True Christians do not consume, donate or transfuse blood, because God Himself consistently made it clear for humans to "abstain from blood". God began with commanding Noah and his family to abstain from blood. (Gen. 9:4) He repeated this through the Mosaic law (Lev. 7:26, 27; 17:10, 11, 13, 14) and He continued to remind us through the pages of the New Testament. (Acts 15:28, 29; Acts 15:19, 20) This is because God has obviously attached a highly important moral principle to blood. (Lev. 17:11)

Because this command went as far back as Noah, Andrew Fuller, viewed by some as "perhaps the most eminent and influential of Baptist theologians," wrote:

"This, being forbidden to Noah, appears also to have been forbidden to all mankind; nor ought this prohibition to be treated as belonging to the ceremonies of the Jewish dispensation. It was not only enjoined before that dispensation existed, but was enforced upon the Gentile Christians by the decrees of the apostles, Acts XV. 20. . . . Blood is the life, and God seems to claim it as sacred to himself." - The Complete Works of the Rev. Andrew Fuller (1836), p. 751. (See the 1977 WTBTS publication Jehovah's Witnesses and the Question of Blood.)

How Important is it to "Abstain From Blood"?

A close examination of the wording used at Acts 15:28, 29 shows how important it is for Christians to "abstain from blood": 

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these ESSENTIALS ['these necessary things' - RSV]: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." - Acts 15:28, 29 (NASB)

The wording of the Scriptures here does not indicate that this is a relatively unimportant commandment. It says it is "ESSENTIAL".

What About Blood Transfusions?

There is no fundamental difference between the eating or drinking of blood and from accepting a blood transfusion. The methods of delivery may be different, but there is no basic difference when it comes to the principle of abstaining from blood. (Acts 15:29) "Abstain" is the actual word used. 

For instance, suppose you were told by your doctor that you must abstain from alcohol. Would you be obedient if you quit drinking alcohol but had it put directly into your veins? 

Or suppose that you have dangerous allergic reactions to a medication, and were warned to abstain from that drug in the future. Would you then rationalize that you would avoid taking the medication orally but could safely inject it into your bloodstream? Of course not. The main point would not be the route of administration, but that you should abstain from that medication altogether. 

The exact same principle applies with the decree for Christians to ‘abstain from blood’ whether through the mouth or directly into the bloodstream. 

Not a Suicidal Position

Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for abstaining from blood.The fact that Jehovah's Witnesses want to live is evidenced by their closely following the advances made in the field of bloodless medicine and surgery. There are endless examples and much documentation of their utilization of this.

Some critics of Jehovah's Witnesses have made false accusations concerning Jehovah's Witnesses' motivations in abstaining from blood. But would Jehovah's Witnesses REALLY be so eager to find quality, medical alternatives to blood transfusions for themselves and their children whom they deeply love if their refusal of blood was tantamount to a form of suicide or a "right to die" as some opposers falsely claim?

Christians who truly follow God's command to "abstain from blood" do not decline all therapies. They reject only one therapy (blood transfusions), which even many experts admit come with dangers.


What Does the Bible Say About Blood Transfusions?

Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses accept blood transfusions?


Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept any minor fractions of blood? (w04 6/15 pp. 29-31; Watchtower Online Library)

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood? (w00 6/15 pp. 29-31; Watchtower Online Library)

In the light of Bible commands about the proper use of blood, how do Jehovah’s Witnesses view medical procedures using one’s own blood? (w00 10/15 pp. 30-31; Watchtower Online Library)

BLOOD (Insight-1 pp. 344-346; Watchtower Online Library)

Do You Value Life as God Does? (lv chap. 7 pp. 74-85; Watchtower Online Library)

I Accepted God’s View of Blood - A Physician Tells His Story g03 12/8 pp. 12-15; Watchtower Online Library)

Showing Respect For Blood (bh chap. 13 pp. 125-133; Watchtower Online Library)

The Growing Demand for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery - Blood and Jehovah’s Witnesses (g00 1/8 pp. 7-11; Watchtower Online Library)

Blood Transfusions—A Long History of Controversy (g00 1/8 pp. 4-6; Watchtower Online Library)

Blood Fractions and Surgical Procedures (lv pp. 215-218; Watchtower Online Library)

BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

BLOOD (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

Blood (Reasoning From the Scriptures p. 70-p. 76; Watchtower Online Library)
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