Religious Tolerance logo

Jehovah's Witnesses (WTS)

Blood transfusions
& related procedures

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule


bullet "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

bullet "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 maternities." 2

horizontal rule

Jehovah's Witness' beliefs and teachings about blood transfusions:

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 children.

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 containing blood.

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

  1. Biblical passages concerning blood; opposition to WTS policies
  2. Witnesses' stance on procedures involving blood other than transfusion
  3. Cases involving blood transfusions

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. 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.
  2. 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: This is a PDF file.

horizontal rule

A novel about blood transfusions within the Jehovah's Witnesses:

Image of book cover David Villa is a former Jehovah's Witness. According to

"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 online book store

horizontal rule

How you got here: Home page > Christianity > Denominations Witnesses > here

horizontal rule

Copyright 1996 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original version written on: 1996-SEP-29

Last updated on: 2011-FEB-22
Author: B.A. Robinson
line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the Jehovah's Witness menu, or choose:

Custom Search

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

GooglePage Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.