Does God Forbid Blood Transfusions?

The American Red Cross estimates that 10% of the population needs blood every year. One thousand Jehovah's Witness lives per week are placed in danger because the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society forbids their members from receiving blood. If the Watchtower is wrong on this point, it makes them a killer cult.

The Jehovah's Witnesses forbid transfusions based upon Gen. 9:4, Ps. 16:4, Lev. 13:17, 7:26-27, Dt. 12:16,23, 15:23, 1 Sam. 14:34, and Acts 15:20,29. Are these verses really talking about blood transfusions, where human blood is placed in the bloodstream in order to save human lives? Let's take a closer look at these verses in context.

Lev. 13:17, 7:26-27, Dt. 12:16,23, 15:23, 1 Sam. 14:34 all refer to laws concerning Old Testament sacrifices. None of these verses have anything to do with someone needing blood in the hospital to save a life. Lev. 3:17 and 7:23 says that it is also wrong to eat fat. Any J.W. who has eaten any fat (including bacon) is just as guilty as drinking blood. However, we are not under Law but under grace (Rom. 6:14).
Gen. 9:3-4, God gave Noah permission to eat animals, but to make sure they were properly drained of blood. This is talking about eating animals, not a blood transfusion to save a life. To make these two the same is twisting scripture.
Ps. 16:4--the "drink offering of blood" refers to pouring blood of the sacrifice on the altar in pagan sacrifices to their gods. This has nothing to do with blood transfusions.
Acts 15:20,29 refers to drinking animal blood, not transfusing human blood. The purpose goes along with eating meat sacrificed to idols--to not be a stumbling block.
All passages deal with animal blood, not human blood.
All passages deal with eating blood, not transfusing blood. If a person ate animal blood, he could be cleansed by washing his clothes and taking a bath (Lev. 17:15).
Eating blood goes into the stomach. Transfusing blood goes into the veins.
Not eating blood was to keep the person clean under Old Testament Law. Transfusing blood is for the purpose of saving a human life.
Jesus said, "NOTHING that goes into a man from the outside can make him unclean." (Mark 7:15) This certainly would include blood transfusions.
Jesus said in Matt. 12:11 and Luke 14:5 it was permissible to break the Sabbath Law in order to save a life, even the life of an animal. Jesus adds, "How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep!" (Matt. 12:12). You could break the Law to save a life, but the Pharisees refused to believe this. "I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or destroy it?" (Luke 6:9) If Jesus permitted one of the 10 commandments to be broken to save an animal's life, Jehovah's Witnesses should break a man-made law by the Watchtower Society to save a human life.

A former Jehovah's Witness made this comment:
"A very disturbing observation for me was to find out how the Society allowed certain blood derivatives to be used while at the same time denying others the ability to choose for themselves, without reprisal, the consequences of blood acceptance.

"Albumin, immunoglobulins, and hemophiliac preparations (Factor VIII and IX) are all preparations that are made from blood that the Society has given permission for Jehovah's Witnesses to use. Their reasoning behind this is that only "small amounts" of blood are used. By what authority does the Watchtower use to tell us that we can not use blood, yet at the same time allow the use of blood in certain circumstances?

"A typical treatment for third degree burns requires 600 grams albumin. Producing this amount requires about 45 liters of whole blood. How can anyone call this "a small fraction?" It is also obvious that the blood used to derive albumin is not "poured out," but stored, which is prohibited for a blood transfusion but permitted in this context. How is that?

"Travelers are often injected with cholera vaccine and Jehovah's Witnesses accept this. A single injection requires 0.3 liters of whole blood. This blood, again, is stored. Yet the Society prohibits its members from storing their own blood in advance of an operation. Is there a difference?"

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