Insight on the News
“A Bad Idea”
Increasing concern over contaminated blood is forcing medical professionals to take a second look at the advisability of transfusing blood. Henry B. Soloway, M.D., editor of the journal Pathologist, noted that from its inception the transfusing of blood has been plagued with problems. “Early on,” he explains, “the transfusion of blood contaminated during collection and storage . . . caused numerous deaths from sepsis [infection] and endotoxic [poisonous] shock. The transmission of hepatitis B by blood and blood products caused considerable morbidity during World War II.” Even with the advent of technical measures designed to ensure a “safe” blood supply, the transmission of such diseases as AIDS continues.
New concerns have now surfaced over the long-term survival of cancer patients following surgery during which blood transfusions were administered. Soloway says: “There is a significant survival disadvantage when . . . transfusions are given to patients undergoing surgery for cancer of the lung, breast, and colon.” What, then, are the alternatives? Soloway concedes: “Jehovah’s Witnesses have insisted . . . that transfusion is a bad idea. Perhaps one of these days they will be proved to be wrong. But in the meantime there is considerable evidence to support their contention, despite protestations from blood bankers to the contrary.”
Actually, it is obedience to divine law that has kept Jehovah’s Witnesses free of the many negative consequences of blood transfusions. Leviticus 17:14 says: “You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh, because the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood.” And Christians were told to ‘abstain from blood.’ (Acts 15:28, 29) Clearly, God views taking blood in any form as “a bad idea.”
“A Gap in Evolution”
“The wings of the insects did not evolve from any extremities or from anything else. They began as exceedingly small appendages sticking up from the back.” So states the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, reporting on recent research as to how insects got their wings. “According to one theory,” the report says, “they could have used their prospective wings as a sort of flyswatter for catching insects, until they one day found that they could also fly and carry themselves up from the ground through the air or down from the trees.”
The report also shows that biologists are discussing the idea that the “prospective wings,” while too small for flying, could have served as solar receptors for warming up and energizing the body. What made them grow from miniature to full size? “Here is a gap in evolution that is hard to explain,” admits the report.
The Bible, however, clearly indicates how insects got their wings. “God proceeded to create . . . every winged flying creature according to its kind,” says Genesis 1:21. While years of scientific research have merely resulted in speculative theories and a “gap . . . that is hard to explain,” the Bible’s account fits the known facts. The marvelous design and function of insect wings give credit not to blind evolution but to an intelligent Creator.
Abuse of the Elderly
Older people are more and more becoming the victims of abuse and neglect. It is common nowadays to hear reports of the aged being mistreated, robbed, beaten, and murdered—even in lands where the elderly have traditionally been held in great esteem. In one Eastern country, “a social worker tells of an old woman chained up by her family for fourteen years and allowed only one bath a fortnight,” reports Asiaweek. It adds that a 60-year-old woman in another Asiatic land “died recently in an old people’s home. Her son and daughter-in-law didn’t even turn up at her deathbed.” The situation is no less true in Western lands. “About 1 in 25 elderly Americans is neglected or abused, either at home or in institutions,” says U.S.News & World Report. “Neglect is the most common form of mistreatment . . . But both physical abuse and sexual abuse are on the rise.”
Inhabitants of ancient Israel as well as members of the early Christian congregation were admonished to show respect, consideration, and honor for older ones. (Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:32; Ephesians 6:1, 2; 1 Timothy 5:1, 2) However, the apostle Paul foretold that in the last days we would come into “critical times” when people would move further and further away from God’s direction. (2 Timothy 3:1) One of the characteristics Paul singled out was that people would be “utterly lacking in . . . normal human affections.” (2 Timothy 3:2, 3, The New Testament in Modern English, by J. B. Phillips) Who can doubt the truthfulness of his words?