Jehovah's Witnesses and postoperative re-transfusion of blood.
Are you sure? Postoperative re-transfusion of blood extracted before an operation was not a "matter of conscience" last I checked. It was disallowed outright, just like a regular whole blood transfusions.
If it's kosher now, boy, things change so easily. You'd think they were just making them up as they go ;)
--Jaban 22:46, 26 January 2009 (CST)
If you have something printed by the Watchtower Society that outright forbids it, by all means change it. When I was studying ~5 years ago, the elders told me that it wasn't forbidden, but that it was strongly discouraged because they felt that the blood was unsafe if stored. They had some kind of conspiracy theory that the doctors would swap it with someone else's so as to force you t sin. The Watchtower allows elders to disfellowship without disclosing the reasons, so they pretty much will vary from Kingdom Hall to Kingdom Hall. They use the magazines and a centralized system to claim homogeneity throughout, but the local elders definitely reign supreme (so long as they obey the big bosses).
The Watchtower, June 15, 1978, page 30:
How Can Blood Save Your Life?, 1990, page 27:
These reflect what I remember from when I was a Witness. Extraction and re-transfusion is disallowed, but it is a matter of conscience if you consider a salvage/dialysis system to be an extension of your circulatory system (that is, only when the system extracting/re-injecting the blood is never 'disconnected' from your body).
We always watered things down when we were explaining it to people who were studying, because no one would listen to us otherwise. We somehow did not connect the need to do that with our interpretation being absurd.
--Jaban 20:12, 27 January 2009 (CST)
Interesting. They took that out of the updated blood brochure. My wife (a pioneer for several years) said that they changed how strongly they spoke about it a few times, but that an actual member would be disfellowshipped for it whether it was outright forbidden or just "discouraged". You're probably right, they only ever changed it for publicity.
- Probably. I got that second quote from the respective pamphlet on their own website. They sometimes change things and simply redefine words to justify it. For example, "blood" was originally disallowed, no ifs ands or buts. Then it got split into components, some of which they defined as being blood and banned (e.g. "red cells" and "plasma") and some which they defined otherwise and left up to us (e.g. "hemoglobin" and "albumin", which is what they almost entirely consist of, respectively).
- I haven't been one for a few years, so I don't know what they're doing that with nowadays.
- This isn't a direct relation to blood transfusions, but I grew up in what I think was a fairly liberal area where most people considered "matters of conscience" to be things that were allowed but could technically be considered a gray area. But I've been to other congregations where people considered those things as taking a risk and therefore something you shouldn't do. Such local interpretation of even the Society's written opinions must surely affect how things are taught and viewed in different areas.
- Off topic tip:
- Reply to talk on the page it was written on, and sign your comments. There's a "signature" button at the top of the page, or you can just type two dashes and four tildes.
- Normally you'd tab in responses by putting two colons in front of each line, like I did with this line. I didn't do it before because those "quote boxes" can't be tabbed in. I haven't figured out how to make those properly yet.
- --Jaban 20:11, 28 January 2009 (CST)