Scholar says Jehovah's Witnesses wrong about blood transfusions

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bible scholar Professor Michael Duggan, who teaches biblical literature at the Catholic St. Mary's University College in Calgary, Alberta, says the Jehovah's Witnesses have taken a bible reading out of context which the parents of Canada's first sextuplets used to back up their belief.

His comment is regarding the following text from Leviticus 17:10-14:

And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

Duggan says the passages refer to the blood of slaughtered animals. He also argues the "way the Jehovah's Witnesses read the biblical text is simply wrong."

"The point that I make to the physicians is none of these texts has to do with human blood," said Duggan. "Certainly, they never had to do with transfusions."

"What they have to do with is the handling of animals that are slaughtered and the cooking and the procedures in cooking the meat so as to be free of contamination and disease."

The parents of the sextuplets tried to stop the hospital from giving their babies a blood transfusion. The Government of British Columbia gave four of them transfusions. It only became public on Friday.

Two of the infants have died from ailments that physicians argued could have been helped by blood transfusions.

The parents are now asking the B.C. government for an apology, as their right to practice their religion has been interrupted.