Watchtower Teaching: WT forbids blood transfusions because of Genesis 9:4 ‘But flesh with the life thereof,
which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat’.
The WT teaches that a blood transfusion is the same as eating blood, because it resembles intravenous feeding.
This doctrine was invented in 1944.
Bible Teaching and Historical facts:
1) Thousands of JWs and their children have died because they followed this WT error.
QUESTION: Would you really allow your baby to die because of this WT instruction?
2) Most JWs are unaware that their leaders have a history of making medical prohibitions,then later changing their minds to allow them. Examples include:
(i) Vaccinations were forbidden by the WT from 1931 to 1952. JWs had to refuse vaccinations because the WT taught that ‘vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made’ (Golden Age, 4 Feb 1931, p 293). Awake of 22 Aug 1965 admitted that vaccinations have caused a decrease in diseases(p.20)
QUESTION: How did the parents of children who died from not being vaccinated, feel when the WT reversed its view in 1952? How many of these children died needlessly?
(ii) Organ transplants were allowed by the WT up to 1967, but were forbidden in 1967 saying that ‘organ transplants amounted to cannibalism and are not appropriate for Christians’ (WT, 15 Nov 1967, p 702-4, and Awake 8 June 1968, p 21). Hence all organ
transplants were forbidden for 13 years, during which time many JWs died needlessly.
Then in 1980, the WT changed its mind to allow them saying that ‘organ transplants are not necessarily cannibalistic’ (WT, 15 March 1980, p 31).
(iii) Blood plasma and blood particles were forbidden to be used by JW haemophiliacs (Awake, 22 Feb 1975, p 30). Shortly after, the WT changed its mind to permit certain blood particles to be used, but failed to put it into print for 3 years until 15 June 1978, p
30 (WT). Only those haemophiliacs who phoned WT headquarters from 1975-78 discovered the change. Others were left to suffer and die.
QUESTION: How long before the WT changes its view on blood transfusions?
QUESTION: Why does the WT keep changing its mind on medical issues?
QUESTION: Is it right for an infallible prophet of God organisation (such as the WT claims to be) to keep changing its mind.
(iv) In 1984, they allowed for a bone-marrow transplant. Bone marrow is the very source of blood. However, they would disfellowship you for receiving a bloodtransfusion.
3) In Genesis 9:4 the context is God forbidding the eating of animal blood (as pagans did), not the transfusion of human blood. A blood transfusion is not intravenous feeding, because the blood so given does not function as food. When one gives a transfusion, it is not a loss of life, but a transference of life from one person to another. It replenishes and saves a life.
QUESTION: Since blood is not taken in as food to digest, but as life sustaining fluid, is it not clear that transfusion is different from eating?
4) Leviticus 3:17 ‘You must not eat any fat or any blood at all.’ (NWT)
QUESTION: Why do WT leaders forbid blood transfusions but allow the eating of fat? Why not forbid both? The WT is not consistently interpreting the Bible. Leviticus 17:11,12: ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood’. Blood transfusion does not function as food, but simply transfers life from one person to another as an act of mercy.
Key: Leviticus 3:17 prohibits eating animal blood, not transfusing human blood.
QUESTION: Where is loss of salvation mentioned in Acts 15:9,11 for receiving a blood transfusion?
Key: Acts 15:28,29. A blood transfusion uses blood for the same purpose that God intended, (as a life-giving agent in the bloodstream). Drinking blood is not God’s intended purpose for blood
Conclusion: Even though JWs try to support blood transfusions with Scripture, their real reason for believing it is blind obedience to the WT. If the WT organisation lifted its ban on blood transfusions, JWs would freely accept them if needed.
For the WT to admit they were wrong would cause too great a stir in their ranks. Therefore any changes must be presented as ‘new light’ in order to make it appear that ‘Jehovah’ is making the changes, rather than a few men on the governing body.