I need to write a paper on how specific cultures confict with medical practice, and I need an interesting topic!! Some examples include doctors dealing with jehovah’s witness patients; how it’s against their religion to have blood transfusions, or christian scientists, who are not allowed to have any medical treatment. Basically, anything where science conflicts with culture. Any ideas? Thanks! =)
It would be a mistake to suggest that Jehovah’s Witnesses have any conflict with science. In fact, around the globe they have excellent programs in place to cooperate with and assist the medical community in developing and implementing alternative medical technologies which respect their religious beliefs.
Again, Jehovah’s Witnesses have NO CONFLICT with "science". They simply believe that the scriptures demonstrate a clear pattern indicating the sacredness with which Jehovah God views all creature blood.
Predates Mosaic Law.
For example, over a thousand years before the birth of Moses, the pre-Israel, pre-Jewish, pre-Hebrew man Noah received what the scriptures record as only the second restrictive command on humans (after Garden of Eden’s tree):
"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it [that is, lifeblood] and of man" (Genesis 9:3-5)
Later, God’s feeling regarding blood was codified into the Mosaic Law. This part of the Law dealing with blood was unique in that it applied, not just to Israel, but also to non-Jewish foreigners among them. It’s also interesting that besides forbidding the consumption of blood, the Law also mandated that it be ‘poured out on the ground’, not used for any purpose.
"No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood. Any man also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust." (Lev 17:12,13)
By comparison, it’s significant that the Law also forbid the consumption of ceremonial animal fat, but that didn’t apply to non-Jewish foreigners and it DID allow the fat to be used for other purposes.
"The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the people of Israel, You shall eat no fat, of ox, or sheep, or goat. The fat of an animal that dies of itself, and the fat of one that is torn by beasts, may be put to any other use" (Lev 7:22-24)
Early Christian era.
The Christian era ended the validity of the Mosaic Law, but remember that the restriction on eating blood preceded the Mosaic Law by over a thousand years. Still, does the New Testament indicate that Jehovah God changed his view of blood’s sacredness?
"[God] freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses" (Eph 1:6,7)
"[God’s] beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood" (Colossians 1:13-20)
"we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood." (Acts 15:19,20)
"For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity." Acts 15:28,29
Some will claim that the bible’s command to "abstain" from blood only applies to eating it, and does not apply to the use of blood for other purpose. If that form of respect for blood were common among Christendom, one might wonder then why so many (who ostensibly follow the book of Acts) so happily eat their blood sausage and blood pudding if they truly respect blood according to some limited understanding of Acts 15:20,29. In fact, respect for blood and for Acts and for the Scriptures themselves is too rare among even supposedly god-fearing persons.
An honest review of the Scriptural pattern over the millenia from Noah to the Apostle Paul teaches humans that blood is to be used for a single purpose: acknowledging the Almighty. Otherwise, for centuries the instruction was to simply dispose of it; ‘poor it upon the ground’. When Jehovah’s Witnesses pursue non-blood medical management, they are working to honor and obey their Creator.