Bloodless surgery gains more adherents

More hospitals across the country have begun “bloodless surgery” programs, typically in an effort to fulfill the needs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said Dr. Nicolas Jabbour, who started Oklahoma’s first hospital-based program at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

“Most patients are Jehovah’s Witness patients, but the public in general is becoming more aware and informed about bloodless surgery,” he said.

In bloodless surgery, the patient does not receive a transfusion of allogeneic blood — that which is donated from a blood bank.

Jabbour said he became interested in bloodless medicine a decade ago at the University of Southern California and began to study ways to minimize blood transfusions.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood

“[T]he Jehovah’s Witnesses organization prohibits the use of blood transfusions. Individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are expected to die or let their children die, rather than break this command, even though the Scriptures nowhere teach that blood transfusions are wrong.”
Four Dangers of the Jehovah’s Witness Organization

He was part of the university’s team that performed the world’s first bloodless, live-donor liver transplant in a Jehovah’s Witness in 1999.

He has performed 30 bloodless liver transplants with 100 percent success, he said.

“There are a lot of studies that show that using less blood or no blood can be better for the patient,” he said.

Because blood is an immunosuppressant, the transfusion of donated blood raises the risk of infection and might
increase the risk of tumor recurrences in cancer patients, he said.

However, Jabbour emphasizes that people should not fear blood transfusions.

“This does not mean that blood is bad. It saves millions of people’s lives every day,” he said. “Overall, it is a very safe product, but it is not 100 percent safe.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Theologically, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult of Christianity. The oppressive organization does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity in any way.

Sociologically, it is a destructive cult whose false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths.

In order to be able to support its unbiblical doctrines, the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization has created it’s own version of the Bible. The so-called “New World Translation” is rejected by all Christian denominations.

Jabbour’s interest in bloodless surgery has been driven more by the fact that blood often is in short supply and can be expensive.

“Blood is a precious, finite product. People shouldn’t think it is plentiful, cheap or doesn’t present some risk,” he said.

Elective surgeries often are canceled because of the shortage of blood, he said.

Alternatives to blood transfusions are necessary to avert problems resulting from shortages or to appease patients who for religious or personal reasons do not want transfusions, Jabbour said.

“Bloodless medicine is not just a marketing tool,” he said.

“It not only helps the Jehovah’s Witness community, but it may impact overall blood conservation.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday May 16, 2007.
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