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No Blood for the Glove

What about emergency care for MJ's children?

by Firpo Carr

July 15, 2010

As one of Jehovah's Witnesses Michael Joseph Jackson would not have taken a blood transfusion under any circumstances. But what if his children--Prince, Paris, and Prince Michael--needed urgent medical care? Michael told me he wanted his children raised as Jehovah's Witnesses. But, for obvious reasons, some in the medical community view this potential reality as a tough pill to swallow.

The Witnesses, based on their understanding of the Bible, don't accept blood transfusions. Neither are their children immune from this prohibition. Does this mean they object to medical care? No. Jesus said: "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do." (Luke 5:31, Contemporary English Version) When Witnesses or their children get sick, they go to the doctor.

"Many Witnesses work in the medical field as nurses, paramedics, doctors, and surgeons," states the August 2010 Awake! "However," it continues, "Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions. ‘Abstain from blood,' the Bible states. (Acts 15:28, 29) Interestingly, a growing number of physicians view nonblood medical care as the ‘gold standard,' for through it the many health risks associated with the use of blood products are avoided." Probing further into reasons for the Witnesses' stance--examining how they operate--elucidates matters.

Ancient Enlightenment?: According to the book, Egyptian Erotica: The Essence of Ancient Egyptian Erotica in Art and Literature (2004) by El-Qhamid and Joseph Toledano, blood was used as medicine in ancient Egypt. Another book, Ancient Egyptian Medicine (1996) by John F. Nunn, reveals that ancient papyri "lists blood [both human and animal]...used as a medication." Would faithful Israelites accept this medical use of blood?

First Testament Prohibition: Absolutely not. The Mosaic Law forbade the medical use of "any sort of blood" (Lev 17:10, 14), human or animal. Both kinds of blood are called dam in Hebrew. The Nile River was turned into this dam (blood), with no distinction being made as to whether it was human or animal. And although liquid, blood--like gravy or wine sauce--could be eaten with flesh. Hence Jews were forbidden to "eat the blood of any sort of flesh. " (Lev 17:10-14)

The fact is, God commanded the Israelites to poor blood out on the ground. (Deut 12:16, 23; 15:23) Why? Because out the body it was toxic. Therefore, it had to be buried, just as toxic disease-carrying fecal matter was. (Lev 17:13; Deut 23:12, 13) Today, blood is still considered toxic, and medical personnel who handle it regularly aren't allowed to donate.

Out Of Body: As I wrote in this column over a year ago, "whatever fluids leave the body in the natural physiological sequence of things are never meant to be reintroduced back into it according to Israelite ‘medicine.' This holds true whether it is saliva (compare Num 12:14; Deut 25:9); tears (compare Isa 25:8; Ps 42:3; 56:8; 80:5); semen (compare Gen 38:9; Lev 15:16-18); sweat (compare Gen 3:19); vomit (compare Prov 26:11; Isa 28:8); pus (compare 1 Ki 22:35; Job 5:18; 34:6; Isa 3:7); vaginal fluids or secretions (compare Lev 15:19-26); [urine (2 Ki 18:27; Isa 36:12)], and, of course, blood. (Gen 9:5, 6; Lev 17:10-14)." Were Christians, too, prohibited from accepting blood transfusions?

Second Testament Prohibition: Since the vast majority of Christians were either Jews or Jewish converts who adhered to the Mosaic Law, they were already abstaining from blood. Gentile Christians were to do likewise. (Acts 15:23)

Consequently, the inspired Christianized Jewish physician Luke recorded that Gentile Christians were instructed to "keep [that is, keep on, or continue] abstaining ... from blood," just as Jewish Christians had continued to do. (Acts 15:29; Col 4:14, New World Translation) In other words, ‘Follow the trend of the Jew-turned-Christian who keeps abstaining from blood.'

Dr. Luke repeated this restriction--virtually word-for-word--at Acts 21:25, but this time he used phylasso (to ‘guard', ‘look out for,' or, ‘avoid') instead of "abstain" (apecho) at Acts 15:29. Christians guarded themselves and their children from blood.

Jehovah's Witnesses don't refuse blood out of sheer cussedness. They know complications occur when well-intended 21st-century medical professionals try to re-infuse blood into the body.  The magic of modern-day medicine is no match for the superiority of God's laws.

So, the Blood on the Dance Floor (1997) Michael sang about was not to be infused back into anybody's body. Moreover, when it comes to transfusions, the Gloved One wouldn't want anyone to lay a hand on his children. You don't Wanna Be Starting Something (1983), now do you? Peace and blessings to all. Amen.