|A SOFTENING of the Watch Tower Society’s iron hard rule on not to accept blood transfusions threatens to split the organisation.|
It is reported that the society is keeping recent changes, which allows Bulgarian Witnesses to accept blood without fear of disfellowshipping, away from its members in other countries, so to avoid upsetting them.
In Denmark, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have worked hard for their right to refuse blood transfusions. It has become a uniting sign of their identity that is now under threat.
The Bulgarian fall has had ripple effects in Denmark, but the Witness leaders have until now kept information about what has happened from the Danish members.
We have chosen to not inform the members, since this case does not add anything new, explains the Danish Witnesses’ information secretary Michael Björk.
|Björk says that the members who accept blood once are no longer automatically expelled:On the contrary they need spiritual guidance, says Björk.Sören Bo Henriksen, leader of the support group for former Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand hopes this softening for the Bulgarian witnesses also will spread quickly to Denmark, that angry members force their leaders to abolish the transfusion ban. Lodberg also believes that the Bulgarian example will spread to Denmark.The latest death in Denmark was a 24 year old woman at the hospital in Hvidovre, when she refused blood when giving birth in October 1996.|
However, the prohibition has no doubt been most controversial when parents have tried to prevent their underage children from receiving blood transfusions. In Sweden, social authorities have intervened to make sure that children who need it receive blood.
Source – “The Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood”