Friday, May 06, 2011

The value of life.......

Recently you discovered something about a particular 'faith' that shocked you, to the point of anger, to the point of total disbelief. Whilst you usually envy those who have a strong belief that something more must exist beyond this life on Earth, this time you didn't feel envy or jealousy for that sense of belief, you felt appalled, disheartened and extremely unnerved. The idea, or as you would like to call it, the misinterpretation, you were told brought out a side in you that you try to keep locked away, the belief that you have that nothing in this life is pre determined, that something is worth fighting for.

The majority of those people who claim to be Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in accepting blood transfusions, they state it is down to the belief that the bible teaches that life is blood and that blood must not be eaten and that the followers of Jehovah must not have their blood replaced, even in a case where life or death is a certainty without a blood transfusion. They base this on numerous scriptures in the bible, including:

'Keep themselves from what is sacrificed to idols as well as from blood and from fornication.' Acts 21:25

'But you must not eat the blood, pout it out on the ground like water. Do not eat it so it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right.' Deuteronomy 12:23-25

You've always said the bible is open to interpretation, and of course misinterpretation, but this is as far as you have seen, one of the most dangerous lines of deviation from what must have been intended. Granted it doesn't rank amongst Islamic Fundamentalists who believe in Jihad and that the abhorrent and despicable attacks that took place on 9/11 and 7/7 were done in the name of God. But it ranks within their midst, mainly due to the fact that it involves life, not just one's own life, because if a Jehovah's Witness wishes to refuse a blood transfusion for themselves, then that might be extremely stupid and ridiculous decision, but it has been known that they have refused blood transfusions for their children.

In your view, if a Jehovah's Witness is informed that their child needs a blood transfusion to survive and they refuse that transfusion, they have MURDERED their child. There is no other way of putting it, yes it may not be polite or respectful to stand on the 'line' with comments like that, and that view may not 'stand up' in a court of law on this earth, but it would stand in a court conveyed to decide on morality, on compassion, on life and on humanity. The bible also states:

'When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.' Mark 10:14-16

Children are God's creation, they are innocent, when a child is born you never know what they will grow up to be, they may become Police Officers, Paramedics, Fire Fighters, Architects, Doctors, Nurses, Soldiers, Care Workers, or become involved in other occupations, callings, that save the lives of others. Whilst it is a adults decision as to whether or not they accept a blood transfusion, it is NOT the right of a Jehovah's Witness to decide for their child, it is not their right, if they love their child, or they believe their child was given to them from Jehovah, they would want that child, that lovely little bundle of joy to survive, to the point of them having to give their life to save that child, such a quality is not just that of a person who claims to believe in God, but the quality of a human being, a mother, and a father.

Life is precious, the bible states:

'Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more.' Psalm 39:4

There have been cases around the world, recently in Ireland where a child was saved by a blood transfusion, when the child's parents who were Jehovah's Witnesses refused the transfusion, but the court over ruled them. Mr Justice Hogan, has my utmost respect for standing on that 'line', for making that decision, to save a life.

The question that you always ask those who state they believe in something more, no matter what religion, is:

'What happens if you are wrong?'


At 1:07 AM, Anonymous tom sheepandgoats said...

On the other hand....

To respond to the challenge posed in treating JWs, some in the medical field have pioneered bloodless techniques. By eliminating the risk of foreign tissue, human error, and blood-borne diseases, these new techniques offer a safety margin that conventional blood transfusions do not. The film Knocking states there are over 140 medical centers in North America that offer some form of bloodless surgical techniques. Might the day come, or is it even here already, when the number of lives saved through such medicine will outnumber those lost by a few members of a relatively tiny religious group that stuck to its principles amidst much opposition?

New Scientist magazine covered the subject in a 2008 article entitled An Act of Faith in the Operating Room. The act of faith was not withholding a transfusion. It was giving one.

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At 6:48 PM, Blogger Joe90 said...

I can see where you are coming from Tom, and it was stipulated that if a Witness is deciding for themselves not to have a blood transfusion then that is their choice, the problem arises when they are deciding for someone else, for example their child.

Also, with regards to bloodless surgeries, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen write their blood type on their helmets/body armour/boots, because, and I can vouch for this, they know it might one day save their life, because when a person is bleeding to death and suffering from extreme trauma after being involved in a vehicle IED strike, a blood transfusion might be their only hope.


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