The Watchtower Society’s requirement that Jehovah’s Witnesses must refuse to accept blood transfusions dates back to 1945. Misinterpreting the Old Testament prohibition against eating animal blood as a routine food item, the Watchtower Society began teaching that receiving a blood transfusion was “eating human blood”. The Watchtower teaches Jehovah’s Witnesses to believe that receiving an infusion of human blood into their body’s circulatory system is the exact same thing as eating or ingesting blood into their body’s digestive system. Please notice the following statements.
The Watchtower, July 1, 1951 p-414 said, “A patient in the hospital maybe fed through the mouth, through the nose, or through the veins. When sugar solutions are given intravenously it is called intravenous feeding. So the hospital’s own terminology recognizes as feeding the process of putting nutrition into one’s system via the veins. Hence the attendant administering the transfusion is feeding the patient through the veins, and the patient receiving it is eating through his veins.”
Reasoning from the Scriptures P.73 Par.1 asks and answers, “Is a transfusion really the same as eating blood? In a hospital, when a patient cannot eat through his mouth, he is fed intravenously. Now, would a person who never put blood into his mouth but who accepted blood by transfusion really be obeying the command to “keep abstaining from . . . blood”? (Acts 15:29) To use a comparison, consider a man who is told by the doctor that he must abstain from alcohol. Would he be obedient if he quit drinking alcohol but had it put directly into his veins?”
At first glance this may sound reasonable, yet this is a faulty analogy. Just stop and think for a moment. What happens when alcohol gets into the stomach? While it is digested, it is not digested the same as food as some may think. Alcohol is first absorbed directly through the stomach and intestinal linings into the blood stream. Then the liver gradually digests it by breaking it down into fatty acids and water.
What happens when blood gets into the stomach? If blood is eaten, the ingested blood enters the body’s digestive system, where the blood would be treated by the body exactly the same as it would treat any food. Just as the food you eat, ingested blood would be completely digested and broken down into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and waste, which are then either assimilated or excreted by the body.
Now, to deal with the Watchtower’s analogy, what happens when alcohol is put directly into the blood stream intravenously? Again, the liver breaks down the alcohol into fatty acids and water. However, what happens to donor blood when it is put directly into your blood stream intravenously? The blood performs its normal functions. It stays in the blood stream and functions as blood! So is the blood digested? NO! Is it broken down and consumed by the body for nourishment? Absolutely Not! This makes it perfectly clear that taking a blood transfusion is not, and cannot be a form of eating the blood because the fact is the blood isn’t even digested.
This helps us to see that taking alcohol through the veins or the mouth has the same result. Namely, the alcohol is broken down and digested by the liver. Yet when human blood is transfused into a body’s circulatory system, the transfused human blood remains to be human blood and continues to function as human blood. Therefore the blood’s function is actually that of a vital organ like a liver, heart, etc.
The Watchtower uses scriptures that speak about the blood of slaughtered animals to teach Jehovah’s Witnesses that blood is “sacred” because blood is the “symbol of life”. Then, they turn around and require Jehovah’s Witnesses to sacrifice their own “life” to maintain the alleged “sacredness” of a “symbol” of the very thing they are sacrificing — their life.
In other words, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that the Watchtower doctrine on blood places a higher value on the SYMBOL (which is blood) than it does on the THING SYMBOLIZED (life). In fact, the Old Testament scriptures permitted the eating of un-bled animal meat which the Bible treats exactly the same as eating animal blood itself. In isolated occasions, when humans needed to eat un-bled meat in order to sustain their own human life, the Mosaic Law permitted such, but then required the eaters to fulfill the requirements of being “unclean” for a few days. (Lev 17:13-16) Thus, the Bible teaches that the sustaining of human life was more “sacred” than maintaining the sacredness of animal blood. To do otherwise would be doing exactly what the Watchtower Society does. It would make the SYMBOL (Blood) more SACRED than the THING SYMBOLIZED (Life).
The Watchtower organization is leading Jehovah’s Witnesses to disobey God and violate the Holy Scriptures in one of the most serious ways possible. Because humans were created in God’s image, (Gen 1:26) God considers human life sacred (Gen 3:8-16, Ex 20:13). A Jehovah’s Witness who sacrifices their SACRED LIFE in order to maintain the sacredness of a SYMBOL of that SACRED LIFE varies little from those who profane life by committing suicide.
Jehovah’s Witness Elders who teach and police this doctrine have unknowingly become accessories to murder for the sake of remaining loyal to an organization. The Bible is clear about how God views murder, and how He deals with murderers. (Ex 21:22-24) This twisting of scripture has led to the pointless deaths of numerous Jehovah’s Witnesses in the past, and it will continue to lead to the pointless deaths of many more Jehovah’s Witnesses in the future.