Blood Fractions – Which ones can Jehovah’s Witnesses actually take?

This is a photo of the Our Kingdom Ministry for November 2006 which had a handy-dandy list of which blood fractions are acceptable and which ones are not. Notice that some fractions have a certain percentage point, like albumin being 4% of plasma. So I decided to do a little bit of digging to find out exactly what was in the rest of the blood components

Our Kingdom Ministry Nov 2006

Blood Plasma components

Blood plasma consists of these components:

  • Water (ca 95%)
  • Proteins
    • Albumins
    • Globulins
    • Fibrinogens
  • Glucose
  • Clotting factors
  • Electrolytes
  • Hormones
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Oxygen

The Watchtower only mentions Albumins, Globulins and Clotting factors as being a matter of conscience, so there must be something among the other components that is not a matter of conscience, something that a Jehovah’s Witness couldn’t possibly accept. Let’s go through the list.

Water

Plasma consists 95% of water. Is water something that Jehovah’s witnesses can not ingest or inject into their bodies? Definitely not. You’d die within days without water.

Proteins – Fibrogens

The two other types of proteins present in plasma – albumin and globulin – are OK for Jehovah’s Witnesses to use if their conscience allows it. What about Fibrogens? Fibrogens are a type of protein that is one of the clotting factors, and clotting factors are allowed, so fibrogens are also allowed.

Glucose

Glucose is sugar. I know of no ban against sugar among Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Although some of the brothers in the Governing Body could probably benefit from a lower glucose intake.)

Electrolytes

It’s what plants crave. Blood plasma’s got electrolytes. Blood plasma has got what plants crave.

Electrolytes are nothing but electrically charged minerals, found for example in many sports drinks, such as Brawndo- The Thirst Mutilator.

Hormones

Blood plasma contains regular human hormones. As far as I know there is no restrictions on hormone treatments. Insulin, estrogen, as well as thyroid and adrenal hormones help many people live healthy lives. The Watchtower does not condemn them.

Carbon Dioxide

It’s the gas you expell when exhaling. It’s what green plants loves and what’s causing such a ruckus in the Gaia worshiping population lately. But it’s not condemned in the Bible.

Oxygen

You need oxygen to survive for more than a minute. It’s not condemned in the Bible.

Conclusion about Blood Plasma

There is no single component in Blood plasma that is condemned either by the Bible or by the Watchtower. So if you in theory took all the components and mixed them together, it would be a mixture they consider completely OK to transfuse. However if you have the exact same components in blood plasma, for some reason it’s wrong. That’s like saying it’s wrong to eat bread, but it’s ok to eat flour mixed with yeast, sugar, salt, water, kneaded and baked in an oven. Just doesn’t make sense.

Red Blood Cells

Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are very simple cells. They don’t even have a nucleus with DNA in them. Apart from the cell membrane they only contain hemoglobin. Hemoglobin contains hemin. Since both hemin and hemoglobin are allowed by the Watchtower, the question is, is there something wrong with cell membranes?

Cell membranes

All human (and animal) cell membranes are made the same way, so if you eat one, you can eat the other. If you eat meat, fish, fowl, you are eating cell membranes that contain the exact same components as red blood cell membranes. Also it is impossible to remove all red blood cells out of meat, so if you have ever eaten meat, you have eaten red blood cells. Furthermore as you will see in the section about white blood cells, we humans also ingest other humans’ cells at least at some point in our lives, so the argument can’t be made that somehow ingesting human cells is different.

White Blood Cells

White blood cells

White Blood cells come in 5 different varieties:

  • Neutrophils (62%)
  • Lymphocytes (30%)
  • Monocytes (5.3%)
  • Eosinophils (2.3%)
  • Basophils (0.4%)

The thing about white blood cells is that all of them are transfered from mother to child via the breast milk.

Yes, Jehovah designed humans so that mothers feed their babies this blood fraction for several months. Breast milk contains all sorts of goodies that bootstraps and boosts the baby’s immune system, including white blood cells. One drop of breast milk contains around a million white blood cells.

And this is true for other species as well, cows, goats, you name it. If you have ever drunk milk, eaten butter or cheese then guess what, you have eaten blood fractions by the billions.

If the Watchtower wants to disfellowship people for eating blood fractions, then they must disfellowship everyone who has ever been breastfed, eaten butter, cheese or drunk milk.

Platelets

According to Wikipedia, platelets are “cytoplasmic fragments of bone marrow megakaryocytes”. This means that they are tiny parts of bone marrow that break off and enter the blood stream.

What does the Watchtower say about bone marrow?

Animal bone marrow was apparently used for food by the Israelites. (Compare Mic 3:2, 3.) It has a very high nutritional value, being rich in protein, fats, and iron. Jehovah’s banquet for all the peoples, therefore, fittingly includes symbolic “well-oiled dishes filled with marrow.”​—Isa 25:6.

The Israelites ate bone marrow. Micah 3:3 describes how they used to do:

Micah 3:3 – Smashing their bones, crushing them to pieces, Like what is cooked in a pot, like meat in a cooking pot.

And in Isaiah 25:6 it says:

In this mountain Jehovah of armies will make for all the peoples A banquet of rich dishes, A banquet of fine wine, Of rich dishes filled with marrow, Of fine, filtered wine.

So Jehovah offers you platelet-filled bone marrow. Will you accept it?

Conclusion

There doesn’t seem to be one single blood fraction that is actually prohibited by the Watchtower. Therefor the four main components – Red and white blood cells, plasma and platelets – can’t be wrong to use either. So if anything, only whole blood could be said to be prohibited.

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood…

Blood is truly life giving, and as you can see from this brief overview. The Watchtower says “There was only one use of blood that God ever approved, namely, for sacrifice“, but as you have seen, God has even created us to automatically transfuse blood to our offspring, so apparently the Watchtower is jumping to false conclusions. Their previous, more strict view of blood fractions has already cost the lives of thousands of brothers and sisters. Some day you may give your life for a policy that they may change a day later. This kind of frivolous deaths for religious reasons is no different than the human sacrifices to Molech that Jehovah condemns over and over again.

But notice that the Bible only ever prohibits the eating of blood, so using it’s components for medical purposes would be in line with the principles we learn in Matthew 12:10-12:

10 and look! there was a man with a withered hand! So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath.”

The Jewish rabbis had a principle called “Life before law”, which mean that when life was on the line, you were allowed to break the law. They tested Jesus by seeing if he would heal on the Sabbath. If it was a matter of life and death they would also agree that it was right to save the life of someone on the sabbath. But Jesus elevated this principle as he healed the man, even though it wasn’t life threatening. “It’s lawful to do a good thing on the Sabbath.”

If it is ok to break the law to cure an infirmity, then it is much much more ok to break the law to save a life.

If the religious leaders who were so headstrong that they opposed Jesus were asked if it was right to use a blood component to save a life, they would say an emphatic yes! Isn’t it then sad that the religious leaders that call themselves the “Governing Body” believes that it is better for you to die than to use blood components?

If Jesus were here, he’d run into their conference room with a whip of ropes, flip the table over and drive them out while shouting curses at them for sacrificing thousands of their followers to Molech. That’s what he’d do.