Jehovah's Witness

Components of Blood

Now let us discuss the medical side of this issue. For those of you who don’t know, here are the basic components of whole blood:

1. Red Blood Cells - attached to hemoglobin (discussed on last page), makes up about 45% of whole blood

2. Plasma – makes up about 55% of whole blood, an aqueous solution that is about 92% water and 8% blood proteins (albumin, hemoglobin with no RBCs attached), also contains very small amounts of clotting factors I through XIII

3. White Blood Cells – less than 1%

4. Platelets – less than 1%

Blood Diseases

The Witnesses refuse treatment with any of these four components of blood. So what kind of diseases would these components of whole blood help treat? Here is a summary:

1. Red Blood Cells – called packed RBCs in medicine to prevent confusion with whole blood, used to treat various types of anemia (due to chronic disease, iron deficiency, sickle cell, thalassemia, etc.) in which there is a reduced amount of red blood cells, also used to treat blood loss after giving birth

2. Plasma – called fresh frozen plasma in medicine, used when a patient has trouble clotting, due to taking Warfarin, rat poisoning, or disseminated intravascular coagulation

3. White Blood Cells – not used for treatment, because would be ineffective in a patient with low white blood cells

4. Platelets – used to stop bleeding in diseases which cause a reduced amount of platelets, such as aspirin induced thrombocytopenia

So a Jehovah’s Witness will refuse treatment for all of these diseases because they hold onto a few Bible verses which were meant for their health in the first place. God created people, but He also created medicine and science to help us. This medical problem is even worse for children. In the U.S., a person can only make their own decisions about their own health care when they are 18 and over (adult), are married, or have a child of their own. So if they are under 18, the parents make the decisions. However, they cannot withhold life or limb saving treatment from their children. So, there are many cases which have been taken to court, because the Witness parent refuses to save their child. In one case in Alberta, Canada in 2002, a 52-year old father was faced with the news that his 17-year old daughter was dying from acute myeloid leukemia. The daughter did not want treatment, but the father decided to go against the Witnesses and take the treatment. Here is what he said:

“I was under tremendous pressure. Because I knew that if I went against what the church taught, that I would be excommunicated and no Jehovah’s witness would ever speak to me again, including my own family… When I made the decision with a clear conscience, I went into my daughter’s hospital room. My whole family was there, and I told them about my decision, saying: No matter what happens with this case, I still love you, each and every one of you. And their reply, each one of them was: ‘We hate you and we’ll never speak to you again.” – Canadian Press, Feb, 2002

So you can see how much pressure the Jehovah’s Witnesses puts on their members. It was to the point that his own family was against him. Unfortunately, Bethany Hughes past away on Sept. 5, 2002, after eight months of fighting with leukemia. This behavior is no doubt that of a cult. Jesus taught never to shun people away because of their beliefs. He washed His disciples feet and had dinner with his enemies. Romans 12:20-21 says that we should overcome evil with good.

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