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My sister was a Jehovah Witness until she died in 1998. She was diabetic and needed triple by-pass surgery due to diabetes complications. There were no doctors locally who would perform the surgery since she refused blood, which makes this operation even more risky. Someone in her congregation (perhaps an elder) found a doctor 3-1/2 hours away who would perform bloodless surgery. Time was crucial and she was in a weakened state already. She went through the surgery with minimal loss of blood, however the following day she had cardiogenic shock and lapsed into a coma and died shortly thereafter.

 I firmly believe if she had a transfusion to boost her system she would have pulled through without the complications she experienced.

 Research by doctors M. Punjala, Dr. K. Shevde (New York City...Dec. 1st, 1999) reported that there was a significant difference of blood volumes in men and women undergoing cardiac surgery on both an absolute and relative basis. Women had significantly lower blood volumes than men even if they are the same height and weight.

 If one of the elders of the J.W. congregation had to witness a loved one dying right before their eyes (like we witnessed) as a possible result of NOT having a blood transfusion then perhaps they would open their eyes and see what traumatic effect this has on the families of one of their members. To stand there holding your loved ones hand, knowing your helpless in changing their religious decisions, and watching your loved one fade into death, is the most difficult and traumatic event any one can experience. There is one reason the J.W.'s 'rule' won't change on blood transfusions...it would mean countless members of the congregation died needlessly and those who had been there long enough to know their long standing policies would exit...their would be a mass exodus!!

 I don't think I'll ever get over what TURMOIL the J.W. BELIEFS HAVE CAUSED MY FAMILY...AND ESPECIALLY THE ISOLATION MY SISTER HAD FROM US. We didn't isolate her...her beliefs kept her from a relationship with her family for many, many years.

 At her memorial service in the congregation where she attended...there was not one J.W. to speak PERSONALLY to any non-witness family member. They spoke OF the family in the sermon but NOT TO the family. There is one exception...the pastor spoke to one of my sisters who is a FORMER witness (she was a witness for less than a year and this was well over 20 years ago) and he asked her if she would come visit. She told him she'd never be back. When I left the Kingdom Hall after her memorial service I 'dusted off my feet and wiped my hands' as I exited the doors.

 To add insult to injury...not one elder came to see my sister WHEN she had surgery before she died. Of all the Kingdom Halls in the state...not one elder was there at the hospital to pray beside her husband during or after her surgery.

  The ironic part of this entire situation is...When my sister (former witness) and I were on our way to be there during my other sisters operation, the sister in the hospital asked her husband where we were and he told her we were on our way. She asked for her family...not for a Jehovah Witness or an elder of the congregation.

  After her death I wrote the pastor of the congregation a lengthy letter and questioned him on several matters. One of the things I stated was..."She may have been baptised a Jehovah Witness, but blood is thicker than water and she knew in the end where True family love is because she called out for US and Not the witnesses".

  I was nearly caught up in her religion many years ago, however I investigated on my own and realized their in-correct teachings. Here is the problem...people get entangled in these type of organizations because they are bombarded with that particular sects material. Within their material are references as to where they obtain their information. Many assume that because of these references it must be correct information and won't follow up or seek 'outside' information such as a Christian bookstore.

  Even though I never grew up in a church, I was curious enough to research until I FOUND OUT THE TRUTH...not their (J.W.'s) truth, but what the Bible really had to say.
  Those who are vulnerable in being caught up in any teaching are:
    (1) Those having very little knowledge of the Bible.
    (2) Those who are dis-satisified with their own church and want other
    (3) Those who are going through a crisis...divorce, death, family
        breakdown, etc.
    (4) Young and in-experienced people

I'm sure there are many who can relate to these 4 'warning signs' of vulnerability...be aware, research on your own, not everything should be taken at face value. Jesus is the answer...not religion.

   I truly hope what I've written will enable others to see the injustice brought upon followers of some religious sects which require stiff regulations and to disobey them results in dis-fellowshipping them from their organization. It tears apart families, friends, and in the end it can be too late to remedy.


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