Seems to be a popular topic these days. Anyhoo, was watching Law & Order SVU on Friday and saw that a suspect claimed to be a Jehovah’s Witness so that he didn’t have to give a DNA sample (a swab from inside of his cheek, so it didn’t involve giving blood). My question is, why? And also, does this mean that there are a bunch of Jehovah’s Witnesses out there who have never been tested for HIV?? Remind me never to sleep with one. And what happens if a JW ends up in the ER and is incapable of telling the doctors not to take blood? Do they think they go to hell or something if that happens?
Things may have changed since I disassociated myself when I was fourteen (about 13 years ago), but I don’t recall their being any issues with taking blood out, just with putting it in.
In fact, when I was twelve I contracted a mysterious illness that was causing me to sleep about 20 hours a day. I gave enough blood in the course of them trying to figure that out to refill a small a village.
Can’t say that DNA testing ever came up, but I don’t a reason why it would be a problem.
Watchtower, June 1978
“Would it be wrong to submit to a blood test?’
Based on their knowledge of the Scriptures, most of Jehovah’s Witnesses, if not all, do not object to such tests. The small quantity of blood removed from the body is not eaten or injected into someone else. It is merely examined or tested before being disposed of.—Deut. 15:23”
Basically JWs don’t object so long as the blood is disposed of without profit and isn’t injected back into someone. But from the wording of the above it seems that this only applies to most JWs, so some presumably do object and presumably have never been tested for HIV or a range of other potentially fatal and infectious illnesses. Given the fact that any JW that strict in her beliefs is hardly likely to be doing heroin or sleeping around anyway the likelihood of HIV infection would be miniscule. However the fact that she could be suffering from a range of other diseases that could never be diagnosed is more worrying IMHO.
They all carry little legally binding cards with them refusing the right to blood. These have been carefully written of follow the laws of the country of residence and have been used succesfully in court cases in AUstralian Canada and the US when transfusions were admistered against there wishes. Some actually carry these in those little medic-alert bracelets/pendants but the’re normally carried in wallets, purses etc.
No. Firstly JWs don’t believe in hell in the way I suspect you mean. Secondly nothing that is done to a person against their will is considered to be grounds for damnation according to JWs. So long as you try your best and act according to what you believe God wants you’re clear. I know of at least one occasion where a JW made a decision of conscience to accep a blood transfusion. This was frowned upon and the church requested special study and prayer sessions to examine his decision, but nothing more ever came of it. HE remained a memeber of the church in good standing.