”
They do not. Records of pedophilia mentioned here exist only to ensure that a pedophile cannot slip unnoticed from one congregation into another.
*I’m not saying they’re not; I’m just saying I’m not qualified to endorse them.
The safest course of action, by far, for elective surgery is a patient blood management protocol that maintains the safety net of red cell transfusion. It is important to understand that physicians are not actively seeking to transfuse blood products, as they are well informed as to the potential risks and complications. The majority of deaths among JWs are not coming from elective surgery. They are coming from trauma, chronic blood disorders (like Leukemia), and childbirth. Every JW congregation publisher has his activity recorded to compile the field service reports. They also keep a file of signed advance directives. It would be a fairly simple matter for the Watchtower to request that the congregation report any death arising out of a lack of blood or anemia.
“Every JW congregation publisher has his activity recorded to compile the field service reports.”
These are reported to Watchtower only in aggregate, not individually, for the sake of compiling worldwide statistics and allocation of resources.
Ditto with medical directives. On file at the congregation, forwarded nowhere.
If we take into account greater survival rates, blood being a foreign tissue, bloodless medicine saves more lives than it costs, and the gap will only widen over time. Doctors owe Jehovah’s Witnesses a debt for spurring its development.
1% is not a large number. I would be surprised if medical error alone does not cost greater than that number for given transfusions. The hospital setting is hardly error free.
Moreover, it is generally thought noble to be willing to put one’s life on the line for a cause deemed worthy. The military, for instance.
It would be a simple matter for the congregation to track and include with their monthly report. Your conclusions or statements regarding greater survival rate are erroneous suppositions. If you deem this a cause worthy of dying, by all means put your life on the line – that is your choice. Just bear in mind that vaccinations, organ transplants and blood fractions were at one time all believed to be “noble” reasons to put ones life in jeopardy.
Safer outcomes post-bloodless has been confirmed many times. Furthermore, it is intuitive. Blood is a foreign tissue and we all know the body tries to reject foreign tissue. Relieve it of that stress and it does better.
Moreover, if we look at the entire picture, JWs also abstain from overdrink, tobacco, drugs, even war, making it by far the ‘safest’ religion out there. If you claim 10K Witness deaths, how many must you lay at the feet of other faiths for these dangers?
The difference is that Jehovah’s Witnesses coerce their young into a belief system which is neither biblically based nor remotely based on sound medical and scientific data. The broad picture includes not only the ban on blood products, but the principle of shunning and the organizational cover up of child abuse, with internal management of matters which should always be left to professionals. Jehovah’s Witnesses are poorly educated and rely on this very principle for their religion to take root in the lives of so many millions worldwide. The growth is not evidence of any Godly blessing, it is the simple application of cult influence upon the lives of persons not well prepared to defend themselves against undue influence. The victims which suffer the worst are children, who are indoctrinated into this cult from infancy. This is what we will put a stop to with every effort possible. Awareness is raised, and we are making great strides in freeing persons of such influence, allowing them to think for themselves
The fact is JW’s do not make public the amount of deaths from their blood policy. They could make that number public, as the military does, but for some reason they don’t. Anecdotally there are 1000’s of ex-JW’s that have stood up to say their friends or family died from a medical condition or trauma that may have been solved by receiving blood. The Watchtower honors NONE of their names after the funeral.
Physicians are well informed about the risks of using blood products, including all of the blood products (100% of blood in fractionated form) the WT permits. The blood supply is safe, and rejecting a medically necessary blood transfusion on the basis that there are few post surgery complications among patients who don’t use blood is reckless. Dying from anemia counterbalances any benefit from avoiding blood.
It is a fallacious argument to say that patients who do not receive a blood transfusion during a surgery do better post surgery because they didn’t receive blood. Patients who did not receive blood generally didn’t need it because they were not as sick. Hence, they do better.
What you say about pedophelia records is irrelevant, as Watchtower records kept concerning child sex abusers has never resulted in protection for JW children.
To be relevant, the study should have compared both the number of patients (having surgery) who died when:
1) Having bloodless procedures in lieu of traditional approach of blood transfusion
2) Having had the SAME types of procedures as group 1, but used traditional approach of blood transfusion
The same measures should be applied as were applied to the ‘bloodless’ group.
Otherwise the totals aren’t even relevant.
You can use the links at the bottom of the article to review the two studies that were used in generating our estimate.
I don’t believe this.most time. people who live with this choice have very strong faith and no one should knock them. I myself have been asked and today with so much technology that is not a problem like it was in the 70,or80s. People should mind the things they say and speak only when you have the truth.
“people who live with this choice have very strong faith and no one should knock them.”
If my faith included an edict that I must watch my children or loved ones die, when their death is easily preventable, would you knock me for it? I hope you would. There is a vast difference between a strong faith, and the truth. The fact that you think respecting someones faith means more than the lives of children, or loved ones is really sad. I hope you get the help you need to heal.
Comments here reflect a certain technical nit-picking over morbidity statistics and their practical meaning.
A trauma or childbirth death due to blood loss, when that life could have been saved by a transfusion, is still a life lost.
That this loss comes from an erroneous religious interpretation, and a looking to hierarchical authority for medical decisions, is a scandal in itself.
My mom a Jehovah’s Witness died from not having a blood transfusion May 11, 2004. I was with her when she died, my dad was an elder, I had left the cult in 1990 and was not only shunned but I was disinherited in court for not returning. I was told they never mentioned (no transfusion) in the Kingdom Hall why my mom really had to die, the doctor begged me to talk to my dad, but you know how that goes. I sat with her on her hospital bed with her feeling hopeless while the elders swarmed the room like vultures making sure my dad did not cave in. I was not even allowed to be in the receiving line at her funeral for no longer being a JW. Such a needless loss, I say they murdered my mom. The worst day of my life and I have had many losses.
Very sorry for your loss Susan. Thank you for sharing your story here at AJWRB. If you would be willing to tell it in more detail, we could feature it in the hope that others will learn from your family’s story.
I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. That is just awful. My father was an elder and died from not accepting a blood transfusion. I was with him to when he died it was awful. I still have PTSD from it. Then an elder at the hall on stage tells everyone to be like my Dad he never acccepted a transfussion and died because of it. I was so angry. Like you said as far as I am concerned this awful cult is responsible for my dads and your mothers death.
Consider the emotional trauma. I knew of a 13 year old who received a blood transfusion by court order to treat his sickle cell anemia. According to Watchtower Society’s teachings, he is to equate this action as to being raped.
I had anal bleeddng and lost about one liter of blood. My albumin was down to 8.5. I told the doctors that they were smart enough to do what is necessary without blood.
They put me on a regime of some strong pills that bit by bit brought the albumin up to 13.5. I felt better that my own body made the blood instead of having some other person’s blood surging through my veins.
Albumin has been approved for use by the Watchtower for decades. https://ajwrb.org/the-watchtower-on-albumin
Just a bit biased, why not answer how many people have died from blood transfusions since 1961.eg.90% of hemophiliacs from hiv….JWs have always fought for God-given rights.I salute and adore Jehovah for free will,and am ever thankful for you allowing me to say so????
Its interesting that you bring this up Ann. JW’s often believe they have had some sort of divine protection from the AIDS epidemic that broke out in the 1980’s. The truth of the matter is that much of the AIDS transmission occurred among the Hemophiliac population since treatments of clotting factor requires the pooled blood of thousands of donors. The reality is that the Watchtower Society has given permission to JW hemophiliacs to use clotting factors since the mid 1970’s, thus leaving this population exposed to the risk at the worst possible time.
People who love Jah love their children as well. It seems those who hate JWs actually hate them when they refuse all forms of blood, and even when their consciences and science have figured a way for them to maintain their faith and by their own mind make a choice that can maintain both their faith and science.Hallelujah that God will resurrect both because Christ died for all our sins. Your hate is all over this page, brother????
Amen my sister!!!
I am sorry for each and every person who has died, that would have lived by accepting a blood transfusion. However, if an adult of sound mind refuses a blood transfusion, that is no ones business but there own. You can say they are part of a cult, or brainwashed, or whatever but they still have the right to refuse any sort of medical treatment or any treatment at all. There certainly are people who refuse surgery for various reasons (not just religious) who die because of that refusal. What about women who carry a pregnancy to full term, but have illnesses such as cancer, and know they could die because of delaying treatment while pregnant? There have been women who have died because of this.
The only real issue is that of JW’s children whose parents refuse blood transfusions for them. Sometimes, a court order is made to override the parents’ request. We would hope our legal system gives the child’s right to life over the parents’ beliefs.
Finally, the statistical analyses in the articles cited are so flawed, that using them is pointless. Practically every premise and conclusion made using the numbers provided are wrong and therefore cannot support the article’s contentions.
While you admit that children are the greatest concern, and the fact that courts will intervene on their behalf, you completely ignore the evidence that a great majority of adult JWs now made their decision to become baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses when they were minors. Many of them were as young as 8-16 years of age. The extreme undue influence and control wielded over these minors carries over into adulthood. Your suggestion that they can decide for themselves once they become an adult is absolutely false. The indoctrination of minors along with the intense pressure to conform to the insular society of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the severe punishment which is executed upon anyone who would break the Witness blood doctrine is overwhelming. By the time such individuals become adults – it is far too late. All their friends and relatives are generally Witnesses, and these associations of a lifetime hold a person hostage and force them to conform or pay the price. This is something you need to learn.
As for the research, you said “the statistical analyses in the articles cited are so flawed, that using them is pointless. ” – Yet you provided not a single shred of evidence – not one fact to disprove the research published. It’s easy to make such an accusation without backing it up. This tells me you have not done any research at all on this subject matter.
The deaths because of implementation of Watchtower’s Blood policies are tragic and widespread. Our data is very accurate despite the hippa laws which protect the medical records of patients here in the US. The research was intentionally conservative on many level, and we are certain that we underestimated these deaths by a very fair factor. Additionally the research covered a specific period of time and does not even cover the decades prior during which many additional casualties occurred. Further we have casualties related to cases of leukemia and liver failure which are not all necessarily a component of this research.
Finally – you stated ” However, if an adult of sound mind refuses a blood transfusion, that is no ones business but there own”
Sadly – you are dead wrong. As I have posited, when deaths occur because of obedience to indoctrinated beliefs, this IS our business. This concerns all of us. The adults who govern this world and its medical procedures must take both mental health and physical well-being into account when determining whether a person has made a decision of their own accord, or is coerced into taking a certain position. If you study cult influence this will become crystal clear.
I do not think that JWs telling their flock to not take blood transfusions is right.
There is nothing Biblical about this. However, you can’t force any adult, of right mind, legally to do something they don’t want to do. Any adult in the United States legally can refuse any medical treatments. I can go to the ER with chest pain, doctor says I need surgery. I say no and leave. So the doctor is going to get the police to force me into the operating room against my will? You are saying you don’t think JWs are of their right mind because they are a cult and are brainwashed? Hence are not able to make their own medical decisions? That would have to be proven in court, and legally a court will not say anyone, not just a JW, is incompetent because they won’t take a blood transfusion. To be legally incompetent is to be so totally unaware that you can’t take care of your basic needs (like my mom was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s) Our freedom of religion leads to many strange cults, some of which harm their members including children. We don’t know about these people until they come up in the news. People do snake handling as part of a religion, and have died from snake bites. Christian Scientists believe that only prayer can heal (although I think they’ve loosened up on this a bit, since you know, people were dying). Ultra Orthodox Jews have given baby boys hepatitis through circumcisions. They died. Hundreds of people in the US die every year because they believe in a charlatan treatments, say for cancer. We can’t force people to take chemo. I am addressing the legal aspects, because really there isn’t anything else objective to consider. As for your stats I am not talking about the numbers, but your methods of analysis. First, you did not compare the fatality rate of bloodless to non-bloodless surgeries, which is ultimately the issue. The total percentage of fatalities for bloodless surgeries may actually be lower than for those with blood. Then you applied the number of blood transfusions from population data (US) to the sample of JWs which can’t be done without matching demographics. You are saying, the JWs represent the US population, and that can’t be true. Then to take your deaths for the JWs in the US and apply it to the entire world population of JWs! My goodness No. And you take your “death rate” and apply it to a time span of 50+ years!! There are just so many “confounding” or “intervening” variables. I could address more on the article, but this is a comment section. You have my email address so we could correspond through that if you’d like. But be nice about it; your comment was a little condescending.
We agree the Watchtower organization wrongly prohibits its followers from conscientious acceptance of products rendered from blood. As you say, there is nothing biblical about it.
We agree adults can and should have freedom of choice over their own medical care. We also hold that adults should have every opportunity of having good information to make more informed decisions. This is the primary purpose of AJWRB.
We of AJWRB want nothing but the highest standard of care for Jehovah’s Witness patients, whether that be a conservative blood transfusion strategy or otherwise based on patient presentation and available therapies. That is to say, if a patient can be better served with a conservative strategy of blood use then they should be treated accordingly.
As you are surely aware, sufficiently severe anemia leads to premature mortality when it is caused by loss of blood, that is unless the condition is adequately treated. This is commonly termed “bleeding to death”. It’s a real thing. Organs fail due to oxygen deprivation and, left untreated, the patient dies. There are circumstances where the sole treatment to correct and treat severe anemia is the transfusion of red cells. In these instances, the patient will die without this transfusion.
There is an excellent journal resource useful for extrapolating conservative and/or liberal estimates of mortality suffered by the JW population opting to follow the Watchtower organization’s blood doctrine. The article is by Beliaev et al, Clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of allogeneic red-blood-cell transfusion in severe symptomatic anemia, Vox Sanguinis, 2012 Jul;103(1):18-24. The article by Beliaev et al is based on data acquired from a first-world society with excellent medical facilities. There is sufficient information in this article that, when combined with publicly available population statistics from the same region, you can make your own assessment of mortality suffered by JW patients who refuse transfusion to treat anemia compared to patients who accept transfusion to treat the condition.
Since 1961 the Watchtower organization has prohibited its followers from accepting transfusion of whole blood, red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma (e.g., FFP) under pain of severe shunning. That is the primary position that has not changed. This has resulted in avoidable mortality. Something else we apparently agree on.
Whenever I read the comments of a truly devoted JW, I shudder. The comments usually involve vitriol, false accusations and evidence of paranoia. Nobody is hating on JWs. We are concerned persons, many who used to be brainwashed by Watchtower ourselves and we are trying to stop needless Watchtower Suicide. This is the reason I was at the United Nations in August 2016, to get more information that will help open the eyes of JWs to the truth about Watchtower and thus free them to think for themselves. Maybe for the first time in their lives.
Sue: It sounds as though you are not a JW. You probably cannot truly appreciate the level of undue influence, coercion, and misinformation these individuals are operating under. Is a truly “informed” level of consent present when most reject a medically necessary blood transfusion? My experience would suggest that it is not. When most JW’s are educated as to the irrational aspects of the Watchtower’s policy, and the shaky foundation upon which it is based, the majority reject it. It is the undue influence that prevents them from critically examining it, for fear of being branded “apostates”, and shunned by their friends and JW family. As for the the “flawed statistical analyses” that you reference, you would have to be more specific if you want a response.
The article did not say that the odds of dying went up by 1.4% if the patient did not receive blood. Your logic is fundamentally flawed. The overall death rate was 1.4%. Your supposition is that every one of those patients would have survived had they received a transfusion. With Hepatitis C, AIDS, othe blod borne diseases, and just the condition of the patient going into the surgery may have resulted in a portion of those patients dying anyway. I am not a a witness anymore, but if you are going to point out a travesty, at least have a solid argument. 1.4% of 1404 indicates less than 20 people died in that time frame. Honestly, that is a rather small number. How many people died from rejection of the blood? There really has to be an unbiased consideration of the stats.
Bloodless surgery has a 1.4% higher rate of mortality among JW’s according to Kitchens. These individuals (JWs) died specifically from a lack of blood. Their deaths occurred either as a primary or contributing result from rejecting blood. You are misinterpreting the data Dean. The higher rate of mortality (1.4%) would not be of just 1404 people included in this study. It would be of the entire JW population who would typically require a blood transfusion and reject it. The extrapolation, as explained both by Dr. Muramoto, and in the article you are commenting on, suggests that approximately 1220 deaths among the JW population in 2016 alone.
Honestly, the study itself is easy to read. People don’t have to guess about what he intended. The 1.4% is the total number of anemia-related deaths (20) out of 1404 major surgeries (mostly cardiac). This is not “extra deaths” as the general population still dies from anemia at about essentially the same rate… If you bleed faster than blood can be transfused, you can eventually die.
And you can’t just squeeze the IV bag to push more in faster.
It is sad that all you brothers sacrifice your kids at war, that is not biblical in the millions and use drugs and alcohol for recreational purposes and are critics of not putting someone else’s blood in their body?
How many people does your religion kill for permitting smoking, going to war, etc? Compare mortality rate of any religion vs Jehovah’s witnesses and you will be surprised. With fraternal love, Your brother
It is very difficult to make sense of what this person has written.
“It is sad that all you brothers sacrifice your kids at war…”
What does this mean? Miguel calls whomever he is speaking to “brothers”. Is he inferring that those to whom he writes here on this site are ‘his brothers’? And from where does he invent the idea that someone here “sacrifice(d) (their) kids at war”?
This is an uneducated jumble.
He further writes:
“How many people does your religion kill for permitting smoking, going to war, etc?”
What religion is he referring to? Did he not refer to writers here as “brothers”? Who is “permitting smoking”..? Again another invention. It has been the secular forces in the various communities that have marginalized smoking and even second hand smoke. Watchtower cannot claim any glory for this. They don’t let anyone even vote.
Finally, he writes:
“Compare mortality rate of any religion vs Jehovah’s witnesses and you will be surprised.” This is just horseradish. There is absolutely no data anywhere that supports the idea that the mortality rate among Jehovah’s Witnesses is any better than for the greater community. In fact, quite he opposite.
He signs off with the below:
“With fraternal love, Your brother”
To whom does he refer to as “brother”. Please see his first reference to “brother” above. This man is seriously confused.
He is not confused. Almost all in the worldly and religious communities willingly send their sons and daughters off to war, approve of abortions, engage in potentially lethal habits such as smoking, drinking and drugs (no acceptable to Jehovah’s Witnesses). And how many deaths have been involved in wars around the world as well as these other things. Or did you forget to add those figures into your calculations.
Ah, but you are an “ex-Witness”. Enough said.
lkj Your statement that “almost all in the worldly and religious communities” is a vague and broad statement that is really no more than an assumption based on the prejudice of your own indoctrination rather that real evidence and facts. It doesn’t appear you’ve conducted any unbiased research of your own to even offer up statistics to support this comment, clearly then nothing more than an uninformed opinion. It’s easier to have someone else, (in this case a religious entity whose credentials come from themselves), do the research for you, without verifying their sources, and then citing their biased research without knowing for yourself whether what is presented to you is a factually and even scripturually sound. Not to mention the campaigns and voices that have the greatest influence in promoting an end to the issues JWs are so much against, such as abortion, drug use, and non violence rather than war are certainly not carried out by JWs. Truth can always withstand criticism. Why not find the evidence for yourself?
I go over this specific study at 9:08 in this video:
When someone faces death and someone offers them life and they refuse to accept it then they are deciding to commit suicide: God’s word tell us that in the last days knowledge would increase so why not use the knowledge that the Lord has given us. Daniel 12:4.
The recent video on JW.org regarding the elective death of an 11 year old boy, should stir anyone who believes this contrived, misapplied and fallacious doctrine to consider it no more than human sacrifice. There is no Biblical precedent for abstaining from blood transfusions. In fact, there is every precedent for putting life before law, as every Orthodox Jew will attest to. The Governing Body are guilty of manslaughter (GB legal term) on numerous counts, and one life lost is one too many. Shameful.