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Jehovahs Witnesses - position overview

Jehovah's Witnesses firmly believe that blood has sacred meaning, and that it should not be removed from the body and stored, nor should donor blood be taken in during a transfusion. Therefore, Witnesses do NOT accept blood products containing major blood fractions (see chart below) or any technique that involves blood storage.

The chart below further defines the position of Jehovah's Witnesses. It lists which techniques are clearly acceptable (there are many!) and which are a matter of personal decision.

Blood-oxygen monitoring devices
  • Transcutaneous pulse oximeter
  • Pediatric ultra-microsampling equipment
  • Multiple tests per blood draw (batching)
Hematopoietic agents
  • IV Iron (InFed, Ferrlicet, Venofer)
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin C
  • Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (Neupogen)
  • Interleukin-11 (Neumega)
  • Recombinant stem-cell factor (Stemgen)
Operative and anesthetic techniques
  • Hypotensive anesthesia
  • Induced hypothermia
  • Mechanical occlusion of bleeding vessel
Hemostatic agents for bleeding/clottingTopical
  • Avitene
  • Gelfoam
  • Oxygel
  • Surgicel
  • Desmopressin (DDAVP)
  • e-aminocaproic acid (Amicar)
  • Tranexamic acid (Cyklokapron)
  • Vasopressin (Pitressin)
  • Aprotinin (Trasylol)
  • Vincristine (Oncovin)
  • Conjugated estrogens
  • Vitamin K (Phylonadione)
  • Recombinant Factor VIIa (NiaStase)
  • Recombinant Factor IX (BeneFIX)
Volume expanders: Crystalloids
  • Ringer's lactate
  • Normal and hypertonic saline
Volume expanders: Colloids
  • Dextran
  • Gelatin
  • Hetastarch (Hespan, Hextend)
  • Pentastarch
Oxygen therapy
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Perfluorocarbon solutions (Oxygent)
Surgical devices and techniques
  • Electrocautery
  • Ligasure vessel sealing system
  • Laser surgery
  • Argon beam coagulator
  • Gamma knife radiosurgery
  • Microwave coagulating scalpel
  • Endoscope
  • Arterial emobolization
  • Cryosurgery
  • Ultrasonic scalpel
Medical products and therapy
  • Albumin
  • Any drug buffered with albumin (e.g., Epogen/Procrit, Kogenate)
  • Immune globulins
  • Natural clotting factors
  • Cryoprecipitate
  • Plasma protein fractions (Plasmanate)
  • Tissue adhesives
  • Natural interferons
  • Hemoglobin-based blood substitutes
  • Platelet derived wound healing factors
Medical tests
  • Red or white blood cell tagging
Surgical procedures
  • Dialysis and heart-lung equipment
  • Intraoperative blood salvage (Cell Saver) without storage
  • Hemodilution (if blood is not stored)
  • Therapeutic apheresis

Based on a table created by Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center and Hospital Information Services for Jehovah's Witnesses.


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Review Date: 6/28/2011
Reviewed By: Frank A. Greco, MD, PhD, Director, Biophysical Laboratory, The Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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