I read with interest your July 1 CE module, (CE.Nurse.com/CE242-60), regarding patients who refuse blood. I worked in acute care for years, and while I sometimes administered blood products, I defended the right of patients who choose not to receive blood.
The Bible does prohibit the drinking of blood because it is both pagan and unnecessary. The term taking in of blood is a translation of words describing drinking of blood since that was the only form of ingestion practiced in those days. It would be an assumption to extend that term to include the modern practice of transfusion. Given the sanctity of life and the prohibition against murder as a commandment, the IV administration of blood would fall into the category of helping to preserve life.
I am uncomfortable with the distinction made between what is termed minor blood fractions and major blood fractions. If the definition of minor blood fractions is components that move between the circulatory systems of a woman and her fetus during pregnancy then red blood cells would have to be included in that group. A second point is that both minor and major blood fractions are essential to life, so the term minor appears arbitrary.
Given that the Jehovahs Witnesses changed their stance from forbidding to allowing vaccinations and organ transplants in the last century and more recently to allowing hemophiliacs to receive Factor VIII, their positions are certainly open to debate and criticism from both within and outside
Catherine Chase Bautista, RN