Jesus said that “persons in health do not need a physician, but the ailing do.” (Matthew 9:12) He thereby implied that there is no Scriptural objection to getting help from medical professionals. Thus, Jehovah’s Witnesses gladly accept medicine and medical treatment. They want to maintain good health and to prolong life. In fact, like the first-century Christian Luke, some of Jehovah’s Witnesses are physicians.
However, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept types of treatment that conflict with Bible principles. For example, they do not accept blood transfusions because the Bible forbids the taking of blood to sustain the body. (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:1-14; Acts 15:28, 29) God’s Word also prohibits health treatments or procedures that involve the use of “uncanny power,” or spiritism.
Many health-care professionals provide lifesaving treatments that do not conflict with Bible standards. Such treatments, which many Witnesses choose to accept, are often of a better quality than those that ignore what God requires.
Of course, there are many opinions when it comes to matters of health. What may benefit one person might not help another. Thus, individuals searching for an accurate professional diagnosis and treatment of an illness may wish to get a second medical opinion.
Not every Witness will make the same medical choices. Where no Bible law is at stake, God’s Word allows for differences of conscience among Christians. (Romans 14:2-4) Each individual, therefore, should investigate any proposed treatment and ensure that it does not conflict with his or her Bible-trained conscience.
A Witness will view the making of each decision as if he were a driver approaching a busy intersection. If he just followed the cars ahead and sped through the intersection, he could cause serious damage. A wise driver will slow down and evaluate the flow of traffic before proceeding. Likewise, Witnesses do not rush into making medical decisions, nor do they blindly follow popular opinion. Instead, they weigh their options and examine Bible principles before making a decision.
Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly appreciate the hard work and dedication of those who provide medical care. They are also grateful for the welcome relief from illness that those individuals provide.
What do you need to know in order to make an informed decision about your medical treatment?