Jehovah's Witnesses And Blood

The quotes in Blue are comments from JW Files
The quotes in Black are from the Watchtower Society and Boldfaced and or Underlined for emphasis.

Blood transfusions spoken of favorably in 1940.

Consolation 12/25/1940 page 19
In New York city a house wife in moving a boarder's things accidentally shot herself through the heart with his revolver. She was rushed to a hospital, her left breast was cut around, four ribs were cut away, the heart was lifted out, three stitches were taken, one of the attending physicians in the great emergency gave a quart of his blood for transfusion, and today the woman lives and smiles gaily over what happened to her in the busiest 23 minutes of her life.
Blood officially banned in 1945.
Watchtower 7/1/1945, page 201
See, then, that the Most High and Holy God gave plain instructions as to the disposition of blood, in harmony with his everlasting covenant made with Noah and all of his descendants; and see that the only use of blood that he authorized in order to furnish life to humankind was the use of it as a propitiation or atonement for sin; and seeing that it was to be done upon his  holy altar or at his mercy seat, and not by taking such blood directly into the human body; therefore it behooves all worshipers of Jehovah who seek eternal life in his new world of righteousness to respect the sanctity of blood and to confirm themselves to God's righteous ruling concerning this vital matter.
The Society disallowed the use of "blood fractions".
Awake! 01/08/1954 page 24
We are told that it takes one and a third pints of whole blood to get enough of the blood protein or "fraction" known as gamma globulin for one injection. And since from the foregoing it must be admitted that such use of human blood is highly questionable, what justification can there be for the use of gamma globulin? Further, those interested in the Scriptural aspect will note that its being made of whole blood places it in the same category as blood transfusions as far as Jehovah's prohibition of taking blood into the system is concerned. - See Leviticus 17:10 - 14; Acts 15:20, 28, 29.

Awake 9/8/1956 page 20
While this physician argues for the use of certain blood fractions, particularly albumin, such also come under the Scriptural ban. In fact, these fractions are being used not only by physicians but also by food processors, and so it would be well to note the labels on such products to see if they contain any blood substances or  fractions. When in doubt, it would be best to do without.

The Society changed and allowed "blood fractions" in 1958.
Watchtower 9/15/1958 page 575
Are we to consider the injection of serums such as diphtheria toxin antitoxin and blood fractions such as gamma globulin into the blood stream, for the purpose of building up resistance to disease by means of antibodies, the same as the drinking of blood or the taking of blood or blood plasma by means of transfusions? - N.P., United States.

No, it does not seem necessary that we put the two in the same category, although we have done so in times past. While God did not intend for man to contaminate his blood stream by vaccines, serums or blood fractions, doing so does not seem to be included in God's expressed will forbidding blood as food. It would therefore be a matter of individual judgment whether one accepted such types of medication or not.

The Society changed again, and disallowed "blood fractions" in 1961.
Watchtower  9/15/1961 pages 558-599  Respect for the Sanctity of Blood
But regardless of whether it is whole blood or a blood fraction, whether it is blood taken from one’s own body or that taken from someone else, whether it is administered as a transfusion or as an injection, the divine law applies. God has not given man blood to use as he might use other substances; he requires respect for the sanctity of blood.
The Society changes again, and now allows "blood fractions" in 1964
Watchtower 11/15/1964 pages 680, 681, 682, 683
The Society does not endorse any of the modern medical uses of blood, such as the uses of blood in connection with inoculations. Inoculation is, however, a virtually unavoidable circumstance in some segments of society, and so we leave it up to the conscience of the individual to determine whether to submit to inoculation with a serum containing blood fractions for the purpose of building up antibodies to fight against disease. If a person did this, he may derive comfort under the circumstances from the fact that he is not directly eating blood, which is expressly forbidden in God's Word. It is not used for food or to replace lost blood. Here the Christian must make his own decision based on conscience. Therefore, whether a Christian will submit to inoculation with a serum, or whether doctors or nurses who are Christians will administer such, is for personal decision. Christians in the medical profession are individually responsible for employment decisions....In harmony with Deuteronomy 14:21, the administering of blood upon request to worldly persons is left to the Christian doctor's own conscience. This is similar to the situation facing a Christian butcher or grocer who must decide whether he can conscientiously sell blood sausage to a worldly person.

Awake 08/22/1965 page 18
The fact that serums are prepared from blood makes them undesirable to
Christians because of the Biblical law against the use of blood. However, since they do not involve the use of blood as a food to nourish the body, which the Bible directly forbids, their use is a matter that must be decided by each person according to his conscience.

Watchtower 6/1/1974 pages 351, 352
Serums or antitoxins are used. These are obtained from the blood of humans or animals that have already developed the antibodies for fighting the disease. Usually the blood is processed and the blood fraction (gamma globulin) containing the antibodies is separated and made into a serum. When this is injected into the patient it gives him temporary passive immunity. This is temporary, for the antibodies do not become a permanent part of his blood; when these pass out of his body he is no longer immune to the disease. It can thus be seen that serums (unlike vaccines) contain a blood fraction, though minute....What, then, of the use of a serum containing only a minute fraction of blood and employed to supply an auxiliary defense against some infection and not employed to perform the life - sustaining function that blood normally carries out? We believe that here the conscience of each Christian must decide.

Parent's must not allow children to have blood transfusions.
Watchtower 12/01/1967 page 724
Whereas the Mosaic law with its provisions about fat was abolished when Christ died as a sacrifice, the Apostolic Christian Council of Jerusalem reaffirmed God's law to Noah and applied it to the true Christian congregation. Christian fathers are obliged to teach this law and enforce it with regard to their minor children, for by God's law the fathers are the spiritual, religious guardians as well as the domestic parental caretakers of their underage children. The Christian witnesses of Jehovah today recognize that fact and follow the divine rule of conduct. They endeavor to keep their children from violating God's law to Noah and also the Jerusalem Council's decree.
(Eph. 6:4) Rightly they try to protect their children from taking foreign blood into them.

Watchtower 6/15/1991 page 18
If you have children, are you sure that they agree with and can explain the Bible - based stand on transfusions? Do they truly believe this stand to be God's will? Are they convinced that to violate God's law would be so serious that it could put at risk a Christian's prospect for everlasting life? Wise parents will review these matters with their children, whether they be very young or almost adults. Parents may hold practice sessions in which each youth faces questions that might be posed by a judge or a hospital official. The goal is not to have a youth repeat by rote selected facts or answers. It is more important that they know what they believe, and why. Of course, at a court hearing, the parents or others might present information about the risks of blood and the availability of alternative therapies. But what a judge or an official would likely seek to learn from speaking with our children is whether they maturely understand their situation and options and also whether they have their own values and firm convictions.

Hemophilia treatments are wrong.
Awake 2/22/1975 page 30
Hemophilia Treatment Hazard
Certain clotting "factors" derived from blood are now in wide use for the
treatment of hemophilia, a disorder causing uncontrollable bleeding. However, those given this treatment face another deadly hazard: the Swiss medical weekly Schweizer Med Wochenschrift reports that almost 40 percent of 113 hemophiliacs studied had cases of hepatitis. "All these patients had received whole blood, plasma, or blood derivatives containing [the factors]," notes the report. Of course, true Christians do not use this potentially dangerous treatment, heeding the Bible's command to 'abstain from blood.'
Hemophilia treatments are allowed now.
Watchtower 06/15/1978 pages 29 thru 31
What, however, about accepting serum injections to fight against disease, such as are employed for diphtheria, tetanus, viral hepatitis, rabies, hemophilia and Rh incompatibility? ...This seems to fall into a 'gray area.'... Hence, we have taken the position that this question must be resolved by each individual on a personal basis....How concerned should a Christian be about blood in food products? ...This may call for a degree of care.... Christians, individually, must decide what to do.

The Society published what is the main components of blood:

Awake 10/22/1990 page 4
The Main Components of Blood
Plasma: about 55 percent of the blood. It is 92 percent water; the rest is made up of complex proteins, such as globulins, fibrinogens, and albumin
Platelets: about 0.17 percent of the blood
White Cells: about 0.1 percent
Red Cells: about 45 percent

The Society now allows these parts of blood, and most Jehovah's Witnesses are unaware of this. Where in the Bible is this written?

Awake 6/22/1982 page 25
While these verses are not stated in medical terms, Witnesses view them as ruling out transfusion of whole blood, packed RBCs, and plasma, as well as WBC and platelet administration. However, Witnesses religious understanding does not absolutely prohibit the use of components such as albumin, immune globulins, and hemophiliac preparations; each Witness must decide individually if he can accept these.

Watchtower 6/1/1990 page 31 Questions From Readers
Others have felt that a serum (antitoxin) such as immune globulin containing only a tiny fraction of a donor’s blood plasma and used to bolster their defense against disease is not the same as a life-sustaining blood transfusion. So their consciences may not forbid them to take immune globulin or similar fractions.* They may conclude that for them the decision will rest primarily on whether they are willing to accept any health risks involved in an injection made from others’ blood.

That some protein fractions from the plasma do move naturally into the blood system of another individual (the fetus) may be another consideration when a Christian is deciding whether he will accept immune globulin albumin or similar injections of plasma fractions. One person may feel that he in good conscience can; another may conclude that he cannot. Each must resolve the matter personally before God.

*One example is Rh immune globulin which doctors may recommend when there is Rh incompatibility between a woman and her fetus. Another is Factor VIII which is given to hemophiliacs.

Watchtower 10/1/1994 page 31
Currently a small amount of albumin is also used in injections of the synthetic hormone EPO (erythropoietin). Some Witnesses have accepted injections of EPO because it can hasten red blood cell production and so may relieve a physician of a feeling that a blood transfusion might be needed....As noted, many Witnesses have not objected to accepting an injection that contains a small quantity of albumin. 

Awake 2/22/1995 page 21
The doctors decided to provide alternative treatment. Plasma was extracted from the blood, and thus antibodies attacking my blood cells and kidney tissues were removed. I was then given injections of Ringer's solution together with albumin. I had discussed this treatment with the doctors and gave them written permission to administer it.

The Society does not let an individual store their own blood before an operation.
Watchtower 10/15/1959, page 640
Consequently, the removal of one's blood, storing it and later putting it back into the same person would be a violation of the Scriptural principles that govern the handling of blood....if the blood were stored, even for a brief period of time, this would be a violation of the Scriptures...Again, if one's own blood would have to be withdrawn at intervals and stored until a sufficient amount had accumulated to set a machine in operation, this too would fall under Scriptural prohibition.

Awake 4/8/1972 29-30
Men of science are constantly developing new methods for performing surgical operations. The Journal of the American Medical Association, dated November 15, 1971, described a procedure for open-heart surgery that employs sever hemodilution. Early in the operation a large quantity of blood is drawn off into a plastic blood bag. Though the bag is left connected to the patient by a tube, the removed and stored blood is no longer circulating in the patient's system. It is replaced with a plasma volume expander, which dilutes the blood remaining in the veins and which gradually dissipates during the operative procedure. Near the conclusion of the operation the blood storage bag is elevated, and the stored blood is reinfused into the patient..... These techniques are noteworthy to Christians, since they run counter to God's Word. The Bible shows that blood is not to be taken out of a body, stored and then later reused.

Blood outside the body is now permitted as long as it is flowing continuously, and so is Hemodilution.
Watchtower 3/1/1989 pages 30 & 31
Do Jehovah's Witnesses allow the use of autologous blood (Autotransfusion), such as by having their own blood stored and later put back into them?

This clearly rules out one common use of autologous blood - preoperative collection, storage, and later infusion of a patient's own blood....Jehovah's Witnesses, though, DO NOT accept this procedure....In a somewhat different process, autologous blood can be diverted from a patient to a hemodialysis device (artificial kidney) or a heart - lung pump. The blood flows out through a tube to the artificial organ that pumps and filters (or oxygenates) it, and then it returns to the patient's circulatory system . Some Christians have permitted this if the equipment is not primed with stored blood....What, though, if the flow of such autologous blood stopped briefly, such as if a heart - lung machine is shut down while the surgeon checks the integrity of coronary - bypass grafts?...a Christian having to decide whether to permit his blood to be diverted through some external device ought to focus, not primarily on whether a brief interruption in flow might occur, but on whether he conscientiously felt that the diverted blood would still be part of his circulatory system.

Galatians 6:5. What about induced Hemodilution?...Some Christians have accepted this, others have refused. Again, each individual must decide whether he would consider the blood diverted in such a Hemodilution circuit to be similar to that flowing through a heart/lung machine, or he would think of it as blood that left him and therefore should be disposed of. A final example of autologous blood use involves recovering and reusing blood during surgery. Equipment is used to aspirate blood from the wound, pump it out through a filter (to remove clots or debris) or a centrifuge (to eliminate fluids), and then direct it back into the patient. Many Christians have been very concerned whether in such salvage there might be any brief interruption of blood flow. Yet, as mentioned, a more Biblical concern is whether the blood escaping into a surgical wound is still part of the person. Does the fact that the blood has flowed from his circulatory system into the wound mean that it should be 'poured out,' like the blood mentioned at Leviticus 17:13? If an individual believes so, he would probably refuse to permit such blood salvage. Yet, another Christian (who also would not let blood flow from him, be stored for some time, and later be put back into him) might conclude that a circuit with recovery from a surgical site and ongoing reinfusion. would not violate his trained conscience....When faced with a question in this area, each Christian is responsible to obtain details from medical personnel and then make a personal decision....While modern medicine might be able to help us extend our lives for a time, we certainly would not want to extend our present life by doing anything that would violate our Christian conscience or would displease our Life - Giver.

The writer/editor of the blood brochure seems to not be aware that intraopertive collection and induced hemodilution is now allowed.
How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, page 27 brochure
Witnesses believe that blood removed from the body should be disposed of, so they do not accept autotransfusion of predeposited blood. Techniques for intraoperative collection or hemodilution that involve blood storage are objectionable to them.

As mentioned above, the Society does allow the use of these blood components such as: "gamma globulin" and "Factor VIII" which is from stored blood. The Society even acknowledges these components come from donors.

Awake! 1/8/1954 page 24
We are told that it takes one and a third pints of whole blood to get enough of the blood protein or "fraction" known as gamma globulin for one injection.

Watchtower 6/15/1985 page 30
Each batch of Factor VIII is made from plasma that is pooled from as many as 2 500 blood donors. It seems that by importing this blood product the AIDS virus was transferred to the British supply.

The Society threatens its members if they take a blood transfusion.
Watchtower 1/15/1961 63-4  Questions from Readers
In view of the seriousness of taking blood into the human system by a transfusion, would violation of the Holy Scriptures in this regard subject the dedicated, baptized receiver of blood transfusion to being disfellowshiped from the Christian congregation?
If, however, he refuses to acknowledge his nonconformity to the required Christian standard and makes the matter an issue in the Christian congregation and endeavors to influence others therein to his support; or, if in the future he persists in accepting blood transfusions or in donating blood toward the carrying out of this medical practice upon others, he shows that he has really not repented, but is deliberately opposed to God’s requirements. As a rebellious opposer and unfaithful example to fellow members of the Christian congregation he must be cut off there from by disfellowshiping.
The Society allows Jehovah's Witness Doctors to give blood transfusions to "worldly people"
Watchtower 11/15/1964 pages 682-683  Employment and Your Conscience
Christians in the medical profession are individually responsible for employment decisions. They must bear the consequences of decisions made, in keeping with the principle at Galatians 6:5. Some doctors who are Jehovah’s witnesses have administered blood transfusions to persons of the world upon request. However, they do not do so in the case of one of Jehovah’s dedicated witnesses. In harmony with Deuteronomy 14:21, the administering of blood upon request to worldly persons is left to the Christian doctor’s own conscience. This is similar to the situation facing a Christian butcher or grocer who must decide whether he can conscientiously sell blood sausage to a worldly person.

Who is blood guilty before Jehovah God? If the Society believes you should not have blood according to the Bible, then where in the Bible does it allow certain parts of blood? What about all of the followers of the Society that needed a blood fraction when they where in there "not allowed mode"? Did any of these die needlessly? Does Jehovah give "new light blinking back and forth" to the Governing  Body so they can keep adjusting their stand on parts of blood?


The Latest Information on Blood

From the Watchtower 6-15-2000 Pages 29 - 31