Blood test: What you don’t know about blood

For decades, blood has been called “the gift of life.” And while its image was tarnished in the 1980s when HIV and hepatitis contaminated the blood supply, better screening tests have made donated blood the safest it’s ever been. Each year, close to five million Americans receive a blood transfusion.

For many, that transfusion will be a lifesaver. But for others, a transfusion may do more harm than good, according to some doctors and researchers. For those patients, there may be a better alternative. Need to Know medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports on the potential problems, and ingenious solutions, to the time-honored practice of blood transfusions.

For more on the potential risks of blood transfusions, see our previous First Look videos on the Centers for Disease Control’s new “hemovigilance” program, and the more than 100 blood management initiatives at hospitals across the country.

 
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Comments

  • dora boyd

    Thank you so much. This is great information. Great Job!!!

  • Roger Rittenhouse

    Thankyou for this program to inform the public of alternatives to blood transfusions and risks of taking blood . I hope that doctors and hospitals will take a course to seek the best interest of patients by using advanced medical procedures instead of blood transfusions.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    I appreciate any and all scientific investigations into the pros and cons of blood transfusions. But it is irresponsible to give any credence to religious views on the subject by the likes of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They start with a conclusion, based upon superstition and dogma. Only science, which starts with questions and eschews absolute conclusions, may be trusted.

  • Nick

    A reasonable programme overall. The Red Cross doctor seemed a bit sceptical about the problems of blood, but lets not forget that for the Red Cross, blood is BIG business – $$$$! – They are not going to give that up lightly.

    It took a very long time for the tobacco industry to admit (if they even did?) that smoking was harmful.

    One of the doctors in the programme mentioned that blood is needed for soldiers on the battle field;
    It’s interesting to note, that even the US military are now training their doctors in bloodless medicine & surgery.

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/287219

    N.

  • Brad

    Wonderful segment. “Need to Know” is a winner in a much crowded space; and, since watching the pilot episode it has become ‘must see TV’ for me even if it is on Saturday morning. Last week I donated $200 to KVIE and “Need to Know” is one of the reasons why.

  • Todd

    I enjoyed the program. Thanks for mentioning the contribution of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the field of bloodless medicine. In doing so, you indirectly drew attention to Jehovah God, the one whom the Bible reveals to be the creator of life and blood. The fact that more and more doctors are recognizing the hazards of blood transfusions and the benefits of alternatives confirms the wisdom of Jehovah’s law on blood recorded thousands of years ago – (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:14; Acts 15:29).

  • Mary

    I think this was a very good program and brought up a lot of scientific questions that need to be answered in transfusion medicine.(especially the topic of how long is it adviseable to store blood?). I think that it primarily emphasized the use of transfusions in trauma/surgical patients and patients with blood loss but I think it neglected to mention that there are many patients out there with bone marrow failure diseases or with chemotherapy- induced low hemoglobin or platelet counts that rely heavily on transfusion. But even in those patients when to transfuse is not always clear. Quality of life becomes an issue then.

  • Cynda Graham

    So necessary and so good to know this kind of information to make a good, informed decision if one needs to have any surgeries done. Thank you for sharing this (possible) life saving information!!!

  • Marilyn

    Dr. Senay, we can’t thank you enough for such a fine well researched unbiased report on blood transfusions! Very informative and hlepful! Will look forward to seeing follow up reports!

  • Mary Lou Pfeiffer

    Your program formatted my introductory lecture this coming week for an Honors in “Biomedical Ethics” class at Florida International University in Miami. Presenting the varied viewpoints, statistics and progress with alternative methodologies in blood transfusions should become a standard a model for the “new” American Health Care, one that can appreciate and serve cross-cultural worldviews when certain belief systems interfere with normative practice in US medicine. Because of my advanced degree in religion, this segment was of particular interest, but also because I lost two friends- bothers and hemophiliacs, and the consequence of HIV through transfusions that ultimately resulted in he death at a young age. I thank you…and hope for more!

  • Eugene Rodriguez

    Thank you very much for the excellent discussion provided by this show. I also wish to thank you for including the valuable role that Jehovah’s Witnesses have played in the field of Bloodless Medicine.
    In response to an earlier comment by Joshua Hendrickson, the rigorous stand that Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken is due to their deep respect for life itself which they view to be a valuable gift from a wise Creator, Jehovah God, and has led Jehovah’s Witnesses to actively seek the best in medical treatment.
    To assist doctors in providing treatment without the use of blood, Jehovah’s Witnesses have developed a helpful liaison service. Presently, more than 1,400 Hospital Liaison Committees worldwide are equipped to provide doctors and researchers with medical literature from a data base of over 3,000 articles related to bloodless medicine and surgery.The information on bloodless medicine and surgery that has been compiled by Jehovah’s Witnesses has been of valuable benefit to many in the medical field, as reported in this video.
    The Witnesses’ rigorous stand has been a major force behind safer medical treatment becoming available for all.
    I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a Respiratory Therapist with nearly 20 years of clinical experience.

  • Maggie

    Thank you Need to Know for the program on blood transfusions. It confirms and answers questions I’ve had on the subject. It is such an interesting program and I hope to learn more about it through future programs. I enjoy reading the comments too. I did’nt know the military was training with bloodless surgeries and medicines and the older I get the more I do see Jehovahs words confirmed through sceince. Thanks again.

  • jan

    Twenty years ago, my cousin’s husband tried to murder her. She refused transfusions due to their Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. It seemed to take her a very long time to recover which is part of the reason why I have had some problems ever since with the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs in what should be non-religious areas of life.

  • J.m.

    The scientific method is to have to situations to compare results. When blood is offered, it is usually a serious situation. Due to the fact that blood is from someone else, the body can reacct to blood and take longer to recover. In general, surgeries have recovery times based on many different aspects. A person may have a long recovery or almost die wheter using an alternative or blood.
    Medicine had a previous practice of letting blood to release the infection from the I’ll person. In time this practice ended, as time passes and information comes to life, treatments change. That is why there are new cancer treatments. And Physicians do not suggest blood letting today.

  • Elizabeth

    The doctor mislead audience by saying that artificial blood is science fiction. I googled the topic and found this: Current research has led to several specific blood substitutes in two classes — hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) and perflourocarbons (PFCs). Some of these substitutes are nearing the end of their testing phase and may be available to hospitals soon. Others are already in use. For example, an HBOC called Hemopure is currently used in hospitals in South Africa, where the spread of HIV has threatened the blood supply. A PFC-based oxygen carrier called Oxygent is in the late stages of human trials in Europe and North America. Please respond here.

  • Clement

    For those who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses, Their refusal to take a blood transfusion has nothing to do with medicine,it is a moral issue,not a medical one. Please get in touch with one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and ask them to explain in detail from the Bible why our loving Creator Jehovah forbids us to take a transfusion.It may one day save your life,and a study of the Bible may even extend your life forever. I would say that Jehovah knows more about blood and the reasons for not taking a transfusion than all the Dr’s and organizations on the earth.Best we pay attention to Him.

  • Laura LeBlanc

    Thank you Elizabeth, for your comment. I am the producer of the piece on blood transfusions. I understand your concerns about the use of the phrase “science fiction.” Dr. Senay did not mean the phrase in literal sense – in fact she discussed on-going research into artificial blood. What she meant by the use of that phrase is that while many products are being researched, none are expected to be approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in the near future.

    Our information on artificial blood came from Dr. Harvey Klein, Chief of the Department of Transfusion at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center. He said of the two major perflurocarbons, one was approved by the FDA but withdrawn because of adverse events. Trials for Oxygent were also halted because of adverse events, and the FDA did not approve it. As for hemoglobin substitutes, several companies had developed them and some made it to human trials. Hemopure has been approved for human use in South Africa, but the FDA banned further human testing in the United States because of toxicity concerns. Biopure – the maker of Hemopure – filed for bankruptcy in 2009. As for the effort to grow red blood cells, Dr. Klein says the research is promising, but the costs to produce a single unit of red blood cells this way would be prohibitive. Dr. Klein says there is nothing on the near horizon that will replace human blood or the need for human blood donors.

    Again, I appreciate your comments and I’m sorry if you found the phrase “science fiction” misleading.

  • Allan

    It may interest viewers of the program to know that the Red Cross in Canada is no longer involved in blood transfusions. After the catastrophe of the 1980′s and 1990′s, they had to leave what had been a lucrative industry (in Canada, blood was donated and not purchased) because they couldn’t afford the insurance coverage necessary to cover something like the HIV or non-A non-B Hepatitis crises of recent decades.
    Now, think about that. In Canada, the Red Cross got it’s product free, often in donated facilities which are advertised as a community service – again free of charge. Then you perform some basic tests: some of the ones for HIV were rejected as ‘too expensive’ even though they amounted to less than $20 per unit. After that, your product is sold. Each donation goes to make up about three separate units, as the commercials tell us. Each of these units sells somewhere in the range of three hundred dollars in the system. And yet the product is so dangerous that the Red Cross’s insurance premiums are bigger than its profits. This, in spite of the fact that Canada’s courts offer nothing like the medical negligence-lottery in the US legal system.
    What does that tell you about the medical value of blood transfusions?

  • Amy B

    I gave my own blood for my surgery and it won’t be old when I go to surgery (tomorrow). Why isn’t that discussed. This is a very common practice. I think donated blood is more for the emergency room than for planned surgeries.

  • Dan Steeves

    There are approximately 25 viral,bacterial and parasitic diseases transmitted through contaminated blood. On the other hand there is powerful evidence that blood transfusions suppress the immune
    system making the patient more susceptible to recurring cancerous tumors after cancer surgery with blood transfusions. The other fact is that stored blood changes the shape of the red blood cells from concave to aspherical thereby making it very difficult for the red blood cells to penetrate the capillaries for the microcirculation. Another interesting fact is that there has never been a serious scientific study that demostrates the ability of stored transfused blood to deliver oxygen at the cell level. Having studied this matter in depth I believe that transfusional medicine is one of the great medical farses and a source of great financial gain for blood banks and hospitals. And, finally, due to the fact that medicine is not an exact science, no medical doctor han say that a patient will die if he does not receive a blood transfusion. Neither can he guarantee that a patient will live if he does receive a transfusion.

  • Tim Hannon, MD

    I agree that this was a very informative story, but equating the move towards conservative transfusion practice with Jehovah’s Witness care can cloud the issues. While it is true that patients who refuse blood products have pushed the medical community to advance “bloodless medicine and surgery,” there have been a number of advances in surgical blood conservation over the years in response to a limited supply of blood and concerns about blood risks. The driving factor for the current shift towards conservative transfusion practice has been the advance of our scientific knowledge of blood products. Blood products are essentially a “grandfathered” therapy that has been in common use since WWII, but as such, it has not been through the rigorous clinical trials that modern medical treatments now undergo. It has only been in the last decade that we have more closely studied transfusion therapy, and overall we have found that blood products are less beneficial and more harmful than we had previously assumed. However, this new knowledge does not mean that we shun blood transfusions, because it can still be a life saving treatment. This new knowledge simply means that we need to be more thoughtful and more judicious in the use of blood products, and that we should reduce or eliminate the need for blood whenever it is reasonably possible. You may find the following blog useful in understanding some of these issues:
    http://www.thebloodytruth.com

  • Marianne

    Dr. Hannon: You did a great job of summing up blood management. It’s not so much about Not transfusing blood as using blood transfusion appropriately after weighing all the benefits and risks.

  • Victor C

    This documentary is spot on. and well done. I sit on the Blood Management Committee at our hosptial. There is a sweeping wave of such programs opening nation wide and will soon be everywhere blood transfusions take place. I operate a heart-lung machine during open heart surgery and have for 30 years, in which time I have seen evidence based medicine that supports blood management is best practice. I am not a Jehovah’s Witness but have come to understand their beliefs incorporating this knowledge in my thinking of what is best practice.

  • Neil Blumberg MD

    Excellent synopsis of most of the issues. Almost no errors of fact or emphasis, unlike most such shows. The only point I would have added is that there is an extensive body of data, including a dozen or so randomized trials, demonstrating that leukoreduced transfusions (not universally used in the USA) reduce morbidity and mortality in surgical patients, and have uncontested advantages for all patients. Patients should absolutely insist on receiving ONLY leukoreduced transfusions. Finally, unlike the situation related to storage age of blood, there is real practical potential in the use of pre-transfusion saline washed transfusions for improving clinical outcomes, and several clinical trials are underway of this simple, inexpensive modality.

    And I’m afraid the future of “artificial blood” is not bright based upon my knowledge of current research. The perfluorocarbons and free hemoglobin based products are likely to be quite a bit less safe and effective than the best human donated red cell products as far as can presently be determined.

  • Deborah Tolich MSN

    These types of programs are valuable in alerting healthcare consumers to the “real” risks associated with transfusions. As Dr. Hannon noted, the program somewhat missed the mark in its message by tying the practice to religious belief instead of pulling the scientific evidence into the conclusion that the decision to transfuse is one that needs to be made very carefully.

  • Crystal

    Even when humans didnt understand why Jehovah God gave certain laws, obedience was a benefit for them, not God. Take for example the command to go outside the camp of israel to use the bathroom and bury it found at Deuteronomy 23:9-14. They were even instructed to wash after. They had no understanding of why, they only knew that they were to obey Gods commands. Surrounding nations didnt have these laws and because of that they were dirty and diseased. Today we understand the need for this because scientific studies have revealed diseases caused from uncleaness. It was thousands of years after Isaiah 40:22 and Job 26:7 were written that Columbus proved that the earth was round! Seems to me that since God is the creator of all, he would know! Time has proven that science is great, great at proving that Jehovah was right all along! No matter how many years it takes for them to catch up!

  • Kathy Cook

    Being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I watched this with great interest. I thought that it was well done.

    I really enjoyed Crystal’s comments. She brought up some very good points. There are many laws that we obey without questioning. So, when our creator (Jehovah) gives us a command, why should we question him?

  • Terry

    The program was interesting, although I think it focused too much on planned surgery. There are several other significant reasons a person might need blood components (platelets, plasma, red blood cells) or even just a fraction of a blood component. Those include trauma situations, patients with diseases (of which there are several) that leave them lacking certain blood-clotting components & patients undergoing chemotherapy just to name a few. Many of the comments were valuable as well.

    However, I have to say that the comments by Allan are egregious to say the least. I work in a blood bank, a mid-sized, non-profit organization and it’s certainly no cash cow. This gentleman is woefully under-educated with respect to what it costs to collect, filter (leukoreduce), process (into individual components), test, stock, and distribute blood. The only ones getting rich are the companies involved in manufacturing blood collection, testing, & processing materials. Blood-banking, being a small industry, does not have the luxury of choosing from a long list of vendors (which is getting smaller all the time) for the materials we need. Anyone who thinks a manufactured blood substitute will cost any less is dreaming.

    Basic tests? Costing $20? In the U.S., and other countries, there are currently several blood tests mandated by law and for good reason (to protect the recipients). The number of required blood tests will only increase over time as more & more infectious diseases are introduced as a result of international travel, immigration & climate change just to name a few, making the testing of blood more expensive. In closing, I think it is important to note that one of the things that keeps the cost of transfusions down is the fact that, in this country, blood to be used for transfusion must be “donated”. We should be greatful to those who take the time (some sitting with needles in both arms for quite some time every 2 weeks) to contribute so selflessly to the well-being of complete strangers.

  • Frank Rader

    A very interesting discussion. Two quick points:
    1) The biblical prohibition is against eating blood not being transfused. This of course is why Jews are allowed blood transfusions but their meat must be slaughtered by a kosher butcher so that the blood is removed before you eat it. If you’re not eating kosher meat, you’ve missed the point.
    2) While there are many risks to blood transfusion there are significant benefits. And although beyond the scope of this particular program blood products include such things as fresh frozen plasma and platelets in addition to red blood cells. As in all medical treatments, the pros and cons should be weighed carefully. Somehow, the risks of blood transfusion seem to have an inordinate degree of concern that we don’t see with other activities even when they carry high risks- such as car travel or pregnancy.

  • Jeff Lee

    A Doctor who practised Judaism once asked me why Jews are allowed to receive blood transfusions considering the Bible prohibition on eating blood. This is an excellent question because if this same Doctor told a patient not to take penicillin it would be obvious he means by any means of administration.
    The point here is that eating blood by any means of administration is considered a moral error according to God’s standards. If a servant of God was starving stealing food for survival would be a moral error. A righteous person would look for food in a morally acceptable manner. Jehovah’s Witnesses endeavor to receive medical care in a morally acceptable manner. Thanks to pioneering physicians medicine is now offering just that to the benefit of all mankind.

  • John

    Interesting. Conservative practices when it comes to foreign substances in the body is always good. Be it blood, antibiotics and the rest of pharmacopoeia soup. Tim Hannon is right, that Jehovah’s Witnesses helped a push in this direction should not cloud the issue and stick it under some dogmatic straitjacket. Fact is, as that doc pointed out at the end of the video blood transfusions aren’t going to go away anytime soon. You’ll just need to follow good storage practices like this one – http://www.tovatech.com/blog/guidelines-for-blood-bank-refrigerators – and get a bit more inquisitive about the blood used when going in for surgery.

  • Freddie Stevens

    A few days ago Joshua Henrickson said: “But it is irresponsible to give any credence to religious views on the subject by the likes of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They start with a conclusion, based upon superstition and dogma. Only science, which starts with questions and eschews absolute conclusions, may be trusted.”

    By mistake, Joshua has actually made the point that Jehovah’s Witnesses have a major role in health medicine revising its views on blood transfusions. He says “only science may be trusted”. He’s right–not using blood is ‘true science’. Joshua can thank Jehovah’s Witnesses for making any future stays he may have in a hospital a lot safer because of, not only religious reasons, but the accompanying ‘true science’ that has been the direct result of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is man’s false science that cannot be trusted–the Bible has NEVER been proven false on any science subject. Joshua’s very existence is because of the wonderful way that God created him. He should be thankful, not critical.

  • Christie Wilson

    To Frank Rader: Transfusing blood is the same thing as eating blood. When you are in the hospital being fed intravenously because you cannot eat on your own, you are being fed through a tube, you are still eating are you not? When blood is being fed to you through your veins…you are eating it through a tube. No difference. Acts 15: 28,29 28 For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to YOU, except these necessary things, 29 to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If YOU carefully keep yourselves from these things, YOU will prosper. Good health to YOU!” Notice how it says to abstain from blood and things strangled ?

  • Carter Richards

    So many things to say; so little time. Great job, Dr. Senay, despite regrettable omissions surely attributable to airtime constraints. Maybe a follow-up expertly covered by you could address the concerns mentioned by Drs Hannon and Blumberg.

    Terry’s August 25 posting prompts this question: What does a unit of blood truly cost, whether donated or purchased, and how much of the costs are recovered in the transfused patient’s hospital bill? What does collecting cost per unit? What about filter ing or leukoreduction? How much does each unit cost to process “into individual components” (meaning, I suppose, separating red cells, white cells, plasma, and platelets)? How many tests are mandated, and what do these end up costing per unit? What does stocking and storing blood cost per unit, as well as distributing costs? Perhaps Terry or Drs Senay, Hammon, or Blumberg have statistics like these? Could provide a hospital’s average per-unit costs to store, match, and administer blood to a patient? What about if complications ensue? An allergic reaction, rejection, hemovolemic (?) shock–how do these and their required treatment compound the cost of the average unit of blood? These data may prove quite interesting.

    Terry, I agree from my layman’s perspective that Allan’s comments about profits sounded sadly underinformed. In his defines–and Allan, it looks like you need one–don’t you think the terms of art “blood banks” and “banking” foster this widespread notion that blood banks are really making a killing? Oops! Sorry. That may not be the best choice of words. But Allan’s is only one of very many similar comments I have heard in the past few years that demonstrate that we all need more information in general from and about blood banks and about the true costs of blood transfusions in particular. Can we really afford them, even without complications or mortality?

    Dr Blumberg, I’d love to here you lecture on the subjects of your research mentioned in your posting. Do you have statistics you could share with us on reduced morbidity and mortality in leukoreduced transfusions or related data?

    Finally, it was great seeing Dr Paul Marik on screen and to get a glimpse of his notebook titled “Death by Blood Transfusion!” (exclamation his). Last year I happened to hear him present on that same subject to an audience of some 225 physicians, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals. Not only were his facts astonishing and his delivery enthralling, but he’s also quite a hoot. It was never more enjoyable to learn from academia, and Dr Marik often had everyone roaring with laughter. The ovation he received was well deserved, and he was the perfect conclusion to an entire day’s scientific congress centred on Dr Senay’s subject. Thanks again, Dr Senay, and don’t forget follow-up segments.

  • Norm

    I am Jehovah’s Witnesses and I am very pleased with this report.

    The scientific research in this matter of blood transfusion only goes to show that what God has said to us humans by means of His word the Bible is correct and glorifies our Creator Jehovah God.

    The Bible is NOT a history book but nonetheless, it is historically corrrect.

    The Bible is NOT a science book but again, it is scientifically correct.

    In all matters related to all and anything that has to deal with us humans, the Bible, Jehovah’s Word, is correct.

    The sooner we humbly understand this, the sooner we can come to the understanding that only He can tell us what is right and what is wrong in ALL matters of our lives.

  • Tim Hannon, MD

    Thanks for your comments, Carter. I have been quoting Dr. Marik’s work for some time, and it is notable that he first published concerns in the early 1990′s about the adverse effects of stored blood on the microcirculation. It has taken almost two decades to finally get the blood collection industry interested in doing clinical trials on the blood “storage lesion.” However, I don’t blame the blood banking industry; I blame clinicians (such as myself) for not asking enough questions about “what’s in the bag.”
    With regards to the cost of blood, there was a good article in the Orlando Sentinel about the cost to produce blood products (“Blood is big business: why does it cost so much? http://preview.tinyurl.com/2dmyh5q ). Once blood reaches the hospital, it costs about four times the amount to actually transfuse blood as it does to buy it when you account for laboratory and nursing labor, supplies, and overhead. If you add any accounting for transfusion-related adverse effects such as increases in complications, infections, and length of hospitalization, it’s likely that you double the cost once again. Dr. Blumberg was actually one of the first physicians to note and quantify these additional costs of blood, so he is another physician that was ahead of his time. I wrote a blog entry called “Blood Money” that addresses some of these blood economic issues: http://www.thebloodytruth.com/stewardship/blood-money/ .

  • brent

    Hi Jan:
    I’m sorry to hear about your cousin. Every situation is of course different. My aunt had to go in for emergency heart surgery and also accepted only transfusions of non-blood substances such as saline and lactate. She recovered significantly faster than another patient who received the same procedure.
    Of course, there will be situations where obedience to God’s command will cost us something. Ultimately, though, the benefits of maintaining moral integrity outweigh the costs, in whatever sphere of life that is applied. This is especially true if you believe there is a Creator who truly cares about us and will reward adherence to his direction.

  • Gabriele Jonsen, Hong Kong

    Great contribution for the advancement of modern medical care for all, not only a segment of our society. Bloodless=troubleless and should be the standard for all. Thank you for this necessary program, something clearly everybody should know!

  • L.

    “NEED TO KNOW | Blood test: What you don’t know about blood | PBS”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yH6lBFJCks

    Error: “This video contains content from PBS, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

    If you are allowing people from other countries to watch this programme here on your web site, why do you block non US countries from watching it on Youtube?

    Please make it also available to everyone on youtube.

    Thanks,

    L.

  • Smschaff34

    Before my daughter was diagnosed with Lyme Disease she could have donated blood……because what she had according to the medical community was all in her head. Thank goodness she did not.

  • Dana Crone Ward

    i have a dvd with information on other advancements that have been made by the medical community to better educate you about the choices you can make for yourself and your family. If you would like a FREE copy mailed to you with no strings attached, email me at Dana.cone.ward@live.com.

  • Redrocksrule

    The following summaries of nearly 1500 JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES MEDICAL and other COURT CASES will provide the BEST and MOST ACCURATE info about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their beliefs, and how they ACTUALLY practice such day to day.
     
    The following website summarizes over 900 court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah’s Witness Parents, including 400 cases where the JW Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their dying children: DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES jwdivorces.bravehost.com 
    The following website summarizes over 500 Jehovah’s Witnesses Employment related lawsuits, etc, including DOZENS of court cases in which JW Employees refused blood transfusions, and/or other cases involving Worker’s Comp, medical, health, and disability issues: EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESS EMPLOYEES jwemployees.bravehost.com

  • Redrocksrule

    The following summaries of nearly 1500 JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES MEDICAL and other COURT CASES will provide the BEST and MOST ACCURATE info about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their beliefs, and how they ACTUALLY practice such day to day.
     
    The following website summarizes over 900 court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah’s Witness Parents, including 400 cases where the JW Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their dying children: DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES jwdivorces.bravehost.com 
    The following website summarizes over 500 Jehovah’s Witnesses Employment related lawsuits, etc, including DOZENS of court cases in which JW Employees refused blood transfusions, and/or other cases involving Worker’s Comp, medical, health, and disability issues: EMPLOYMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO JEHOVAH’S WITNESS EMPLOYEES jwemployees.bravehost.com

  • Redrocksrule

    In 1945, the WatchTower Society first started refusing to permit Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept blood transfusions. Misinterpreting the Old Testament prohibition against eating animal blood as a routine food item, the WatchTower Society began teaching that receiving a blood transfusion was “eating human blood”. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that receiving an infusion of human blood into their body’s circulatory system is scientifically the exact same thing as eating or ingesting blood into their body’s digestive system.

    “A patient in the hospital maybe fed through the mouth, through the nose, or through the veins. When sugar solutions are given intravenously it is called intravenous feeding. So the hospital’s own terminology recognizes as feeding the process of putting nutrition into one’s system via the veins. Hence the attendant administering the transfusion is feeding the patient through the veins, and the patient receiving it is eating through his veins.” — The WATCHTOWER magazine, July 1, 1951.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that when human blood is transfused into their body’s circulatory system that the transfused human blood remains to be human blood and continues to function as human blood. Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that if blood is eaten, then the ingested blood enters the body’s digestive system, where the blood would be treated by the body exactly the same as it would treat a hotdog, a potato chip, or any other food item. Ingested blood would be completely digested and broken down into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and waste; which are then either assimilated or excreted by the body.

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

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

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

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

  • Salsadancerva

    West Nile virus, CMV, Graft vs Host disease, pulmonary edema, etc etc are problems associated with transfusions, but there is bloodless surgery.  In fact whole hospitals have gone bloodless.  See http://www.squidoo.com/blood-transfusion-alternatives