Blood and the Hospital Liaison Committee


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    BathroomServant1 posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:06:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 3 of 22
    Joined 8/25/2009

    Before I ask the question I have, I'll present some background information.

    My Story: When I was 16, I was hospitalized with bone marrow cancer for an extended period of time. Of course, the blood issue came up as doctors noticed that I may quickly need one. At the time being fully "in", I refused one, but being a minor the doctors pushed the issue to the court system. I received a visit from a member of the Hospital Liaison Committee, a much older brother who was well known throughout the circuit for his work in helping JW's in hospitals.

    After meeting with me and encouraging me to hold firm to my beliefs, he was about to leave... but then almost perfectly timed he said, "Oh, and by the way... when you talk to the judge about the blood issue, don't say that you'll be disfellowshipped if you take a transfusion." That was perhaps my first red flag that went up in my head that he made it a point to tell me that.

    So, I guess the question I have is this: Does anyone have an experience working on the Hospital Liaison Committee or know if the instructions are to enforce this point with the patient? Of course it's a total CYA move for the Society, but I was wondering if this is standard practice or not.

    F Snoozy posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:19:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 1262 of 3529
    Joined 11/3/2001

    When hubby was dying they came to visit and made sure all the paper work was in order and they even said a prayer after I forced them too.... They strutted around like peacocks that ruled the roost. After many promises to come and visit him at home they left..sadly they never followed through on the visits as they were all busy remodeling the assembly hall for the CO..he lasted for 5 months and he had two visits from them. one guy was so deaf he couldn't hear what hubby was saying..and hubby was too weak to repeat it.

    No subject of disfellowshipping was mentioned. On the other hand I remember no studies about why you should or shouldn't take a transfusion. Hubby nor his Mom had any idea why they shouldn't take blood other than "The bible says not to eat blood"..quoting from the JW teachings but they would never dream of taking blood..

    I had to look up all the info and fill out the papers for hubby. He appointed me his guardian even tho I told him I didn't know what I would do if they said he needed blood. He still chose me over his Mom. I think he secretly wanted to live no matter what.

    I was amazed at how many witnesses could offer no good argument of why they shouldn't take blood other than saying what they were told to say by the WTBTS. It's against the Bible!

    I even had to look up all the alternatives..what he could take if necessary. I remember when his dad also a JW was dying of bone cancer..he had some shot that was supposed to build up his blood, it cost them $1,000. a shot. Insurance wouldn't cover it since Blood was readily available so they paid for it out of pocket.

    Sorry I didn't have your answer but I know there are some on here that do have the answer..looking forward to their replies...

    Snoozy...who left in 1975

    F Snoozy posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:29:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 1263 of 3529
    Joined 11/3/2001

    I also wanted to say that I am sorry that you had to go through that so young..I still have mixed feelings about blood transfusions. I think I would have to be pretty bad before I would take them. And I keep remembering that if they only want to give you one or two that you can probably do without them.
    I feel a lot of things can be passed on through the blood that they don't even know about yet or have any way to test.

    I think I would only take them in an extreme emergency.

    This is a personal feeling and has nothing to do with the JW teaching.


    F Mary posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:42:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 10765 of 12746
    Joined 6/26/2002

    Bathroom Servant, I would be greatly interested to know how you survived your bone marrow cancer. My brother in law is dying from it and we're grasping at straws to try and save him so any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


    BathroomServant1 posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:48:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 4 of 22
    Joined 8/25/2009


    Thank you for your response, part of the healing process is talking and relating with others. I'm so sorry about your husband, that is never an easy thing to go through and never fully heals. It's a shame too that they stopped showing an interest in him, you know the religion that practices "Christian love"?

    I needed a blood transfusion, plain and simple. I should be dead right now, but some how I pulled through. I know that blood isn't always an easy clear cut decision to take when you never know what may be undetectable in it. I'm sure that in this day and age though that it is a lot safer than ever before. If my life depended on it, I most certainly would accept one now.

    Besides, I think that's why it was ever in the Bible in the first place. It was unsafe to eat let alone medicine of that day and age. This is 2009...What happened to respect for life?

    BathroomServant1 posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:59:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 5 of 22
    Joined 8/25/2009

    Mary, I'm truly sorry to hear that your brother-in-law is no doubt suffering immensely. It is a disease that I wouldn't wish on even a member of the Governing Body. ( And that's a strong statement from what I've read so far on this forum)

    Fortunately for me, the cancer only effected the white cells when I was diagnosed. They were able to start heavy chemo at an early enough stage that I was able to pull through. I've been in remission for 7 years now. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do in this situation, but there are so many variants when dealing with any cancer in general. Do you know what type exactly he has?

    F no more kool aid posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 01:02:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 863 of 1185
    Joined 7/27/2008

    Wow, how scary that must have been for a sixteen year old kid, sounds like HLC treatment was one of the things that woke you up. We needed them for a serious illness my husband had, as a nurse I realised very soon that they were totally useless. I did my research on my own (pre Internet) he ended up being OK with the help of an excellent medical center in or area. The main bother in our city on the HLC is a complete imbecile. He literally is a pioneer window washer, that doesn't even have health insurance himself, so as he is speaking to a physician on a dying brothers behalf he also asking about his wife's rash. He's a total embarrassment. The rank and file don't understand this and rely on him to speak on their behalf before a complicated surgery. One sister was on the gurney being prepped for surgery, thinking Brother HLC had met with him, when she referred to bloodless surgery the doctor said "what? we can't do this without blood". That's my experience with them. NMKA

    bluecanary posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 03:22:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 1252 of 1573
    Joined 6/11/2009

    My post disappeared!

    Welcome to the forum BathroomServant1

    I know there's at least one former HLC member on the forum but I can't remember who. Hopefully he'll find your thread.

    BathroomServant1 posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 21:52:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 7 of 22
    Joined 8/25/2009

    Anyone know the answer to the question originally posed?

    So, I guess the question I have is this: Does anyone have an experience working on the Hospital Liaison Committee or know if the instructions are to enforce this point with the patient? Of course it's a total CYA move for the Society, but I was wondering if this is standard practice or not.

    M AllTimeJeff posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 22:02:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 2986 of 5813
    Joined 11/9/2006

    Hey, I just read this thread. Glad to see you are out of that sickness.

    YES! The HLC has a vague letter, vaguely worded, where they are to vaguely remind all JW's that they will not be disfellowshipped if you take blood.

    Of course, thats crap. You will be disassociated.

    I can tell you that how the elder presented it was half ass. They can't enforce it. But it is very mafia like, or better yet, the scene in Goodfellas where DeNiro tells Liota's character that 'friends don't rat on each other.'

    The letter has language (I saw it once in passing) that goes something like "help the hospitallized bro/sis to appreciate the test of faith before them, and how Jehovah views the medical situation should blood transfusions come up."

    Something like that.

    M AllTimeJeff posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 22:08:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 2987 of 5813
    Joined 11/9/2006

    One more thing

    What you have to understand about any letter that the borg sends elders, be it congregation, HLC, RBC, etc, that there are seminars that put the borgs meaning into the letters.

    The letters themselves are bare bones as can be for legal reasons. But the HLC elders do at least one seminar a year to review their responsibilites and how to handle various scenarios. Handwritten notes provide another layer of legal insulation for the WTBTS.

    I know for a fact that legal liability is broached, as well as the coaching of the hospitalized JW.

    cantleave posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 22:09:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 403 of 13242
    Joined 6/25/2009

    Bathroom servant, there is no clear direction as such but there are policy documents that refer to not being disfellowshipped for taking blood. What they fail to stress is your actions will be taken as voluntary dissassociation. The legal dept use the "can't be disfellowshipped" line in court when defending human rights allegations.

    M moshe posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 22:13:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 2718 of 9056
    Joined 1/18/2005

    Well, I can verify that the blood issue is still a very touchy subject after my run-in with a couple JW sisters today. They are certain they have the truth, because the inner leadership circle says they have it . I asked the sisters, "will a blood transfusion save the life of a starving man?" You would have thought I was asking them an question about quantum physics. I repeated the question two more times. Finally one sister said, "no". Bingo, I had an admission that a blood transfusion was not the same as eating blood. It did no good as they immediately started in on that broken record scenario- " if a doctor said you couldn't have alcohol would it be OK to transfuse it?" No reasoning ability, which is why they are still JW's. I never even got a chance to talk about their absurd blood fractions chart.

    bluecanary posted Tue, 29 Sep 2009 23:44:00 GMT(9/29/2009)

    Post 1262 of 1573
    Joined 6/11/2009

    Moshe, your response should have been, "If a doctor told you to abstain from meat, would that mean you shouldn't have a liver transplant?"

    F Snoozy posted Wed, 30 Sep 2009 00:39:00 GMT(9/30/2009)

    Post 1265 of 3529
    Joined 11/3/2001

    Bathroom servant, I found this article on Blood. It is titled :

    'Why blood Transfusions could be killing patients!.'

    (Couldn't get link to work so just posted address)

    I too thought things would be different today regarding the safty but it doesn't look like it is.

    M moshe posted Wed, 30 Sep 2009 01:04:00 GMT(9/30/2009)

    Post 2722 of 9056
    Joined 1/18/2005

    It has recently been published that 6 week old blood is not very effective compared to one week old blood from a blood bank. This could be part of the reason for poor transfusion results. Just like a grocery store, they want to sell the old strawberries first and hide the new shipment in the cooler- meanwhile it is getting older, too! By the time they finally throw out the old strawberries 3 days later, the new ones hidden in the cooler have seen their better days, too. The moral is you had better make sure you transfusion is from fresh stock- make sure your doctor honors your request.

    F Snoozy posted Wed, 30 Sep 2009 01:12:00 GMT(9/30/2009)

    Post 1266 of 3529
    Joined 11/3/2001

    Well I couldn't get it to let me add a link so I had to correct the previous address for :

    "Why a blood transfusion could be killing patients."


    F Snoozy posted Wed, 30 Sep 2009 01:15:00 GMT(9/30/2009)

    Post 1267 of 3529
    Joined 11/3/2001

    OK..another thought on the hospital liaison committee,

    Some interesting remarks on there from some that were still on the Liaison committees.
    One of the things that stood out to me was "If the JW's suddenly decided that is was OK to accept blood, many of the witnesses would do it. How does a conscience enter into that?

    Many don't really reject blood because they feel it is wrong according to the bible (as they are trained to say), it is usually because the WTBTS said not to take blood.
    If the WTBTS changed their belief on blood and said it was OK to take it, many would JW's would take it willingly, so much for their doing it "Because the bible says not to."

    It is likened to when the witnesses said not to take vaccinations long ago..and now it is OK...
    What about all those that died because they listened to the WTBTS..JW Witnesses?

    BathroomServant1 posted Thu, 01 Oct 2009 01:51:00 GMT(10/1/2009)

    Post 8 of 22
    Joined 8/25/2009

    Thanks for the info and links everyone, I'll definitely check those out. This was just always a sore subject for me, and I'm glad I came out of "lurking mode" so I could have some sort of closure...

    Now for the rest of my issues... lol!


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