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Bioethics and Law

Jehovah’s Witnesses value life and actively seek quality medical care for themselves and their children. They accept the vast majority of medical treatments, including surgical and anesthetic procedures, devices, and techniques, as well as hemostatic and therapeutic agents. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that allogeneic blood transfusion (i.e., whole blood, red blood cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma) and preoperative autologous blood deposit (PAD) for later reinfusion are prohibited by several Biblical passages.

Ethical, legal, and social factors for health-care professionals to consider when treating patients who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.


The medical section of is designed as an informational resource primarily for use by clinicians and other health-care professionals. It provides neither medical advice nor treatment recommendations and does not substitute for an appropriately qualified health-care provider. The clinical literature cited is not published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it outlines transfusion-alternative strategies that might be considered. It is the responsibility of each qualified health-care provider to maintain awareness of new information, discuss options for care, and assist patients in making choices in accord with their medical condition, wishes, values, and beliefs. Not all listed strategies are appropriate or acceptable to all patients.

Patients: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health-care provider regarding medical conditions or treatments. Check with a doctor if you suspect you are ill.

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