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Why some Jehovah's Witnesses accept blood and conscientiously reject official Watchtower Society blood policy
  1. Lee Elder
  1. The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood

    Abstract

    In their responses to Dr Osamu Muramoto (hereafter Muramoto) Watchtower Society (hereafter WTS) spokesmen David Malyon and Donald Ridley (hereafter Malyon and Ridley),13 deny many of the criticisms levelled against the WTS by Muramoto.46 In this paper I argue as a Jehovah's Witness (hereafter JW) and on behalf of the members of AJWRB that there is no biblical basis for the WTS's partial ban on blood and that this dissenting theological view should be made clear to all JW patients who reject blood on religious grounds. Such patients should be guaranteed confidentiality should they accept whole blood or components that are banned by the WTS. I argue against Malyon's and Ridley's claim that WTS policy allows freedom of conscience to individual JWs and that it is non-coercive and non-punitive in dealing with conscientious dissent and I challenge the notion that there is monolithic support of the WTS blood policy among those who identify themselves as JWs and carry the WTS “advance directive”.

    • Blood transfusion
    • Jehovah's Witnesses
    • Watchtower
    • autonomy

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    Footnotes

    • About the author

      The author's interest in the WTS blood doctrine was heightened following a series of exchanges with a physician over the internet in 1995. He spent the balance of 1996 researching the history of the policy before concluding a tragic mistake had been made. After failing to open a dialogue with Daniel Sydlik, a WTS governing body member, the author opened the internet web site “New Light on Blood”. It quickly became apparent that many JW elders and HLC members had reached similar conclusions, but had no forum in which to safely to discuss them. The author is the founder of AJWRB and maintains his status as a JW, which requires anonymity for his internet and reform activities with AJWRB. Fear of draconian punishment forces him to write under a pseudonym, but the editor is assured of his bona fides. His diligence for seeking reform of the WTS blood doctrine is motivated by his concern for fellow JWs. Lee Elder, (The Liberal Elder), is Director of The Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood (AJWRB).

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