BETTY ROLLIN: The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Cumming, Georgia: Justine and Gary LaClair are among the congregants. And they are among the 1.2 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States. The organization of Jehovah's Witnesses was begun in the late 19th century by a small group of Bible students in Pennsylvania.

JUSTINE LaCLAIR: We believe from the Bible that God has a name and it is Jehovah, and that his son, Jesus Christ is separate. His kingdom has been established in heaven and instead of everybody going to heaven when they die there will actually be a resurrection here on the earth and all of our loved ones will come back and we'll enjoy perfect life forever right here on earth. Where a lot of religions may teach things such as hell fire, immortality of the soul, and trinity, Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe those teachings. We take the Bible very literally and believe the Bible for what it is. We look for the truth in the Bible.

The LaClairs

ROLLIN: One of the “truths” Witnesses believe in has to do with blood.

JUSTINE LACLAIR: In Genesis and again Leviticus, there's very specific scriptures that state that the blood is sacred and that life is in the blood and that belongs to God. So we want to respect that and be obedient to that. So that means Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions.

ROLLIN: They believe to do so would be a sin, a sin serious enough that many Church members would rather die than receive blood transfusions. This issue has been very much on the LaClairs' minds because in May, the 43 year old Justine was about to have surgery. She had a tumor in her skull which had to be removed. For this type of surgery most hospitals might have required a blood transfusion, which was unacceptable to Justine—and to her husband Gary as well.

GARY LaCLAIR: It's her decision obviously, but it makes it a lot easier if she had support and that's really my responsibility and I’m taking it seriously.

ROLLIN: The LaClairs found a solution to their problem in Englewood, New Jersey. Nearly 20 years ago the Englewood Hospital began a bloodless surgery program. The policy grew out of the need of Jehovah's Witnesses, and now it has become the hospital's preferred method of surgery for all patients.

DR. ABE STEINBERGER (Neurosurgeon, Englewood Hospital): Do you see this thing here?


DR. STEINBERGER: That's not supposed to be here. This is a tumor of some kind.

ROLLIN: Dr. Steinberger, who performed Justine's surgery, has become a firm believer in Englewood's avoidance of blood transfusions. For him it's just good medicine.

DR. STEINBERGER: The science seemed very real. The literature seemed to support it and once we started doing the operations, the results were great. The risks of giving blood in many cases outweigh the benefits of giving blood. There are risks of infections, there are risks of lowering the immune response of the patient, there are risks of giving the wrong kind of blood, errors can occur and if there's any way to avoid getting a blood transfusion, one is better off in general if they can avoid it.

ROLLIN: In any sense, do you feel the Jehovah's Witnesses have done medicine a service?

Dr. Abe Steinberger

DR. STEINBERGER: Definitely. They definitely have done medicine a service.

ROLLIN: The key to successful bloodless surgery is preparation. Sherri Ozawa directs the Hospital's Bloodless Surgery program.

SHERRI OZAWA, RN (Clinical Director, The Institute for Patient Blood Management and Bloodless Medicine and Surgery): Many, many patients, estimates are as many 40 or 50% of patients come to surgery anemic. They don't have enough blood cells. Very simply, dealing with that ahead of time, helping to build those patients' blood up eliminates even the question of transfusion for many patients. We could perform even serious surgeries and even life threatening situations bloodlessly with much greater success than other people would have expected, even than we expected initially.

ROLLIN: And, there is the cost of blood.

SHERRI OZAWA: It's immensely expensive and if it's done for no good reason that is billions of dollars of waste in the healthcare system. It costs about $1100 to give one unit of blood. Not to buy it, to transfuse one unit of blood.

Sherri Ozawa

ROLLIN: When Englewood's program began in 1994 there were fewer than 10 hospitals offering programs for surgery without blood transfusions. Today there are about 150 and many more are in development.

There is more to successful bloodless surgery than preparation. At Englewood they practice precision surgery with minimal blood loss, and if a patient loses blood and has agreed before hand, the surgeon uses a technology that recycles the patient's own blood. Still there is a resistance among surgeons to bloodless surgery. Both Dr. Steinberger and Sherri Ozawa simply blame tradition and habit.

SHERRI OZAWA: The resistance is primarily behaviorally based. Physicians get about between 3 to 6 hours of training in transfusion science in medical school. They don't know a whole lot about it. So most of bloodless medicine or transfusion-free surgery really is education for clinicians in how to handle these situations without blood.

ROLLIN: Lately doctors from other countries have taken an interest in bloodless surgery, particularly in Africa.

SHERRI OZAWA: They are learning the techniques that we have learned from taking care of this specific population to use in their countries where either the blood supply is unsafe or unavailable.

ROLLIN: Justine's surgery was successfully performed on May 9th. She went home to Georgia two days later.

DR. STEINBERGER: Everything went very well, no problems. She's waking up from anesthesia. There was hardly any blood loss. Depending on how she feels tomorrow she can leave when she feels ready to go.

GARY LaCLAIR: You did a wonderful thing.

DR. STEINBERGER: Well, let's see how she does...

ROLLIN: For Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, I'm Betty Rollin in Englewood, New Jersey.

Bloodless Surgery

It began as a way to allow Jehovah’s Witnesses and others with religious prohibitions on blood transfusions to undergo surgeries. But at some hospitals, bloodless surgeries are now the preferred method for all patients. “If there’s any way to avoid getting a blood transfusion, one is better off in general if they can avoid it,” says Dr. Abe Steinberger, a neurosurgeon at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey.

  • Laura Kyle Sanders

    Thank you so much for this story! It highlights what so many misunderstand about Jehovah’s Witnesses – that while refusing blood transfusions, we are still very concerned about our health and seek medical assistance to assist us in staying healthy.

  • gary d

    our dear friend just had open heart surgery without a transfusion, he came home in just two days without incident. thanks to bloodless surgery and pioneering hospitals like this one

  • Pia

    Thank you for publishing this very important healthcare issue. I went thru a similar brain surgery without blood transfusion and came home without any pain two days after the surgery. A wonderful program on the West Coast in the Legacy Health Care system.

  • Annonymous

    Nice to see an informative non biased news piece such as this.

  • jackie

    What a wonderful tribute to Jehovah God and His people.

  • robert c

    Really appreciated the non-biased coverage of this subject. More doctors should learn the bloodless surgery skills as it would be good for all their patients.

  • Danny Haszard

    Jehovah’s Witnesses *blood transfusion confusion*.
    In 2013 God’s will and scripture has little to do with the Jehovah’s Witnesses position on use of blood products.
    The JW leadership is foremost concerned what will play out in a secular court of law as to the parent Watchtower being held liable for wrongful deaths.
    Most Jehovah’s Witnesses rushed to the ER with massive blood loss will cry NO BLOOD right up to their last breath.
    The shocker is they can now have most of the blood components that will pull them through,but they are so indoctrinated that blood is forbidden that they can’t comprehend the loopholes.
    The Watchtower has drilled and grilled us that our stand on blood is NON NEGOTIABLE.
    The loopholes that allow blood usage is to save the Watchtower corporation money from blood death liability suits.
    This is a truly evil organization that would sacrifice tens of thousands of men,women,children for the almighty dollar.
    The blood products ban has been in force since 1945 the buzz today about it being a *personal conscience matter* and the hope of new medical advances like artificial blood don’t undo all those who have past perished.
    The New York city based Watchtower sect is concerned foremost with liability lawsuits for wrongful death.They know that if they repeal the ban on *whole* blood transfusion,that it will open the door for legal examination of all the thousands who have died since 1945.
    Cults do get people killed!
    50-100 times as many men,women,children have been killed by the Watchtower society ban on *whole* blood transfusions than at Jonestown kool-aid mass murders.
    *tell the truth don’t be afraid*

    Danny Haszard Bangor Maine

    Do JW really abstain from blood?
    Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood AJWRB LINK

  • Sh3LLz2

    Your statement are slanderous lies.

    This statement is totally unfounded. Surgeons regularly perform such complex procedures as heart operations, orthopedic surgery, and organ transplants without the use of blood transfusions. ** Patients, including children, who do not receive transfusions usually fare as well as or better than those who do accept transfusions. * In any case, no one can say for certain that a patient will die because of refusing blood or will live because of accepting it.

    **See The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Volume 134, No. 2, pp. 287-288; Texas Heart Institute Journal, Volume 38, No. 5, p. 563; Basics of Blood Management, p. 2; andContinuing Education in Anaesthesia, Critical Care & Pain, Volume 4, No. 2, p. 39.

    *See The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Volume 89, No. 6, p. 918; and Heart, Lung and Circulation, Volume 19, p. 658.

  • pezo27

    From article above
    “DR. STEINBERGER: There are risks of infections, there are risks of lowering the immune response of the patient, there are risks of giving the wrong kind of blood, errors can occur and if there’s any way to avoid getting a blood transfusion, one is better off in general if they can avoid it.

    ROLLIN: In any sense, do you feel the Jehovah’s Witnesses have done medicine a service?

    DR. STEINBERGER: Definitely. They definitely have done medicine a service.”

    The real transfusion confusion is not on the part of Jehovah’s Witnesses as this article in the
    Vancouver Sun shows

    “Transfusion Confusion

    By Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia News July 13, 2013
    Researchers say the ‘gift of life’ may sometimes endanger it; transfusion confusion

    Transfused patients spend more time in hospital than those who don’t get blood; they spend
    more time in intensive care units connected to ventilators; and have a higher risk of acute

    respiratory distress, where the lungs become saturated with fluid, preventing enough oxygen

    from getting to the lungs and into the blood. Studies suggest that up to half of all red-blood-cell
    transfusions may be unnecessary.

    Needless transfusions not only waste blood, they expose patients to risks – including
    potentially life threatening human errors that are occurring at every step in the transfusion chain.

    Three decades after Canada’s catastrophic tainted-blood tragedy left 2,000 people
    infected with HIV and another 30,000 with hepatitis C, the greatest threat to
    patients today isn’t the risk of contracting an infectious disease from blood,
    experts now say.

    It’s getting blood they don’t need…

    The belief that blood is almost a magical cure is still held by many

    “But it does not work like that.” In fact, transfusions have been identified
    by the American Medical Association as among the top five overused procedures in medicine.

    Canadian researchers have led the world in showing that patients benefit from more
    restrictive blood use. But, there is no single, unified national system”

  • pezo27

    Evidenced based medicine shows that even one unit of blood impairs blood flow due to many factors
    1-lack of nitric oxide closes blood vessels -making a bad situation worse.
    2-as blood ages-deformed red blood cells are not flexible enough to move through capillaries -bad again.
    3-increase in potassium and other toxins lead to deteriorating blood components.
    4.lack of other components make red blood cells unable to load and unload oxygen causing tissue hypoxia and organ death.
    5-immunomodulation-impaired immune response.
    6-DNA contamination-every unit from different donors gives you their DNA which causes problems even decades later.
    7-sensitizing one to blood -thus any more can kill you.
    8-TRAILI – lung injury-common enough.
    9-TACO – circulatory overload-very common
    10- the blood that comes out of you and stored-according to many in the know researchers-is now a foreign substance and will not benefit you. It should ‘not even be called blood’ anymore because it is different.
    11-infections from bacteria-very common.
    12-new infectious agents not yet identified.
    13-older infectious agents ( AIDS, Hep-C ) from improperly screened blood -very common in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.

    The list goes on and on.
    I noticed one poster commented that there is transfusion confusion -however it is on the part of detractors of transfusion-less medicine and surgery, not on the part of witnesses.

    These detractors have one aim and it is not the truth -Their aim is to slander because as the scriptures state- ‘they were not of our sort’ ‘they are from their father the devil’-‘for the truth is not in them’ – just like those who thought Jesus’ words were shocking and left him to return to the things behind.

  • Just the facts

    Hazard, you are one bitter man. You’re still mad because your parents were witnesses and left you nothing in their will. Well tough!! Get over it already. They obviously were very happy with their religion but you were a greedy scumbag just waiting to pounce on what they worked hard to acquire. So what that they wanted to leave it to their church. I’m sure if you were a better son to them they would have felt more inclined to leave you something. You got OWNED!!!

  • pezo27

    DH is an apostate-by his own admission -disfellowshipped for unrepentant wrong doing, not that he admits that part ( actually he got removed for only one – there were other wrongs committed -he thinks he got away with-Not! ) and his life style is not morally correct years later.
    Now he attacks Christians who do what is right, trying to cause pain and disloyalty -the definition of an apostate

  • Randy Cardiac Nurse

    I am a Cardiac Nurse and it is easy to see that Danny has never taken Anatomy & Physiology.
    The human blood even if the same type does not transfuse without needing immune suppression drugs for the body to accept it.
    Wether it is blood or organs it is not natural to put someone’s body parts or blood in to another human.

    Randy Cardiac Nurse

  • AAWAmedia

    A decision to accept or not accept a whole blood transfusion should be up to the individual, not up a publishing giant disguised as a religion making decisions for its members. This is the entire point.

  • Yv

    It *is* up to the individual…no one is forcing them to stay in the religion. People skip on out constantly (see Time’s “America’s Unfaithful Faithful”,8599,1716987,00.html)

  • AAWAmedia

    When Watchtower Tract Society enforces shunning as a consequence for accepting whole blood, many members will simply follow the path of least resistance and completely obey the WTS to avoid loss of family ties. Should WTS remove its set consequence, then, the choice won’t be skewed under duress.

  • hawk165

    The decision made by Jehovah’s Witnesses is not based on a following or a wanton choice to just exclude blood. It’s based on Bible principles-i.e. Gen. 9:3, 4, Lev. 3:17, Acts 15:19, 20, 28, 29. So going against this is going against God and His word itself. Jehovah writes the rules, it;’s up to us to follow them, and that’s what the Witnesses do. Now sure, you can do what you want-that’s freewill, God gave us that, but there are consequences when you do the wrong thing (i.e. Adam and Eve). Don’t blame the Watchtower Society or the Witnesses for your bad choices in life-Rom.14:12.

  • hawk165

    AAWAmedia, I’ll tell you just as I did DH up above, the decision made by Jehovah’s Witnesses is not based on a following or a wanton choice to just exclude blood. It’s based on Bible principles-i.e. Gen. 9:3, 4, Lev. 3:17, Acts 15:19, 20, 28, 29. So going against this is going against God and His word itself. Jehovah writes the rules, it;’s up to us to follow them, and that’s what the Witnesses do. Now sure, you can do what you want-that’s freewill, God gave us that, but there are consequences when you do the wrong thing (i.e. Adam and Eve). Don’t blame the Watchtower Society or the Witnesses for the bad choices made in life-Rom.14:12.

  • Disappointed

    This surgery practice is ideal for MOST surgeries that have “minimal” blood loss. We are a long way from being able to achieve 100% transfusion free surgeries. It is important to note that it is still not a viable option for certain surgeries.
    This is not a very informative article. Informative would describe how the surgeries are accomplished. (And there is plenty of information available that could have been cited).
    Stop printing biased only articles. It is unnecessary when there is so much scientific information to back up this type of surgery.
    So disappointing…

  • steve

    your wrong

  • InformedNuRnDenial You really need to know the truth about the truth – that it is absolutely not God’s true organization. Prove all things. But you won’t. Because 8 men who are very rich in the billions have too much at stake. Your time and effort to keep the organization the cash cow that it is. The internet, thank goodness, is alerting many to research all of the hypocrisy and blunders. “Truth cannot extinguish old light, only add to it” yet it gets brighter every time there was an embarrassment. I truly hope the generation that would not pass away really comes “true” for you- it wouldn’t be the first false prophecy they had. What does the bible say about false prophets? Do you know how many of them have spewed from that “organization”? wow. just wow. smh.

  • 10s2009

    informed, you couldn’t be more ‘un’informed. In this day of investigation and exposure, there is no basis for your accusation of ‘8 billionaires’ from the Witness authority.
    You’ve lied, and with no proof. What is your story, I wonder ? Disfellowshipped, unrepentent, just a bitter shell of a person ?

  • 10s2009

    You are dismissed, bub

  • InformedNuRnDenial

    I have not lied. Your governing body are rich men. Millionaires. They are recognized as the 5th largest corporations in New York $$wise. Please do your homework, then respond. Right now – your response is empty – without research. God’s true organization does not use false prophets. How many dates did they predict that were proven false and an embarrassment for the end of the world? God doesn’t make those kinds of errors, he exposes people for what they are – false prophets. They called Harold Camping a false prophet, but yet they did the same thing in 1914 and other dates, too many to mention (just research it). They masque it with “new light” propaganda material. The LATEST false teaching was 1914? Just wow. The generation that did not pass away? I heard they just changed that too. More lies. No – not disfellowshipped – just got away before it robbed me of my eternity. I have the REAL Jesus now. Did you know – they don’t believe Jesus is everyone’s mediator – but only through the governing body? (see proof of this below): I have so much more I could share here…

    *** w79 4/1 31 Questions from Readers ***
    At a time when God was selecting those to be taken into that new covenant, the apostle Paul wrote that Christ was the “one mediator between God and men.” (1 Tim. 2:5) Reasonably Paul was here using the word “mediator” in the same way he did the other five times, which occurred before the writing of 1 Timothy 2:5, referring to those then being taken into the new covenant for which Christ is “mediator.” So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians. (did you catch that? Yes, I have the book, because I had to prove it. “Prove all things”… if you dare to.)

    Remember who is in charge and who is directing the information, the Anointed Governing Body!!!

    *** w79 11/15 26 Benefiting from “One Mediator Between God and Men” ***
    20 What, then, is Christ’s role in this program of salvation? Paul proceeds to say: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men [not, all men], a man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”—1 Tim. 2:5, 6.

    Notice the part [not, all men], that was inserted in the scripture quoted, by the “Anointed Governing Body”.

    *** Worldwide Security 1986, p110 The “Prince of Peace” Turns to Those Outside the New Covenant ***
    And in our time, millions of the “other sheep” are already benefiting from the ministry of the new covenant, as rendered by the anointed remnant under the Mediator, Jesus Christ.

    So the Anointed are rendering to the other sheep instead of Jesus directly.

    ** w89 8/15 30 Questions From Readers ***
    Clearly, then, the new covenant is not a loose arrangement open to all mankind. It is a carefully arranged legal provision involving God and anointed Christians.

    *** w89 8/15 31 Questions From Readers ***
    The people of all nations who have the hope of everlasting life on earth benefit even now from Jesus’ services. Though he is not their legal Mediator, for they are not in the new covenant, he is their means of approaching Jehovah.


    ***Worldwide Security 1986, p10 The Desire for Peace and Security Worldwide ***
    Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members.

    According to the Society Jesus is the mediator only for the 144,000.

    Consequently, 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 is not using “mediator” in the broad sense common in many languages. It is not saying that Jesus is a mediator between God and all mankind. Rather, it refers to Christ as legal Mediator (or, “attorney”) of the new covenant, this being the restricted way in which the Bible uses the term.

    The WTBTS is trying to explain this one by using the term “attorney”!

    *** w89 12/15 30 Do You Remember? ***
    • In what sense does Paul use the term “mediator” when referring to Jesus at 1 Timothy 2:5, 6? In this text, Paul uses the Greek word me·si’tes for “mediator,” which term has a legal significance, so he is not using this word in the broad sense common in many languages. Hence, Paul is not saying that Jesus is Mediator between God and all mankind. Rather, he is referring to Christ as legal Mediator of the new covenant, which laid the basis for Christ’s anointed followers to share with him in his heavenly Kingdom. (2 Corinthians 5:1, 5; Ephesians 1:13, 14; Hebrews 8:7-13)—8/15, pages 30, 31.

    Do you have the real Jesus if the governing body is acting as your mediator – and you are not even anointed? Wow. SMH

  • Passy By

    You who said Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong, calm yourself and be not judgemental because of how you feel or understand, as a Jehovah’s Witness myself I was not forced to become one. I studied the Bible with them and do my own research. When I was convinced and satisfied that I did learned what the bible really teaches, that was the time I made my own decision to get baptized.
    That is the time I become a Jehovah’s, Witness. The teaching about the laws and sacredness of blood was part of the study before you become a member. Now, the point is if you go against the things you have learned and insist in going against it what is the purpose of becoming a member of that organization. Will they be happy to retain you as member if somehow you no longer believe what they believe? Your choice is to disassociate yourself or to be disfellowshipped. You can also make a choice of moving forward and forget about them or repent and go back. You can also use all media to talk and spread your feelings of distrust and disappointment. But before you go further, remember that people who hear and read your comment are making choices themselves. The choice to believe or not to believe. Your motive is being revealed on how you express yourself.

  • RayFranz

    Sorry, but I have been so upset – knowing that I was so deceived for so long. Too many wasted years of my life, hours of my time – I can’t get back – and hours of wasted stress – thinking the end was near 44 years ago – and the ethics behind closed doors of the governing body, are to be desired – and need to be reported as violations of human rights, violations of religious abuse and misconduct that has harmed thousands of people, and even killed them – before they decided to change their policies. The hate speech that was spoken about people by them is abhorred – and is also what extremists do – inciting hatred, not love amongst people – for the change of religious belief or ideas, (article 12 of the human rights policy) – which they do not follow those laws, that do not suit them. False prophecies – falsified “expert” translations that were purposefully mistranslated – yes, all of that really strikes a nerve. Now they accept blood fractions, at the expense of their mistakes – so many thousands have died – in VAIN. God’s true erroneous organization – no, God, Jehovah – does not make such errors, or falsifications of reality for people to follow.

  • Ms. King

    brother franz, what can you tell me about my parents… both Jehovah’s Witnesses (until today), my father named elder and presiding overseer at the local kingdom hall i grew up in, but chose to commit incest with me and my sisters throughout his “career.” the “brothers” from 124 Columbia Heights came to our home – told me to “forgive my father” and be on my way… but the way, I was 4 years of age when the incest began and it went on until i was 13 years of age (the sodomy was way too painful) and my mother was in full knowledge of it all – but “we were the stellar family in the congregation.” I am now in my 50s, two failed marriages, no ties to my parents, or religion of any sort, see a therapist (still) and take medication for depression and anxiety. my doctors tell me i should sue the Watchtower & Tract Society. What are you thoughts as their past President and member of their governing body? Throughout it all, I love my God and the sacrifices so many have made in His name.

  • Sofía Arredondo

    I am planning to have brain surgery too and as a Jehovah’s Witnes I

  • jgarcia

    I truly hope you also refrain from eating rare meat – because if it is cooked medium rare instead of medium well – you may have ingested some of the blood which would mean – you are guilty of consuming it. By the way, isn’t the passage about blood taken out of context since they really were talking about the “eating” of blood? Ultimately, those of us who come to our ethics via secular means often marvel at the grand hypocrisy of religious proselytizers who chide their congregations into accepting millennia-old ethical codes handed down from primitive, hierarchical societies, picking and choosing those commandments they be lieve worthy and conveniently forgetting those that make no sense in our modern world. Isn’t this a form of ethical relativism?

    It is easy to find examples. Modern Jews and Christians ignore wholesale a range of clearly crazy commandments from their holy texts. Take, for instance, some famous examples of laws handed down by the Judaic God, which though they might not have fit onto Moses’ tablets, nonetheless had the force of law:

    Don’t let cattle graze with other kinds of Cattle. (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t have a variety of crops on the same field. (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t wear clothes made of more than one fabric. (Leviticus 19:19)

    Don’t cut your hair nor shave. (Levit icus 19:27)

    Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus 20:9)

    Anyone who dreams or prophesizes anything that is against God, or anyone who tries to turn you from God, is to be put to death. (Deuteronomy 13:5)

    If anyone, even someone from your own family, suggests worshiping another God, kill them. (Deuteronomy 13:6–10)

    If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants … even the animals. (Deuteronomy 13:12–15)

    Kill anyone with a different religion. (Deuteronomy 17:2–7)

    So clearly (and thankfully) almost every Christian and Jew picks and chooses which commandments to follow and which ones to disobey. Hypocrisy at best.

  • Fred

    Risk of TRALI is 1:5000. Risk of Bacterial infection is 1:50,000. Risk of HIV is 1:1,500,000. Hep C 1:500,000. All very rare. TRALI is treatable. TACO is easy to treat with diuretics and fluid restriction. Your concern about DNA contamination is ridiculous. All other concerns you mention are nothing compared to end organ injury such as stroke, heart attack, acute kidney injury and even death due to lack of oxygen delivery. We have to give red blood cells in cases of massive hemorrhage because only red blood cells can carry oxygen. Simply giving normal saline of volume expanders may increase blood pressure but do not deliver oxygen. RBCs go bad over time which is why we throw them away after 42 days. Platelets are stored for only 1 week.

    Where did you get your medical training? I only transfuse when necessary. Do you think I transfuse just for fun? Do you think surgeons bleed patients for fun? All surgeons try to minimize blood loss. Why on Earth wouldn’t they? There are no verses in the Bible that say that I can not transfuse blood to save a life. You are confusing Kosher dietary law with intravenous administration of blood. The Bible makes it clear that life is sacred. So why would I let someone die based on a Bible verse concerning dietary laws – which ironically is based on respect for life? I find it sad that you take Kosher laws based on respect for life and use them to deny life-saving treatment for people resulting in death.

    People die unnecessarily because the people in the “Watch Tower” are incompetent.

  • Fred

    You are right – many procedures even cardiac surgeries an be done without blood transfusions. But, not all surgeries. I have done cardiac cases where there has been blood loss requiring transfusions. It is case dependent. Why take the risk of death by denying a life saving blood transfusion? Because the Bible states that food should be drained of blood? Two totally different things.

  • pezo27

    There was a show in New Jersey that featured 4 doctors – leaders in their respective fields, who promote transfusion-less or bloodless medicine & surgery. CacausNJ “The Blood Option” aired in 2010

    One doctor from NY stated that even those who give or take transfusions need to know the real truth about transfusions. Be educated -because most who transfuse are not.

    Another doctor – from NJ stated that some doctors transfuse a lot and others very little if at all – in heart surgery -it depends partly where you live.

    The NJ doctor in another show was asked about how low hemoglobin would go before he had to transfuse – Dr. Shander related case of a patient, who was transferred from another NJ hospital to Englewood, with a count of 1.7 gm/dl who survived without a transfusion -This is not that uncommon – other doctors have experienced the same -I personally know of someone whose count dropped to 1.8 gm/dl and last I heard about a year ago she is still alive has survived for at least 35 years afterward -she would be in her 80’s by now.
    By the way Englewood Hospital has one of the best heart surgery survival records in the US -last I heard – zero deaths for a couple of years -and essentially they are bloodless for everybody. Several hospitals have followed suit and are essentially bloodless for all patients – if patient asks they have to transfuse -even if not necessary by anybody’s standard.

  • Fred

    I am sure there are case reports of those who survived with low hematocrits. However, the risk of stroke, acute kidney injury, myocardial infarction, and death is much greater than the minuscule risk of transfusion. Why risk putting a patient through an ischemic stroke because there are a few lucky patients who “survived” (with what residual deficits?) low hematocrits. Also, were these low crits chronic in which the patient had adjusted? Or were these low crits acute in which the risk for organ failure is high? Also, older patients with less reserve do not tolerate acute anemia the way that young healthy patients can.
    We most commonly transfuse in the ICU and operating room environments. We have data to guide our transfusion decisions. Most transfusions are done by ICU physicians or anesthesiologists.
    Your example of Englewood Hospital is interesting. Do they just do cardiac catheterizations (easy and bloodless) or open heart surgeries such as ventricular assist devices, CABGs, and heart transplants? Do they do bloodless redo hearts? From experience, I can tell you that this is impossible to do without blood loss. Also, just because there were no deaths does not mean that there were no debilating sequela from ischemia.

  • pezo27

    I am sorry to disabuse you for your beliefs, however again
    Evidenced Based Medicine shows lower risk of complications with Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Programs. BMSP is much more than operating without blood. It is a whole medical discipline.
    Stored blood used in transfusions can be up to 42 days old. Just 3 hours after drawing blood, there is a measurable drop in nitric oxide, much of which is gone by end of 24 hours. This causes transfused blood to scavenge nitric oxide from blood & cells in the body which restricts blood vessels ( which is why heart patients use nitro pills or spray to open up blood vessels during a heart event ) .
    Plus there is a change in 2,3 – DPG which does not allow transfused blood to unload oxygen thus again making for cellular hypoxia.
    The reason to give a transfusion is to increase cellular oxygenation – but the opposite actually happens, transfused blood creates hypoxia.

    RBC’s become so deformed after just 2 weeks that they no longer are able to squeeze through capillaries.

    Englewood Hospital does all types of operations, CABG patients do Much better and there have been transfusion-less heart transplants.
    Liver transplants, brain surgery, kidney transplants, all major operations are done without transfusion in many hospitals throughout the world. Patients do better.

    In hundreds of reports, it has been proven that no blood medicine is the New Gold Standard in medicine.

    Time to go back to medical school.

    P.S. One doctor who does joint replacements went from over 80% transfusion rate to about 2% in just 9 months. He and his team do hundreds per year ( >1200 ). Many hospitals are completely transfusion-free for joint replacements.

  • Truth

    Sorry I know this is not my business, but you should really know the scriptures you are throwing about before you throw them about. Most of you on this site are confused about God and his desire for you. Jesus shed his blood so that we might live. Oh I forgot you all don’t believe Jesus is who the bible says he is. You cannot take part of it you must take it all. Praying for you all and your lost confused minds. May God truly keep you and guide you.

  • jake

    A God that burns people alive in a fire hell is not a loving God nor does a god like that exsist.The true God gives people the choice to experience life and he gives that gift to those that are obedient.Being alive in hell does that not mean everlasting life? So do some research and you will find that death is the opposite of life.

  • jake

    Read your bible, many died for their faith, Jesus died for his faith, Stephen died for his faith so did many others

  • Keepin’ it real

    A) You don’t “let” someone die, you don’t have that power, sorry. One of the dangers doctors fall into is the whole “god complex” situation… I hope that’s not you.
    B) A doctor’s job is to treat people and to treat them the way they wish to be treated; they are the employee, their patients are their employer.
    C) The idea that people are dying “unnecessarily” because they refusing transfusions is pure rubbish, and if you feel it’s not, please provide some sort of substantial evidence to back up your claim. Be sure to include, in that evidence, a comparison chart of those that have died (whether or not you believe it was “necessary”) from complications from transfusions or after one was deemed “life saving”, but then died anyway.
    D) According to doctors’ own jargon, when a person is in a condition so severe that they cannot eat, doctors “feed” their patients intravenously. That’s THEIR language, not ours, so putting something in veins is akin to “eating” it. Furthermore, if a doctor were to recommend a patient “abstain from” something –we will use heroin in this instance– would that mean they ONLY could not eat it? Would it be okay if they took the thing from which to abstain intravenously? Of course not: “abstain” means to stay away from it. Period. (Acts 15:20)
    E) As the article highlighted, bloodless surgeries are becoming preferred over transfusions… that seems “ahead of its time” rather than “incompetent”. The article comes to an unbiased, medical conclusion that blood transfusion alternatives lead to quicker recoveries, less blood loss during surgery, and with none of the complications that can occur when a blood transfusion is involved.
    F) Finally: the stance by Jehovah’s Witnesses is a scriptural one, not medical. Kind of a cool coincidence that there are more positives, medically, than negative. Whether or not you agree with the stance, interpretation of the Scriptures or their actions related to that, it is their choice. That choice, as highlighted by this article, seems to have worked out in their favor.

  • PaisleyMoon

    You say “All surgeons try to minimize blood loss.” How do you know what ALL surgeons do?

  • GB

    Truth, jws study the scriptures AS WRITTEN BY GOD. WITHOUT THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY as it is never mentioned in the bible. We Do believe Jesus is God’s son as the Bible DOES say. I refer you to the scripture of Jesus’ baptism at Matt 3: 13-17 where the Holy Spirit sent by his father descends on him & God’s voice from heaven booms “This is my son, the beloved of whom I approve.” We do also believe Jesus was sent by his father to preach about God’s kingdom and then to die (so that the inherited sin caused from Adam and Eve’s sin) so men had a chance for everlasting life. I think you are the one needing to study the Bible-not out of context-but as a book from beginng to end. GB

  • Frank

    At 60years old my father had five vains change in his heart with no blood, he was home in a week and lasted until 83years old! My mother had her gold bladder removed with no blood transfusion with no problems! You have fr
    eedom of choice! You can trust mankind’s way ,you can trust in yourself or trust in God’s Way!? Either way its your choice, good health to all!

  • Rolando Cantu

    I believe it is you who doesn’t believe in Jesus. One thing is to believe in him through lip service. Matthew 7:21-23. And another thing is to believe in him by following his example. John 4:24 And that is exactly what J.W.’s strive to do.