Today we look at a common sense argument and some Sacred Scripture showing that accepting a blood transfusion does not break the Old Testament law of not eating blood.

Ave Maria!

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  1. You should check out the website of the Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood.
    This is a group of JWs who want the Watchtower Organization to drop the ban on blood transfusions. It is interesting reading and gives one a look at how the leaders of the JWs deal with dissenters.

  2. To be fair AJWRB is about as Witness as Pelosi is Catholic, that is, only in the most tenuous of senses. I know that they’re trying to split hairs here but they are in direct violation of an established teaching that the Witnesses hold. I may agree with them now, but they do themselves a disservice in trying to play both sides. That being said they are a good source of information for the change in policies.

    While the West has generally followed Augustine’s argument (what you essentially present here) the East hasn’t been as quick in doing so. The Council of Trullo says in canon 67:
    “The divine Scripture commands us to abstain from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Those therefore who on account of a dainty stomach prepare by any art for food the blood of any animal, and so eat it, we punish suitably. If anyone henceforth venture to eat in any way the blood of an animal, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed; if a layman, let him be cut off.”

    Being held in 692 it undermines Augustine’s position that this was a pastoral exception (which isn’t held for the rest of the Council of Jerusalem’s decision). I think its generally safer to hold that transfusions aren’t consumption but are medical care and therefore aren’t covered nor do they cheapen the sacredness of blood.

    I’m willing to give up blood sausage (which I’ve heard is horrible anyway) if I make it into Heaven. I imagine I won’t make it though if I let my brother die.

    One further note, while its true that you could use “Jehovahs’ ” the more common collective noun is “Witnesses” as it tends to not make the definite article sound odd. I should have pointed that out in my first post and I apologize for not doing so.


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