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Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Refuse Blood Transfusions?

By ashley.woods4     Dec 4, 2007 in Health
Would you refuse medical treatment even if it meant living with a disability or living a shortened life? Two patients have recently refused to receive a blood transfusion because of their religion.
Jose Maestre, now 51, was diagnosed with a face-eating tumor at the age of 14. His religious beliefs keep him from receiving the treatment necessary to remove this tumor. According to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph, the tumor is now 15 inches long and weighs 12 pounds.
However, there is good news! Dr. Iain Hutchinson, of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, believes he can treat Maestre using ultrasound waves.
Hutchinson runs a surgery research charity called Saving Faces and is very optimistic about the use of ultrasound waves. He says the ultrasound waves will coagulate the blood prior to the surgery and should allow the tumor to be removed without the risk of heavy bleeding. The removal of the tumor would take a 12-hour operation.
Ultrasound waves have never been used to remove a tumor as large as Maestre's, but Hutchinson will do everything he can to reconstruct Maestre's face and will preform the surgery free of charge.
Maestre is to appear in a Discovery Channel documentary titled, "The Man with No Face."
"It's very difficult to find out the truth about why he hasn't been treated in the past," said Rob Farquhar, producer of the Discovery Channel documentary which brought Jose to Britain in search of a cure.
He has been supported by his siblings since his mother's death. He was very close with his mother and took his religious beliefs from her and has relied on them throughout his life.
Not only did his religion hinder from him receiving treatment but also financial difficulties and misdiagnosis. Now he has the chance to have the tumor removed, free of charge and in accordance with his religious beliefs.
"I hope that he is well and in reasonable health, and if he wants to come and see me my door is open," Hutchinson said.
Another patient, Wang Fang, 27, from China has refused a blood transfusion as well. She was born with her feet facing backwards, but has learned to live with her condition and refuses to be called 'disabled.'
She said: "I can run faster than most of my friends and have a regular job as a waitress in the family restaurant. There is no reason to class me as disabled."
Fang, like Maestre, is a Jehovah's Witness. A doctrine of the Jehovah's Witnesses teaches that the Bible prohibits the storage, consumption, and transfusion of blood - even in the case of an emergency. The doctrine has been around since 1945 and a majority of Jehovah's Witnesses practice this doctrine.
The doctrine currently states, blood was reserved for only one special use, the atonement for sins, which led up to Jesus' shed blood.
More about Blood transfusion, Jehovah witness, Medical
 
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