Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

I had forgotten that the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) forbid blood transfusions, but this article in last Sunday’s New York Times reminded me. It’s about physicians who are performing bloodless operations to accommodate the JWs who can’t receive blood.

The piece starts with the tale of Rebecca Tomczak, a JW who needed a lung transplant because her own lungs had been destroyed by the disease sarcoidosis. After shopping around, she finally found a hospital that would operate on her without giving her extra blood.

The article discusses the refusal of JWs to accept blood, a stand that is, of course, based on scripture:

The reason: Ms. Tomczak, who was baptized at age 12 as a Jehovah’s Witness, insisted for religious reasons that her transplant be performed without a blood transfusion. The Witnesses believe that Scripture prohibits the transfusion of blood, even one’s own, at the risk of forfeiting eternal life.

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