Monday, 9 March 2009

Good meat or good blood. You can't have both.

At the blood bank's Christmas party...

Once in a while, Jehovah's Witnesses visit me. They give me free comics, Watchtower and another one I can't recall the name of, and I give them copies of New Scientist in return. They're a nice enough bunch. One of them is pretty. They've invited me to their clubhouse a few times but I've never been. I suspect there might be an argument - there usually is when they visit - and there'll be a lot more of them than me if things turn nasty.

One of the things about the Witnesses is that they don't accept blood transfusions. It's on purely religious grounds but they do try to justify it with 'science' even though there's really no need. If that's your religion, stick to it. Hindus don't eat beef, Muslims and Jews don't eat pork, Jews I know won't eat lasagne (they can't mix meat and dairy) and there's no need for any scientific-sounding justification for any of that. It's just the rules of the religion and with religion, you either believe it or you don't. No justification is needed. I eat anything. No justification needed for that either. Which reminds me, I must ask the Witnesses how they feel about black pudding next time they come.

The Witnesses and the blood thing did make me investigate and you know what? There's no real science behind blood transfusions other than blood type matching. It's something that worked a long time ago and it just carried on being done. There's never been any kind of serious study of it as far as I can tell.

The thing is, if you're about to die from blood loss, would you turn away a transfusion even if it might contain something dangerous? I wouldn't, on the basis that without the transfusion I'm certain to die, whereas with it I might or might not. Playing the odds, I'd take the transfusion. Even if it gave me AIDS, I'd live longer with it than without it. I would like to think that the donor blood has been checked for deadly diseases where possible. It's not always possible but hey, we all have the same risk where a blood transfusion is concerned, right?

Via Mummy, it appears this is not to be the case in future. The Righteous will get the blood that's unlikely to contain vCJD, the rest of us can make do with used engine oil or Mazola or whatever they can find. There is to be a hierarchy of those worthy of saving in future and if you eat meat, you're not worth the trouble.

Take care not to cut yourself and remember, in an accident, don't worry about name, address or blood type. Just make sure to tell them you're a vegetarian.

That's the only religion the Righteous will accept.


Anonymous said...

Leg Iron,

Sorry to go off topic, but BBC radio 5 live investigated Common Purpose tonight, and it wasn't the whitewash people may have expected.

This just posted on Julia Middletons Official Common Purpose Website shows that now even the BBC are questioning her "Charity".

Leg-iron said...

Oh. It seems they don't like it up 'em.

Well they'd better get used to it. Playtime is over.

electro-kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dazed and Confused said...

I notice that there is one group in our midst's who are now openly forcasting a Military Coup In The U.K.

Why don't the righteous react to this in typical New Labour fashion?

North Northwester said...

"and there'll be a lot more of them than me if things turn nasty."

Luckily for you, JWs are pacifists; the rare kind - the ones who faced firing squads or whatever in the death camps and never, ever urged or supported violence of any kind.

I don't hold with pacifism per se - it's tyranny's handmaiden - but these guys were the real deal and died keeping their faith.

Unlike the usual commie phoney "We want Pace, man; except when British, American, Israeli, South African, Bolivian soldiers are being killed by da kids, which is actually kinda cool"

Anonymous said...

We ate beef right through the panic caused by animal feed suppliers allegedly mixing diseased sheep in with their products for cattle farmers. We could do that because the beef we ate came from cattle that only ate grass (and maybe grains) grown on the farm on which they lived. No need to do a Gummer, our children ate meat that was guaranteed not to be contaminated. That is the only was to be sure about the purity of your food. Biodynamic agriculture.

LI, from your line of work, I suspect you know that when it comes to biological assay you only know what’s there if you already know about it. Putting it another way, if there is no test for Antigen X you never know if it is there. Hence the comment from that Nobel Laureate featured here: there were more than 60 ‘unknown’ viruses in the original live-virus polio vaccine (that may have been responsible for the SIV:HIV transfer). They didn’t know, so they couldn’t test.

Like with the Factor 8 scandal, there can be a broad remedy like heat treatment of blood products to knock off unwanted proteins/viruses, thus destroying the nasties without knowing they are there (not done in the NHS on cost grounds, of course, hence haemophiliacs all got HIV). I suspect that there is more risk in blood transfusion than we really want to know about.

Apart from religious belief, the Jehova’s Witnesses have a point (I am not one, btw). When our elder son was born he had slight jaundice. The docs wanted a complete blood transfer. My wife refused it. A day later the baby was fine. That was 1981. What was in the blood? Who knows?

The solutions? Let the Righteous have their blood transfusions. As with athletes, it probably gives them more muscle and brain power, along with things they don't want. For the rest of us: know what you eat. And medicine? Tough one, as you say, and I would avoid blood products from UK except in the utter last resort. But then, I don’t have too long to go anyway.

North Northwester said...

Dazed and Confused said...
"I notice that there is one group in our midst's who are now openly forcasting a Military Coup In The U.K."

It's obviously a CIA/Daily Mail forgery using a tiny and unrepresentative minority to racially smear a great and beautiful faith.

Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Deny people safe blood transfusions & watch the blood donation rate drop.

Anonymous said...

Northwester 8.22

Would you also include the 'tiny and unrepresentative minority' rabbiting on about piano wire and lamp-posts? Shenley here we come! Oops. They closed it, along with all the other mental hospitals.

Stop Common Purpose said...

This is part of the NHS implementation of the Agenda 21 sustainable development policy which includes a reduction in the amount of meat consumed.

They are after the meat eaters because cows etc are supposed to exacerbate "man-made global warming".


PS More about Common Purpose, click on my name.

Anonymous said...

This is one of those scares that refuses to die, isn't it.

How many people have actually died from this? About sixteen, or something. As opposed to tens of thousands that were predicted?

It's not as annoying as global "warming" but it's the same techniques that are being used.

Henry Crun said...

"Jews I know won't eat lasagne (they can't mix meat and dairy) and there's no need for any scientific-sounding justification for any of that."

Except in the case of kosher, these were the world's first food safety regulations as laid down in the book of Deuteronomy. No fridges in Israel in those days so, storing meat in the same cupboard as milk meant that the milk tended to go off, especially if the milk was contaminated by the blood dripping from the meat.

Just common sense, if you think about it.

Dave said...

Henry Crun wrote "Just common sense, if you think about it."

I'm a somewhat lapsed Christian who has read his Bible through and through. It's my belief that the old Testament warnings about which foods to eat were merely common sense instructions on how not to die from food poisoning.
Don't eat pigmeat 'cos of the nastys that live in the muscles.
Don't eat/drink blood (like some African tribes do) unless you want to die of something horrible.
Good sense.
And yes, the JWs are wrong. If you're going to refuse anything- refuse to eat black pudding. A bllod transfusion isn't "eating" blood.
nad while we're at it. The Koran is an army training manual.

Leg-iron said...

African tribes - you mean the masai? They drink the blood of acttle mixed with milk. They don't take much and it's not really different to black pudding, which is made of pig blood. Human digestive systems can't cope with too much blood, we chuck it up if we take in too much.

The Old Testament contains a lot of useful advice if you don't have modern medicine. How to deal with 'discharges' (I guess they mean diarrhoea), what to do about lepers, avoid too much blood by draining the animal after killing it, avoid dodgy meats like pork because without modern farming and abbatoir practices there's a very good chance of catching something nasty, and so on.

But I'm digressing. Anonymous has the point - these blood transfusions have resulted in sixteen deaths in a population of sixty million. On that basis they want to segregate the transfusions so only those evil meat-eaters die.

It's the stuff of pulp fiction, but these days it's the stuff of government. I'd write a novel about it but nobody would believe it.

Anonymous said...


The following website summarizes over 900 court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witness Parents, including over 400 cases where the JW Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their dying children:


The following website summarizes over 500 Jehovah's Witnesses Employment related lawsuits, etc, including DOZENS of court cases in which JW Employees refused blood transfusions, and/or other cases involving Worker's Comp, medical, health, and disability issues:


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