The Blood Issue

This is the original article on the blood issue produced back in the late 1990s, however we have left it here to show how things have developed since. For the latest situation please access their website.

The Elders who are leading the fight to get the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society to change their minds over the blood issue hoped to have an answer by early February. Now they realise that it is a complex matter and they have reported on their web pages,

(we) will post an announcement regarding the outcome of this effort as soon as possible. This is a very complex matter, and we have run into several unexpected delays due to reasons beyond our control.

They then go on to report

What follows is a draft of the letter that is to be sent to the Watchtower Society. It is expected that a few minor changes may be made by our legal counsel:

Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Watchtower Bible & Tract Society
25 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn, NY 11201-2483


My law firm has been retained by the Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood to represent them in a class action against the Watchtower, Bible & Tract Society.

This is a very diverse group of individuals who are represented by a group of elders and Hospital Liaison Committee members. They are opposed to the Watchtower Society’s policy of forbidding blood transfusions, and taking judicial action against members who make a personal and conscientious decision to accept blood when alternative treatments are exhausted or not available.

In different countries this issue has been presented to representatives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and there is an increasing concern about the Watchtower Society’s refusal to deal with this problem. Additionally, some in the group have concerns about possible judicial action being taken against them by representatives of the Watchtower Society.

It is not the purpose of this letter to discuss the theological reasons for the group’s position which are carefully spelled out at their Internet website “New Light on Blood.” Rather it is to express their earnest desire to cooperate in working out a compromise that will satisfy the needs of both parties, and avoid the cost and negative publicity of litigation.

The group is well aware of the unfortunate position the Watchtower Society finds itself in on this issue, and strongly suspects that fear of litigation from family members who have already lost loved ones is holding up reforms on this issue.

Still, they are sincerely and deeply convinced that a beneficial change can be made in a manner similar to that employed by the Watchtower Society when it revised it’s policy on issues like vaccination, organ transplants, and haemophiliac treatments.

They realize that any compromise reached must insure that the Watchtower Society remains financially viable. By the same token, they will not tolerate any scenario where hundreds, even thousands of their brothers and sisters must choose between disfellowshiping, and a necessary – and potentially life saving – blood therapy. It is for this reason they are already carrying on a large scale effort aimed at educating other Jehovah’s Witnesses as to all of the facts regarding blood transfusions, not simply those that support the official Watchtower view.

The group has asked me to convey their willingness to work with you in establishing a timetable for implementing the necessary reforms. In return, they ask that you negotiate in good faith, and agree not to take congregational judicial action against members of the group that present the suggested plan, their families, or those who are assisting them in the reform effort.

For their part, they would be willing to cease their efforts to inform other Jehovah’s Witnesses as to the problems with the doctrine, and pull down their official website.

I will await your timely response on this matter.

So will we and we will keep you up to date on developments.

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