Jehovah's Witnesses (WTS)
& related procedures
"In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first.
They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals
and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue." 1
"In the CEMD [Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths] report the
very high risk of mortality in women who refuse blood transfusion was
highlighted. The death rate in this group was 1 per 1,000 maternities
compared with an expected incidence of less than 1 per 100,000
Some conservative Christian denominations urge or require their members to
abandon all medical treatment in favor of prayer. This
policy results in a very large number of infant and child deaths in these
groups. However, we are aware of only one Christian faith group -- the Jehovah's Witnesses
-- that permits or encourages its members to accept medical treatments while
urging them to refuse to accept blood transfusions for themselves or their
The Witnesses' beliefs are mainly based on four passages in the Bible. To our
knowledge, all other Christian and Jewish faith
groups interpret these same passages as referring to dietary laws; i.e. to the actual eating of meat
Topics covered in this section:
- Biblical passages concerning blood;
opposition to WTS policies
- Witnesses' stance on procedures involving
blood other than transfusion
Cases involving blood transfusions
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Carol Harrington, "Father shunned by family for defying faith to save
child," Canadian Press. Published in the Toronto Star, Toronto ON,
2002-MAR-11, Page A7.
M Khadra, "A criterion audit of women's awareness of blood transfusion
in pregnancy," Women & Children's Division, North Staffordshire Maternity
Unit, Newcastle Road, Stoke on Trent, Staffs, ST4 6QG, UK, at:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/ This is a PDF file.
A novel about blood transfusions within the Jehovah's Witnesses:
David Villa is a former Jehovah's Witness. According to Amazon.com:
"One of the most controversial practices by Jehovah's Witnesses is the ban on all types of blood transfusions-even if they are meant to save a life. Written by a former Witness, "Bloodflowers" follows the life of Daniel Verona, a devoted Jehovah's Witness, who is also a Hemophiliac. When a pair of teenage Witnesses die after being refused blood transfusions by the Church leaders, Daniel sets of on a spiritual journey to find out the truth about the Truth, and to deal with the constant guilt of never living up to Jehovah's standards."
Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
Copyright © 1996 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on
Original version written on: 1996-SEP-29
Last updated on: 2011-FEB-22
Author: B.A. Robinson