News

Jehovah’s Witness disowns son, aged five, who received life-saving blood

POLICE in Ghana were recently called to a hospital that had been besieged by a bunch of crazy Jehovah’s Winesses objecting to a blood transfusion for a five-year-old boy.

A JW anti-blood transfusion tag

The trouble, according to this report, erupted when Kwabena Afum and his wife, Margret Afum aka Abena Oduma, brought their son Jepheth to New Edubiase Government Hospital.

Dr Manye Mensah, medical superintendant officer at the hospital, said the boy was admitted on April 25, suffering anaemia. The boy had lost lots of blood which needed urgent replacement and he and his team began a transfusion.

Afum and some fellow Jehovah Witnesses then besieged the theatre room in a bid to prevent the team from carrying out their professional duties.

The police were called to intervene, and Afum was arrested. He was later released on bail, paid by his church.

He has since disowned the boy, who is currently in the care of the Social Welfare Department in the district.

Bizarre and often tragic JW blood transfusion stories like this surface in the media with worrying frequency. One of the strangest involved Harry Morales, a 28-year-old stonecutter, from Tennessee, who refused blood after being stabbed in a fracas in New York in 2006.

Medical records from St Barnabas Hospital showed that after doctors staunched the wound and stabilised his blood pressure, they told him he still needed surgery and a transfusion. Morales, citing his religion, refused. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that it’s against God’s will to accept other people’s blood, or even their own blood after it has been stored.

Hospital records showed that:

The patient aggressively and adamantly refused any and all blood products despite being told it may very well make a difference between life and death.

As a consequence, Morales snuffed it – and the man who was later charged with his murder, Isead Galva, was acquitted by a jury.

According  to this report, legally, the person who stabbed Morales is responsible for his death, even though Morales refused the transfusion. Still, Morales’ choice was an issue at the trial.

Note: The picture used to illustrate this post was obtained from an on-line company that provides “useful” paraphernalia for witless Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Hat tip: Alan

43 Responses to “Jehovah’s Witness disowns son, aged five, who received life-saving blood”

  1. barriejohn says:

    This is the sort of nonsense that you come up with when you believe that this life is just a sort of training ground for some wonderful existence which lies “beyond”!

  2. shargraves says:

    I saw that the horrible JW’s onloine shop selling these appalling “no blood” paraphernalia, have the scrolling motto “Love endures all things … Love Never Fails”

    Well theres a poor little five year old boy in this case whose parents Love has EPIC FAILED him. The wicked bunch of bastards.

    These barbaric death cults are horrible.

  3. Broadsword says:

    I really feel for that little boy.
    Put into care because of his dad’s superstitious beliefs.
    I know there are some ex-JWs that regularly contribute here. Can I ask, is this a short-term tragedy with long-term benefits for this child? At aged five I suppose he doesn’t even know his surname let alone that he’s a JW. Now he’s all alone and confused. I hope we see an update to this story where he’s taken-in by a more pragmatic member of his extended family.

  4. Broadsword says:

    I’ve another question for our ex-JWs if I may.

    JWs have an increased risk of death following severe trauma because of their limited treatment options. Does this knowledge make you more likely to avoid situations where such injuries may occur?

    Would you think twice before using violence or participating in extreme sports for example?

  5. sailor1031 says:

    So it’as not OK to have a blood transfusion, however much it may be needed to save a life, but it’s OK to kick out a five year old child, whose welfare is your personal responsibility? That’s some ethical system these religiots have!

    Sword: don’t knoew about ex-JWs but I have a condition where, if I start to bleed, it is quite difficult to get it to stop. I can tell you I drive more carefully on account of it.

  6. Broadsword says:

    sailor1031

    You’ve just reminded me of my old next door neighbour. He was a haemophiliac who wore loads of protective gear even for simple jobs and my parents were always offering my services for various chores.

    Come to think of it, there must JW haemophiliacs. How do they cope?

  7. barriejohn says:

    Broadsword: They do a lot of praying.

    Sailor: The Exclusive Brethren make their children eat their meals separately if they reach 14 years of age and have not joined the sect. They support them, but have no more social contact with them than is absolutely necessary.

  8. tony e says:

    I know the religious muppets get annoyed when we take the piss out of them, but when stuff like this happens, they make it so easy for us.

  9. sailor1031 says:

    @Barriejohn: are they anabaptists? No I guess not if it’s 14. My ex-mennonite wife told a story that when visiting her uncle (a “bishop”) she and her sister (14 and 15 and not church members yet) had to have meals at a separate table and were basically shunned most of the time. Nowadays she says religion makes her break out in hives.

  10. Har Davids says:

    When you’re into Jehohah the kid is probably a vessel containing an immortal soul, which no one has ever seen, and that’s all that matters. Let’s hope the boy ends up at a place where he’ll be really loved, preferably by atheists.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Sailor: The Exclusive Brethren are a branch of the Plymouth Brethren, who only came into existence in the Nineteeenth Century, but they do have much in common with the Anabaptists, including, of course, the practice of Believer’s Baptism!

  12. Serai says:

    I am guessing as an ex JW I can give some insight on the questions posed by Broadsword. I’d say the first one about it possibly being a good thing for the child is probably not something I could answer, as some JW kids grow up perfectly alright, though in this particular case the parents do seem a bit OTT even for JW’s.

    “JWs have an increased risk of death following severe trauma because of their limited treatment options. Does this knowledge make you more likely to avoid situations where such injuries may occur?”

    No because JW’s don’t really see death as the worst thing that can happen, also dying while faithful is regarded as an express ticket to everlasting life in paradise. I lost a childhood friend to leukaemia, though it’s hard to know if the blood transfusions would have made any difference in his case.

    “Would you think twice before using violence or participating in extreme sports for example?”

    Violence and extreme sports are both frowned upon in the JW’s so it’s a moot point really.

    “Come to think of it, there must JW haemophiliacs. How do they cope?”

    I’d say quietly and privately, after all the blood issue is supposed to be a matter of personal conscience, though we all know it’s not! A lot of JW’s have to live double lives because of issues like this, I am sure many haemophiliacs keep their treatment choices private, and I suspect the elders would use a don’t ask don’t tell policy much of the time.

    I hope that sheds some light on your questions, if you have anything you’d like more detailed information on then I’d be happy to answer in depth. Just in summary I’d like to say that the majority of JW’s that I have known are decent human beings, though misguided at times. Also the African JW’s are a whole different breed of JW being much more literal and zealous in their interpretations compared to their more laid back euro and US brethren.

  13. But their son is only five. He can’t possibly be a Jehova’s Witness. He is too young to believe in such nonsense unless he has been indoctrinated. And if he is not a Jehova’s Witness, than he has no obligation to not accept blood transfusions. With that said, do Jehovah’s Witness’s disown anyone who accepts blood transfusions? I just thought that they themselves don’t allow blood transfusions. What everyone else does is their business. These primitive beliefs are dangerous. Had the childs parents of been able to have their way, their child may have died. The parents and the child are both victims victimized by the illness of religious beliefs.

  14. Broga says:

    The great fairy godfather does insist that if he says he wants to to kill your child, or see him die to observe his dictat, you just gotta bite the bullet and do it. What is amazing to anyone with any sense is that you abandon your child when the decision is taken out of your hands and you have no choice.

  15. Lucky for the child he was disowned. These Jehovah’s Witness’s were obviously not fit to properly take care of him. They would of rather he died.

  16. Broadsword says:

    Ta for that, Serai.

    I’m better informed now. Your description of JW haemophiliacs sneaking treatment while the elders look away seems a pragmatic solution to a problem that’s not just about bleeding. The gentleman I described earlier had lost the use of his knee after a minor bump because of it.

    Their lack of fear of death I find fascinating. We know this isn’t unique to the Jehovas. Personally, when it’s my turn I’ll go kicking and screaming. Avoiding getting killed is a primal instinct shared by all creatures, a religion that can override this is powerful indeed.
    I suppose it must be different for children too young to understand it all?

  17. Kev says:

    Let’s hope he goes to a family with a few more brain cells. Regarding Broadsword’s question about whether JW’s take more care and avoid danger, they don’t seem to when they knock on my door and tell me that my children will burn in hell if we don’t convert! I call that living VERY dangerously.

  18. PStryder says:

    Ex-JW myself. A few thoughts:

    1: JWs see accepting a blood transfusion FOR ANY REASON as a grave sin. Essentially it’s one of two unforgivable sins. (Denying the Holy Spirit being the other.)

    2: Even if a child has a ‘forced’ blood transfusion, (this situation would qualify as a ‘forced’ blood transfusion) they are considered tainted, and while the official dogma is that it wasn’t their choice and God won’t hold it against them, JWs treat these people differently. Basically the stigma against blood transfusions is so strong that those who may have had one are effectively shunned.

    3: Disowning the child is NOT required by the church, nor is it encouraged. Like a commenter before said, the African JWs are more literal, and disowning the child would probably be HIGHLY frowned upon by members in the US or Europe.

    4: Refusing blood transfusions is not incredibly limiting. When a transfusion is given, it takes the body 24 hours to start using the transfused blood to carry oxygen. In the meantime, the biggest effect of the transfused blood is to ‘fill’ the circulatory system, making sure the hydraulics continue working correctly. The same thing can be done with non-blood volume expanders. (Basically, sterile saline solution) Hospitals get the blood for free, and then ‘sell’ it to patients at a ridiculous markup. Most donated blood goes to waste. (It can only be kept for a limited time.)

    5: Many advances in surgical procedures are the direct result of JWs refusing to accept blood. The first patient to have open heart surgery without the use of blood was a JW. (Remembered from my time as a Witness, could be propaganda and totally false. No citation to provide.)

    All that said, disowning this kid was a disgustingly immoral act on the part of the parents, and is one more reason I gave up on religion.

  19. William Harwood says:

    There are states in America (I don’t recall how many) that have passed laws permitting JWs, Christian Science (oxymoron) addicts, and other cultists to kill their children by withholding lifesaving medical procedures, as long as they claim “The Sky Fuhrer made me do it.”

  20. How could that little boy think of doing something so disrespectful as to receiving blood from another individual to save his life… Kids these days…

  21. taicapzen says:

    PStryder I believe you’re incorrect about blood taking 24 hours to start to carry O2… the O2 is carried by the iron in your blood and there would be no reason for the iron not to work immediately. Also they get the blood for free- but they have to spend a ton of money to collect it. I’m a regular donor, and the cost of the bus, medical supplies and the labor time of the collectors has to be astronomical- I really don’t think they’re turning a profit. I think they would routinely use saline solution instead if it worked, instead of going to the trouble of collecting/ storing/ hoping they have the right type for the right person. Maybe that’s just something JW’s say to make blood transfusions seem frivolous and unnecessary? Keep in mind that the function of carrying CO2 back out of the body is equally as critical, if not more so. That’s why you can’t just overload someone on O2 when they have low blood volume or they’ll die of CO2 poisoning anyway.

  22. Heather Rottenberg says:

    PStryder,

    According to my SO, who works for the American Red Cross in the quality control lab, at least in the US hospitals do pay for blood ($60-70 for red cells, pheresis products can be several thousand dollars) and that is how costs end up getting passed on to patients. I don’t know how much mark-up the hospitals put on blood products, but I do know that there are many good reasons for blood products not being free, as the transportation/storage/testing that keeps our blood supply safe and readily-available here in the US is complex and costly.

  23. Alan says:

    This is not the first time something of this nature has happened
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8168480.stm

  24. William Harwood says:

    re BBC story about parents claiming that an eight-year-old shamed them by being raped: Would I be going out on a limb in guessing that the parents are rugbutters?

  25. Friendly Christian says:

    Unfriendly Atheist: Religion is not an Illness. Rather it’s miss guided and close minded following of any form of belief (including atheism) that is a disease.

  26. Broadsword says:

    @Alan

    Your article about the Liberians.
    That country must be in one hell of a mess if they have “Anti-Rape Campaigners”.

  27. William Harwood says:

    The rugbutter practice of executing women who have been raped, still practised in Allah-infested theocracies, made a kind of sense during the founding childfucker’s lifetime. While there were cultures whose knowledge of life science was more advanced, it was still widely believed that children were jointly fathered by every man who had intromitted sperm into a woman prior to her giving birth, whether the intromission had occured four months before the birth or twenty years. That was the reason for the invention of the virginity fetish. It was also believed that pregnancy began when the amount of sperm in a woman’s womb reached critical mass.
    A girl who had been raped was automatically deemed to be polluted, making her incapable of giving a man a legitimate heir, sired by her legal owner alone. Since she no longer served any useful function, killing her was the most economic solution. Eventually rationalizations for such atrocities were concocted, such as decreeing that any girl who made an accusation against the ruling male supremacists was a liar who had violated the theofascists’ sex taboos and therefore should be executed as an adulteress unless she could produce four male witnesses to back up her allegations.
    In other religions, the delusion that “sacred” fiction is literally true and must be believed and obeyed survives only among unteachable fanatics known as creationists or fundamentalists. The overwhelming majority of Christians and Jews have evolved to the point where they recognize that, regardless of whether executing people who gathered firewood on Saturday or ate lobster was ever justifiable, it is certainly not justifiable today no matter what their Tanakh or Bible says. Rugbutters are incapable of evolving, because they face execution if they recognize that any part of their Koran is a recipe for unspeakable evil. So they continue to execute the innocent simply because “it’s in the book.” Neo-Nazis similarly continue to take their values from Mein Kampf, the only book that comes even close to the Tanakh/ Bible/ Koran as a paean to evil.

  28. NeoWolfe says:

    Serai,

    It seems that a lot of misinformation is floating around on this thread. You said:

    “I’d say quietly and privately, after all the blood issue is supposed to be a matter of personal conscience, though we all know it’s not!”

    The issue of blood transfusion is front and center in their dogma, and you would know that it is a mortal sin to accept such treatment. It is also placed upon parents to refuse such treatment for their children. And if you were JW, you also know, that if the authority of the parents is overridden by the civil authorities, there is no provision for disowning one’s child for receiving such treatment against their will.

    While JW’s are mindless sheep that wait to learn what to think with the next release of the Watchtower or Awake magazines, and they are brainwashed to the max!!!!, as cults go, they are fairly benign. They are totally non-violent, they don’t vote, they don’t join the military whether compelled or not, they don’t hold public office, nor interfere in politics.

    But!!!!! Make no mistake, once you are a member, or a child born to members, you are the property of the church. They encapsulate your life so that everything you have is within the sphere of influence of the church. And when you decide to leave, they will not hesitate to stip you of your life. They do destroy lives in the name of God.

    NeoWolfe

  29. Serai says:

    NeoWolfe, it wasn’t my intent to spread misinformation at all, the issue here is between what is said and what is known to be the case, allow me to clarify things. The Watchtower society has over the years mellowed it’s blood policy, due to the growing possibility of a class action suit against them.

    If you were to telephone the watchtower society and ask them they would say that taking or refusing blood was a matter of personal conscience. ( I believe this to be the case, though I am going to email them and make certain. ) The reason they say this is because of the legal issues, if they make it a matter of individuals choosing rather than it being a doctrine then they can dodge litigation.

    Of course anyone who has actually been a JW knows full well that you don’t have such a thing as a ‘personal conscience’ once you are in the JW’s. Every decision that you ever make is based upon a scripture or more usually some watchtower article that twists scripture to fit with the views of the control freaks in Brooklyn.

    This is a very common thing in this ‘religion’, many of the ‘rules’ are not defined and yet they are still known and enforced. For instance the JW dress code, ask them if they have a dress code, and they will say no they just dress modestly. However it is clear this isn’t the case, and anyone who violates the unwritten rules on dress code will soon find themselves subject to pressure and discipline for not conforming.

    So in conclusion, my intent was not to spread misinformation at all, the problem lies with the watchtower society and their disingenious methods, whereby what they say and what they mean are two wholly different things. I hope that clears things up a little?

    Some more info can be found here ( http://www.watchtower.org/e/rq/article_12.htm ), if you can stomach reading this you will see the way they avoid directly answering questions, instead phrasing answers like “So true Christians will not accept a blood transfusion.” which nicely dodges the issue by allowing the reader to decide if they are a ‘true christian’ or not thereby making it a matter of personal choice again.

  30. Dennis Lowe says:

    It’s hard for me to understand why these Jehovah’s witnesses think that god wants their kids to die! Seriously this is just backwards thinking within a religious-preference that has tons of backwards thinking. Between this and all of the evil in the world, the wars, the DirtyPhoneBook, the unending poverty… it would be enough for me to stop believing in god if I already wasn’t!

    I’m not trying to be a militant atheist (whatever that means) its just overall really shocking to me.

    By the way though, I understand why religious people have it tough to break out of their shell because all of the brainwashing they get when they’re younger makes it really a mentally aggravating thing.

  31. Serai says:

    NeoWolfe I did post a long response to your post which subsequently vanished into the ether so I will try a shorter version now.

    I made the point about people using their own judgement to decide which of the rules to obey, because that’s something I have experienced many times while a member of this cult. Also bear in mind a lot of the ‘rules’ are deliberately vague and often do come down to individual interpretation, though of course you are expected to make the ‘correct’ interpretation if you wish to remain a JW.

    I could write a book about all the things I have seen while growing up in this bizarre cult, funny thing being so much of it didn’t become clear until I left and deprogrammed myself.

  32. NeoWolfe says:

    PStryder and Serai,

    JW’s are such a tiny minority, even in western culture, what do you suppose the chances are that three escapees wind up on a tiny little website like this? It would be cathartic to trade war stories of being made a freik in school for not saluting the flag, nor standing for the national anthem, or having your hair cut like a red-neck. Three trips to church per week???

    But, I’m glad for a few things I learned. I learned not to steal, and I learned not to lie and to be honest in business, but, I also learned not to be a racial bigot. I saved these things while I was trashing out my mental closet. But, I’m sure we all know of the scars that will never heal, and the years lost that we will never get back. But, it could always be worse. We could have been born in the Congo. So we swallow our self pity and make the best of it, true?

    NeoWolfe

  33. William Harwood says:

    Religion IS a form of insanity. I have never encountered anyone who has had the disease and recovered who does not know that. Anyone who was not insane before he started believing that mass murder was evil when Hitler did it with gas chambers, but is not evil when his Sky Fuhrer does it with disease, famine, religious wars, natural disasters, transportation accidents and old age, is certainly insane once he does acquire such a belief.
    If being sufficiently aware of the evidence to know for a fact that the biblical “God” does not exist is being closed-minded, then so is being sufficiently aware of the evidence to regard gravity and a round earth as proven facts.

  34. Paul Puri says:

    As a former JW, I never experienced anything as horrible as what these parents did. Nowhere in the bible does it teach to disown your kids. It does not say to disown your family if they are forced to have a blood transfusion. This is what happens when extremists are allowed into a situation. They are taught to take things too literally. From what I was taught, we would have prayed for the child, forgiven the hospital for what they did, be thankful the boy is alive, and move on. Nobody broke any ‘pact’ with God. I learned a lot from being involved in a religion, but intolerance was not part of that agenda.

  35. NeoWolfe says:

    You, too, Paul Puri???? Four of us!!!! That almost defies coincidence.

    NeoWolfe

  36. Sean says:

    This is sad, to say, a poorly written article. The sources regarding their faith were poorly selected and therefore erroneous. The focus should have been on the reason WHY transfusion was indicated in the first place. Why was the boy bleeding in the first place? It does not sound like an emergency, so why not use less risky methods of treatment? If he was hemorrhaging, how did they stabilize him? If he IS stable, his body would naturally reproduce the lost blood in a short time. So again, why such risky treatment, when there is no emergency? A simple blood-volume expander would have provided immediate short term benefits and is 100% safe.
    The comment about the father abandoning the son is ridiculous. If even parts of the story are true, then the son was taken away in order to transfuse him. This must have been very upsetting to the father and son, as it would to anyone who wishes to have safe medical treatment. No Witness would abandon a 5 year old.

    This is a good example of poor reporting. FYI, the only reliable source for information about Jehovah’s Witnesses is watchtower.org and they have a department which is available to all doctors world-wide 24 hours/day. You will find they are very well-informed on the subject.

    In America, there are many hospitals which are replacing the use of blood with non-blood techniques. There is less risk and lower cost. It may be worth it to you to inform yourself further on this subject for the benefit of your reader’s health. http://watchtower.org/e/medical_care_and_blood.htm

  37. Heather Flight says:

    The deluded parents can at least tell concerned friends and relatives, in all honesty, that their sick child went to a better place.

  38. Serai says:

    Sean with all due respect you are wrong, the watchtower is not a reliable source for truthful information about JW’s sadly. It is however a reliable source for misinformation and pseudo scientific deception. Frederick Franz who takes credit for the New World Translation that JW’s put so much stead in, admitted in court that he did not actually have the scholarly qualifications in ancient Hebrew that he had claimed.

    If you would like some help learning the truth about the watchtower corporation then I can certainly point you in the right direction. The watchtower corporation is not a medical or scientific or even theological authority. Go and read the book crisis of conscience by Raymond Franz, and see if you can still swallow the BS that is spouted by the watchtower after seeing the evidence presented therein.

    You know the funniest thing is, J.F. Rutherford summed it up with his own words, ‘religion is a snare and a racket’. Any JW knows this is true, what they fail to see is this statement applies to all religions their own included.

  39. NeoWolfe says:

    Sean said:

    “There is less risk and lower cost. It may be worth it to you to inform yourself further on this subject for the benefit of your reader’s health.”

    While it is true, some years ago, blood transfusion was very risky, and used in an entirely too complacent way in medical treatment. In the early eighties my son was born prematurely, and with pulmonary cepsis. He was monitored by pulse oximeters yet the hospital felt it necessary to draw his blood every hour to send to the lab for gas quantification. Finally, they had drawn so much blood that they felt it necessary to give him a transfusion. I HIT THE ROOF!!!! For one, because the blood draws were unnecessary, but mostly because I knew that blood borne pathogens make transfusions very risky. They are a last resort.

    Having given Sean that much, the idea that “A simple blood-volume expander” is appropriate in most situations is unrealistic, yet a huge part of the JW propaganda rests on that idea. Saline solution does not carry oxygen to the entire body (red blood cells) nor does it fight infection (white blood cells), nor does it stop bleeding (platelets). Severe blood loss, whether internal or external, cannot be treated with fillers.

    Final thought, the medical profession suggested years ago a plan the was supposed to be JW friendly, i.e., prior to scheduled surgery, the JW patient would have his blood drawn and stored and used during the surgery. But, NO!!!!, the pompus assholes at WB&TS decided that was against god’s will, too. I guess they need some more martyrs.

    NeoWolfe

  40. CassieM says:

    I was raised for almost two decades as a JW… I am no longer part of the religion, but I would never accept a blood transfusion… Not for legal purposes, but because the number of people who catch diseases and get infections from them is alarming.

    That being said, the parents who did this are INSANE. The VAST majority of Witnesses would NOT disown their child for a decision made by doctors. It would be a different matter if he had agreed to the transfusion as a thinking adult. This is a rare case of over-zealous fanaticism and in my 17 years among them, I never met a single one who would do such a thing. This is not the norm.

    Yes, they do refuse blood transfusions because they ARE Biblically immoral. It has also been proven by medical professionals and doctors around the world that there are viable alternatives to blood transfusions in most circumstances, rendering transfusions virtually unnecessary for the majority of surgeries and injury treatments. Hundreds of doctors around the world CHOOSE to do bloodless procedures now, and their choices have nothing to do with religion.

    I completely disagree with the cruelty of these parents, but this is not a normal reaction among the religion, and people who are not familiar with the religion really shouldn’t criticize anything here BUT the parent’s reaction.

  41. [...] death came in the same month that the Jehovah’s Witness parents of a seriously ill five-year-old disowned him after he was given a blood transfusion in [...]

  42. Downstrike says:

    The disinformation in this article has been refuted: http://stuffofinteresttojws.blogspot.com/2010/07/re-jehovah-couple-disown-son.html

    If Jehovah’s Witnesses were half as crazy as the hate propagandists who author such articles and the dupes who believe them, they could publish the truth about Jehovah’s Witnesses, instead of contriving such libel.

  43. Nicole says:

    It seems that those who have actually had experience as Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t seem to think this rings true. I found the article to be more of an attack than informational and so considered it biased. Then I found this http://news.myjoyonline.com/news/201007/49877.asp published by the same people posting the original article as a report of actual facts. Also I would like to note that I have had personal experience with being told that if I did not except a blood trans fusion I would die. I lost a considerable ammount of blood due to a car accident. My hemoglobin level was at a 7. The Doctors took my blood every hour as I also read happened to someone else and you can see why this notion was ridiculous. My hemoglobin dropped to a 3 and all the veins in my arms collapsed as they took from first one then the other and then took from my legs until those veins collapsed. In the few hours til they could have a PIC line inserted in the artery over my heart they pricked my fingers and toes and squeezed small ammounts of blood out that way. I was 16 at the time and my parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses. When asked by the Doctors what my medical treatment should be and told I would die if I did not receive a blood transfusion, they replied that while legally underage I was old enough and competent enough to make my own decision and they would support WHATEVER that was. Blood fractions are accepted by Jehovah’s Witnesses as a conscience matter as many of the fractions in blood are also found in plants and have no connection to whole blood. I chose to go with none of these and did just have the volume expanders. The Doctors were considering getting a court order to transfuse me anyway but since my Doctor would always consult my parents and they would always say ‘Ask her’ and then ‘Do that’ my Doctor knew it was my decision and told me of their plan and asked if there was anything else he would feel comfortable trying before they forced something on me I obviously did not want. (This was a very humble Doctor, one I am forever grateful for) I asked him simply to stop taking my blood as my body couldn’t recover with losing 4 TUBES EVERY HOUR. I reasoned if they could get by with the ammount pricking my fingers and toes gave them for several hours why did they need so much. Simple answer-procedure. He agreed to a small amount every 4 hours and said if he did not see marked improvement within 24 hours they were going forth with a court order. Within that time period my body more than doubled what I had which brought me out of the concern for a court order. My Doctor became more interested in researching non-blood alternatives for his patients as he admitted I would not have recovered as fast had I had an actual transfusion. I became there case study that they only choose one a week for as they could not believe something as simple as volume expanders and not sucking the life out of me could work. The body is designed to respond and mass produce blood when it is needed. Al I ever had was the volume expanders to keep my veins from collapsing-a problem actually caused by the ‘medical professionals’. This was 10 years ago and Non-blood medicine is so much more advanced. Frankly I wouldn’t want a Doctor who was so closed minded and wouldn’t educated himself to all options. The truth is there are MANY alternatives to whole blood. Most problems are specific and can be solved with a blood fraction. I did not want any at the time even though it was an option available to Jehovah’s Witnesses. A feeling I have since reconsidered (though not regretted)as I have had my own children and if one of them was ever bitten by a venomous snake I would give them an anti-venom which is manufactured with blood fractions. This applies to other medical decisions as well as I want the BEST care for my children and I don’t think that blood is the best way. I wouldn’t logically accept something for my children and not for myself so I have educated myself more on medical matters for all of us as during the situation is too late. It is WAY harder to make decisions regarding your childs life than your own. I am saddened both by the people who read these things and WANT to believe that anyone would WANT to martyr their children or don’t care about them and by the many medical professionals who are satisfied with only being educated one way as their continuing education is their choice. We are parents like any other who love our children, would glady die for them, and want the best medical care. I grew up with a girl who had a bloodless heart transplant 20 years ago at the age of 3. I also grew up with a boy who both fought and was court ordered many blood transfusions and they were treated no different. I am sorry if it is different other places. I am not going to argue it as we are all human regardless of our religious preferences. There is good and bad everywhere. We are all imperfect but sadly the bad is always pointed out, exploited, and embellished upon. But to think that all people of one particular race, religious grouping, or what have you is all negative is just narrow minded. But as previously stated, there will always be those who WANT to believe it and that to me is what is truly sad.