Our View of Medical Care
Life begins at conception. Deliberately induced abortion is viewed as the willful taking of human life.—Exodus 21:22, 23.
The international monthly magazine Awake!, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, frequently features articles on health and medicine. While Awake! does not dispense medical advice or endorse specific treatments, it does offer up-to-date, accurate information on many health issues.
Because it is published in 84 languages with a circulation of more than 41 million copies, Awake! often reaches readers who otherwise have limited access to health care or health education.
For a list of some of the current health topics covered by Awake!, see our magazines.
Our Bible-based teachings prevent many health problems both for us and for others who read our literature. For example, we believe that Bible principles forbid the use of tobacco and the abuse of drugs. According to the UN Chronicle magazine, “tobacco consumption is the single greatest preventable cause of premature death and disability in the world.” We may use alcoholic beverages in moderation, but we avoid drunkenness.
We closely adhere to the Bible’s teaching that sexual relations should be limited to one’s marriage mate, and by so doing, we do not contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. We shun activities that risk human life, such as driving a car while under the influence of alcohol. We teach high standards of cleanliness, which prevents the spread of infections, diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and other diseases.
Prolongation of life
The Bible does not require that extraordinary, complicated, or distressing measures be taken to sustain a person if this would merely prolong the dying process. Any advance directives by the patient should be respected.
Agreeing to an organ transplant or organ donation is a personal decision.
We have no objection to vaccines in general. Some vaccines contain minor blood fractions, and use of these is a matter of personal choice.