For Immediate Release
September 19, 2000
Jehovah’s Witnesses review medical procedures that use patient’s own blood
The October 15, 2000, issue of The Watchtower, the main religious journal of Jehovah’s Witnesses, contains a brief article reviewing their beliefs about medical procedures using one’s own blood.
The article reaffirms the basic position of Jehovah’s Witnesses toward blood transfusions and predonation of blood. It also discusses hemodilution and cell salvage, as well as newer techniques such as tagging blood or using components of blood elsewhere on one’s own body.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions; nor do they donate their own blood prior to surgery, a position that they have held for nearly four decades.
When it comes to hemodilution, cell salvage, or other procedures such as withdrawing blood to tag it or mix it with medicine and returning it to the patient, the article states that “a Christian must decide for himself how his own blood will be handled in the course of a surgical procedure, medical test, or current therapy.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions based on the Bible command found at Acts 15:20 and elsewhere to “abstain . . . from blood.” Procedures such as hemodilution and cell salvage have been discussed in the publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses and elsewhere for nearly two decades. See for example, The Journal of the American Medical Association, November 27, 1981, pages 2471-2.
For more information or for a copy of the article, please contact the Office of Public Information of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Contact: J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600