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Why Can’t Jehovah’s Witnesses Get Blood?
When it comes to medical treatments, Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known for their refusal to receive blood transfusions or other blood-related medical treatments. This is based on their interpretation of Bible passages that prohibit the consumption of blood.
The basis for this stance comes from several different Bible verses, including Leviticus 17:10, Acts 15:20 and Acts 15:29. In each of these passages, the consumption of blood is prohibited and God’s followers are asked to keep themselves pure. This is why Witnesses will not receive any form of blood from another person or from storage.
Simply put, accepting a donated blood transfusion, or any form of blood therapy, violates the very core of their religious beliefs. Along with this, they also abstain from eating foods which are made with whole blood or blood components. This includes black pudding, blood sausage and any other food made with blood which is still in its natural liquid form.
One of the major reasons why Witnesses are so strongly against blood transfusions is because it requires them to essentially take in someone else’s life in place of their own. Doing this, they believe, goes against the command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). This means they are not willing to accept a life-giving substance from someone else, which may be considered a form of stealing life.
When it comes to medical treatments, Witnesses will sometimes opt for alternative treatments which either do not require blood transfusions or do not rely on storing and using someone else’s blood. This includes treatment options such as cell salvage, autologous donation, and artificial blood.
These options may not always be available and may be expensive, so Witnesses will often choose to simply accept the risks associated with forgoing a blood transfusion. If a Witness chooses to do this, they must be willing to take full responsibility for the choice and accept whatever consequences come with it.
Whatever route they take, Jehovah’s Witnesses remain committed to their stance on blood transfusions and blood-related treatments, believing that it is the only way to stay true to their religious beliefs.
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