Jehovah's Witness

Blood Transfusions

One interesting belief that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have is their refusal to accept blood transfusions, even in life-threatening situations. Here are some quotes from their articles:

“In his great concern even about our life, he determined to reserve blood for use in one highly important way, the only way that makes everlasting life possible.” – Rightly Value Your Gift of Life, June 15, 2004

“Decades ago Jehovah’s Witnesses made their stand clear. For example, they supplied an article to The Journal of the American Medical Association (November 27, 1981; reprinted in How Can Blood Save Your Life? Pages 27-0). That article quoted from Genesis, Leviticus, and Acts. It said: ‘While these verses are not stated in medical terms, Witnesses view them as ruling out transfusions of whole blood, packed RBCs [red blood cells], and plasma, as well as WBC [white blood cell] and platelet administration.’ The 2001 textbook Emergency Care, under ‘Composition of the Blood,’ stated: ‘The blood is made up of several components: plasma, red and white blood cells, and platelets.’ Thus, in line with medical facts, Witnesses refuse transfusions of whole blood or any of its four primary components” – Be Guided by the Living God, June 15, 2004

So they argue that a person’s blood is required for eternal life, and that the Bible says this in Genesis, Leviticus, and Acts. Here are the verses that they are referring to:

Genesis 9:4 – only flesh in its life – its blood – ye do not eat. (YLT)

Leviticus 17:12-14 – Therefore I have said to the sons of Israel, No person among you doth eat blood, and the sojourner who is sojourning in your midst doth not eat blood; and any man of the sons of Israel, or of the sojourners, who is sojourning in your midst, who hunteth venison, beast or fowl, which is eaten – hath even poured out its blood and hath covered it with dust; for [it is] the life of all flesh, its blood is for its life; and I say to the sons of Israel, Blood of any flesh ye do not eat, for the life of all flesh is its blood; any one eating it is cut off. (YLT)

Acts 15:29 – to abstain from things offered to idols, and blood, and a strangled thing, and whoredom; from which keeping yourselves, ye shall do well; be strong! (YLT)

Acts 21:25 – And concerning those of the nations who have believed, we have written, having given judgment, that they observe no such thing, except to keep themselves both from idol-sacrifices, and blood, and a strangled thing, and whoredom. (YLT)

First of all, all of these verses say not to consume blood, and do not mention transfusion which is through the veins. Second, none of these verses mention eternal life. Eternal is a mistranslation in the Bible anyways as seen in my article For Ever – A Mistranslation. So why does the Bible say not to consume blood? Consuming blood will cause you to vomit. Why? The protein carrier of red blood cells, called hemoglobin, is mainly made up of iron. The high amount of iron in blood cannot be digested by your stomach, so you will vomit. God made many laws which are for your own health, because the medical knowledge during that time was very low. In Leviticus 11, God says what mammals, birds, fish, insects, etc. are safe to eat. Deuteronomy 23:10-13 says that if a person has a disease, they are to take a bath and sit outside the camp. Diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever could have spread if the person stayed inside the camp, so God made this law.

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