(Investigator Magazine 124, 2009 January)
[The following was
in 1973 by several Jehovah's Witnesses, used privately by a few people
in the sect, and is now made available to Investigator.)
THE RIVER OF LIFE
Egyptians, Jews and Syrians practiced blood transfusions, believing
that it restored health by restoring the soul. One of the earliest
references to blood transfusions in medicine describes how a Syrian
warrior named Naam was treated for leprosy by a transfusion of blood.
Transfusion was also accepted among the Greeks as a magical
discovery of the
circulation of the blood was announced by W. Harvey in 1628 A.D. how
could ancient peoples perform transfusions without this knowledge?
magical form of
transfusion was practiced until recently by the Zulus. When a Zulu king
fell ill, blood was taken from his healthy attendants and mixed with
blood from the king. This reinforced blood was then introduced into the
king's circulation through a tube to charge it with new strength and
healing vigour.' (Pages 58 59)
to THE RIVER OF
LIFE (pages 70-75) various ancient peoples including Egyptians and
Chinese did understand though not perfectly, the circulation of the
blood, and this about 4,000 years ago.
million units of
blood are transfused in the U.S.A. each year. These are given to less
than 3 million patients. Thus patients receiving blood transfusion,
receive on the average less than 2½ units each.
JOURNAL of the AMERICAN
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) says:
short term adult general hospital, the largest percentage of patients
receiving transfusions should be those receiving the single unit —
about 35% to 37%. About 25% will receive two, and about 12% will
receive three units of blood.' (May 31, 1971, page 1490)
blood does a
adult is roughly 7% whole blood by weight; hence a 70 kilogram man has
a measurable volume of 4,900ml, if he is neither very obese nor
cachetic.' (ILLINOIS MEDICAL JOURNAL April 1973, page 350)
(1970, page 798) gives the blood volume of:
is the red
oxygen carrying pigment in the red blood cells, which carries oxygen to
the entire body.
12 to 17gm of haemoglobin per 100ml of blood.
adult female has 11 to
15gm of haemoglobin per 100ml of blood.
for death or
injury from blood transfusion are not precise, but note the following,
which apply to the U.S.A.
1970, page 461:
whose figures you accept, the incidence of transfusion associated.
hepatitis can be as low as 0.05% or as high as 8%…the National Academy
of Sciences National Research Council estimates that blood transfusions
result in 30,000 overt cases of hepatitis end as many as 3,000 deaths
SAGA March 1972,
cites Dr. Albert Ehrlich, Director of Laboratories at St. Mary's
Hospital in Hoboken, N.J. that:
blood transfusions, that is transfusions of blood of the wrong type due
to technical or administrative errors, killed over 5,000 patients in
just one year.'
18, 1972, citing Dr. Garrott of Stanford University and also the
Government's Centre for Disease Control gives the number of deaths as
10,000 to 35,000 and the number of medically injured as 75,000 to
500,000 every year from transfusions.
certain other countries
the figures are even more critical. Nobukatsu Shimada of Keio
University in Japan, revealed that one out of every five patients
surveyed who were given blood transfusions in 1969, later contracted
is better off with only 1 case of hepatitis per 1,000 blood
ALTERNATIVES TO BLOOD
blood? The AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY (August 1971, page
24) gives these percentages for 1967:
2% (mostly for post-partum haemorrhage)
these patients would
any treatment other than blood suffice?
Medical News (October
Ringer's lactate solution has become as acceptable as whole blood in
shock and surgery patients. But the key question of why it is effective
and how much of the fluid to use remain controversial.'
JAMA (March 29,
reports that 13 Jehovah's Witnesses who lost from 21% to 66% of their
blood (that is up to 2600ml) were:
infusion of crystalloid solution alone, supplemented by colloid plasma
expander when necessary… Such solutions have varied in composition from
simple sugar-water (5% glucose in water) to complex balanced buffered
polyionic preparations (lactate Ringer's solution).'
preparations merely maintain arterial pressure and give the heart
something to pump. They do not contain haemoglobin and cannot transport
oxygen. Hence they may not suffice when a person has lost more than 2/3
of his blood.
in such cases
successful treatment is possible.
June 16, 1969,
page 2051 discusses 'Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Chronic Hemorrhagic
Shock.' This involves giving the patient pure oxygen to breathe under a
pressure of 2 atmospheres in a recompression chamber. This enabled
patients with hematocrit values of 7% to 10% to survive even though
prior to this treatment death seemed imminent. (Hematocrit value refers
to the % of red cells compared to the total blood volume, and is
anaemia (lack of red
oxygen carrying blood cells), red cell production can be assisted by
taking iron and liver shots, vitamin B12 and folic acid. Though an
adult has a hemoglobin level of 15 gram normally, one can survive with
as little as 2½ gram.
August 20, 1960:
loss of up
to 600ml (of blood) in the old or debilitated, or 1000ml in the healthy
patient, can be called moderate.'
the 19th century,
another medical practice known as blood-letting was common for all
sorts of ailments. Most patients survived. But they survived not
because of it, but IN SPITE of it.
Could the situation in blood transfusions now be similar?
recent years scientists
have been working with perfluorochemical compounds to produce a blood
substitute. These compounds can dissolve twice as much oxygen and
carbon dioxide as whole blood. Experimental animals have had 100% of
their blood replaced by perfluorochemical emulsions with no
identifiable ill effects. Perhaps this or some other preparation will
eventually supersede Ringer's lactate solution (which does not
transport oxygen or carbon dioxide) or even entirely supersede
blood-transfusion which as already shown can be dangerous. (See: AWAKE!
1973 June 22 & July 8)
are still other ways
in which blood transfusions can be and are being reduced in number:
By having more doctors at work during a serious operation. THE
ADVERTISER 19/7/72 mentions how an 11-man team of doctors performed a
successful heart operation without blood in 75 minutes.
Freezing parts of the body to be excised. Liquid nitrogen is
circulated through a metal probe. Applicable especially for deep
tumours in brain or body, or for complex malformation of blood vessels
in the brain. (See NEW SCIENTIST 1969, January 30, page 228) Tumours,
once frozen can in many cases be left in place.
Phototherapy for Jaundice seems superior to exchange transfusions
which have fatal results in 1% to 10% of cases. Even the feeding of
charcoal to the baby has good results. (See: THE PEDIATRIC CLINICS of
N.A. May 1972; MEDICAL WORLD 1967 February 17)
fulminant hepatitis, exchange transfusions do not increase the survival
rate. In one trial 8 out of 8 died who had transfusions but 9 out of 13
who had no treatment. (THE LANCET January 6, 1973)
Cutting and tying the cord immediately after childbirth leads to
unnecessary complication. It is better to wait until the blood in the
placenta has drained into the baby, thus supplying the baby with an
additional 90m1 of blood. The placenta, much reduced in size is then
delivered in ¼ to ½ the usual time. Furthermore, blood
transfusion for post partum haemorrhage is 'never necessary'. (NEW
SCIENTIST 1968, September 26)
of heart surgery
without blood transfusions:
Dec. 12, 1966
“ “ “
Aug 10, 1970
Aug. 8, 1970
How does this compare with
similar surgery with blood transfusions?
August10 1970, page
this series of Jehovah's Witnesses undergoing major vascular surgery
compare favourably with results in other patients who receive similar
has an article about Dr. Michael Debakey of Texas who in a 25-year
period performed 25,000 heart operations (presumably with blood
transfusions). His success rate for all types of heart surgery was 90%.
This is roughly equal to the percentages above for heart surgery
without blood transfusions.
15:29 and 15:20 "You
are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from BLOOD, from the meat
of strangled animals and from fornication."
Greek word 'apekomai'
occurs 6 times in the New Testament.
NOT mean 'don't
eat' but has a wider meaning:
'…keep away from fornication.'
'…avoid every form of evil.'
'…abstaining from foods which God created.'
'…keep yourselves free from the selfish passions that attack the
command not to eat
blood was given to Noah and to his 3 sons and applies also to all their
descendants. Genesis 9:1,3 4, 7, 9.
decide whether blood
transfusions violate this command, we must first find out WHY God wants
man not to eat blood. Consider the following reasoning:
God is the
source of life. Psalm 36:9; 16:11; 66:9; 103:4; Job 10:12; Ecclesiastes
Hence everything with
life belongs to God. Ezekiel 18:4.
soul or life is in
the blood. Genesis9:4; Leviticus 17:11,14.
follows that blood
with its life belongs to God. Animals and vegetation were given to man
to eat but not blood. Genesis 9:3 4
(Genesis 9:5) says 'YOUR blood of YOUR souls shall I ask back. From the
hand of ever living creature shall I ask it back.'
blood belongs to God
and God wants it back. How does God receive the blood back?
case of animals
slaughtered for food, the blood was to be poured onto the ground.
(Leviticus 17:13 14; Deuteronomy 12:15 16) In the case of human beings,
they were buried after death and hence the blood was no longer used.
Along with the body it returned to the ground or back to dust from
which it was originally made. (Genesis 2:7)
reason why God
commands not to eat blood:
'Because it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul in it.' (New
was and is sacred and
figured importantly in the animal sacrifices which brought temporary
reconciliation between God and man. These sacrifices and the pouring
out of blood foreshadowed the sacrifice and pouring out of the blood of
Hebrews 7:26; 8:3; 9:11 14)
God's command against blood. He refused to drink plain water and poured
it out instead because three men had risked their lives or their blood
in obtaining the water for him. 2 Samuel 23:13 17; 1 Chronicles 11:15
19. Hence one might ask: What comes closer to violating the command to
'not eat blood':
plain water acquired at the risk of someone's life?
Having blood put
directly into one's veins?
immediate or delayed morbidity and mortality accompanies every blood
ANNALS of the NEW
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, 1964 July:
some time and
effort to rid our medical culture of the unfounded notion that
transfusion is a tonic, or that it may reduce toxicity or hasten
convalescence or improve wound healing.'
NEW YORK STATE
MEDICINE, January 15, 1965:
be given if other therapy will suffice.'
JAMA 1970 (page
transfusion is not a necessary accompaniment to vascular surgery, but
indeed has certain disadvantages such as the risk of hepatitis.'
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY, August 1971:
by far the greatest risk of anything we infuse into patients, and yet
it remains a popular practice among us medicos… why use the stuff? For
patients who have lost some of their circulating volume we have
alternatives… Electrolyte solutions, Colloid solutions, plasma
CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY, 1972 page 714:
blood transfusion during and after perfusion has been accomplished in
Jehovah's Witnesses with no apparent increase in operative risks.'
THE BIBLE — Acts
A response to the above
was published in Investigator
127 which is also on this website.
For the truth about JWs and fair analysis keep coming to this website: