Blood is vital. Without it, none of us could live. As the Creator, God has the right to say how blood may be used. What has he said about blood? Can it be eaten or transfused? And how can you make good decisions on this matter?
1. What is Jehovah’s view of blood?
Jehovah told his worshippers in Bible times: “The life of every sort of flesh is its blood.” (Leviticus 17:14) To Jehovah, blood represents life. Since life is a sacred, or holy, gift from God, blood is also sacred.
2. What use of blood does God forbid?
Jehovah commanded his pre-Christian worshippers not to eat blood. (Read Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 17:10.) He confirmed this command when the governing body instructed Christians to “keep abstaining . . . from blood.”—Read Acts 15:28, 29.
What does it mean to abstain from blood? If a doctor told you to abstain from alcohol, you would not drink it. But would you eat foods that contained it or have alcohol injected into your veins? Obviously not. Likewise, God’s command to abstain from blood means that we should not drink blood or eat meat that has not been bled. Nor should we eat any food to which blood has been added.
What about the medical use of blood? Some procedures clearly violate God’s law. These include the transfusion of whole blood or any of its main components—red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma. Other medical procedures may not be a clear-cut violation of God’s law. For example, some procedures involve the use of fractions of one of the main components of blood. Other procedures involve the use of a person’s own blood. When weighing these options, each of us must make a personal decision.a—Galatians 6:5.
Examine how to make medical decisions regarding the use of blood.
3. Make medical decisions that please Jehovah
How can you make medical decisions that harmonize with God’s view? Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the importance of taking the steps that follow.
Pray for wisdom.—James 1:5.
Research Bible principles and how they apply.—Proverbs 13:16.
Find out what options are available where you live.
Identify which options are clearly unacceptable to you.
Recognize that no one—not even your spouse, an elder, or your Bible teacher—should tell you what decision to make in matters of conscience.—Romans 14:12.
Put your decision in writing.
4. Jehovah’s Witnesses seek quality medical care
It is possible to adhere to God’s law about blood and receive quality nonblood medical care. Play the VIDEO.
Read Titus 3:2, and then discuss this question:
Why should we show a cooperative and mild spirit when dealing with medical professionals?
Christian to decide
A. Blood plasma
Fractions from plasma
B. White cells
Fractions from white cells
Fractions from platelets
D. Red cells
Fractions from red cells
5. When blood fractions are involved
Blood has four main components—red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma. These components contain many smaller parts, called blood fractions.c Some fractions are used in medicines that help to fight diseases or help to stop bleeding.
When it comes to blood fractions, each Christian must make his own decision based on his Bible-trained conscience. Some may decide to refuse a medical treatment or procedure that involves blood fractions. Others may feel that their conscience allows them to accept fractions.
When making your decisions, consider this question:
How would I explain to a doctor why I reject or accept the use of certain blood fractions?
SOMEONE MAY ASK: “What’s wrong with accepting blood transfusions?”
What do you think?
Jehovah wants us to avoid misusing blood.
Why does Jehovah view blood as sacred?
How do we know that God’s command to abstain from blood applies to blood transfusions?
How can you make good decisions about the medical use of blood?
c Some doctors view the four main components of blood as fractions. Therefore, you may need to explain your personal decision not to accept transfusions of whole blood or of red cells, white cells, platelets, or plasma.