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Can A Jehovah’s Witness Be A Doctor?

Jehovah’s Witnesses are committed people of faith.

They are different from other Christian denominations in many ways.

For one, they don’t participate in politics. None of the followers is allowed to serve in the military. The church claims that both careers clash with the Bible.

The denomination also has strict guidelines when it comes to healthcare.

The biggest one, of course, is its opposition to donor-to-patient blood transfusion.

This begs the question of whether Jehovah’s Witnesses can be doctors.

Let’s investigate…

Can A Jehovah’s Witness Become A Doctor?

Yes, a Jehovah’s Witness can become a doctor. The church has no objection to both medicine and medical treatment.

As such, its followers are allowed to pursue a medical career if they desire.

As a matter of fact, they believe that Luke, one of the disciples of Jesus, was a doctor.

If he made it to the ‘Big 12’, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have an issue with a career in medicine.

However, practicing medicine is not an easy undertaking for the followers of the faith.

The religion strongly opposes blood transfusion. According to them, the Bible forbids it.

Learn more here: Jehovah’s Witness Beliefs on Blood Transfusion Explored

Therefore, any treatment that involves transfusion of blood isn’t allowed.

The denomination is against anything involving the transfer of plasma, white blood cells (WBCs), and packed red blood cells (RBCs).

Doctors and surgeons rely on donor blood to treat a wide range of issues.

That means that Jehovah’s Witnesses who are doctors cannot perform procedures that involve blood transfusion.

They can treat patients as long as they don’t go in this direction. As such, most of them don’t get into surgery.

Those that do must find a way of performing procedures that don’t require donor-to-patient blood. This is a pretty tough undertaking.

One faithful member of the religion chose surgery as his lifelong career. He shared his life on the official Jehovah’s Witness website in an article entitled “My Life as a Surgeon.”

After watching his father treat patients growing up, he chose to become a doctor and later a surgeon.

By the time he’d become a surgeon, he wasn’t a baptized Jehovah’s Witness.

He thus performed procedures that involved blood transfusions. However, he later got baptized and declined to perform such procedures.

Because of that, he got in trouble with the hospital he was working for.

At some point, his license and certifications were stripped from him.

He had no option but to practice medicine among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Obviously, these didn’t include blood transfusions.

This is one example of the challenge of being a doctor as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Sure, there are followers of the faith who practice medicine. They only decline treatments that require donor-to-patient transfusions.

Some are forced to resign when they deny patients their chosen treatments. Others find alternatives that don’t need transfusions.   

The past few decades have seen the introduction of ‘bloodless medicine’ in many parts of the world. The facilities administer treatments that align with Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs.

The followers of the faith attend these hospitals. Expectedly, the doctors in these hospitals are also of the same faith. They are forced to come up with alternatives for blood transfusion.

 These include the use of lab technologies to draw minimal amounts of blood, pharmaceuticals that include synthetic hormones to help the body produce more red blood cells, and anesthesia (use of volume expanders, normovolemic hemodilution, and hypotensive anesthesia).

This has opened up a new world of possibilities for the medical fraternity.

Some of the strategies work and the team of doctors have operated without blood and came out successful.

Sadly, other times, they have watched as patients die over a situation that a blood transfusion would have taken care of.

Bloodless medicine has actually been shown to offer great benefits in the world of medicine.

Research shows that patients that don’t get donor blood have fewer infections and recover much faster than those that do.

Therefore, in hindsight, Jehovah’s Witness Doctors that stand on their beliefs have been a blessing to the medicine industry.

Wrap Up

Jehovah’s Witnesses strongly oppose the transfusion of blood to save lives.

They would rather die than use the blood of another person.

This complicates medical treatments a lot, especially surgical procedures.

Well, Jehovah’s Witnesses doctors exist. These have found ways to practice medicine despite their faith.

And some strategies have become a blessing to the medicine industry.

Here are other Jehovah Witness posts you may want to check out:

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe In Vaccinations?

9 Jehovah’s Witness Dietary Restrictions You Probably Didn’t Know

50 Questions Jehovah Witnesses Cannot Answer

How to Navigate Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses

 

Faith Zion

Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.

Faith Zion
Faith Zion is a passionate expert in African culture, history, and mythology, with a focus on ancient African history. As a PhD candidate in History, she has dedicated her academic journey to unraveling the mysteries of African art, religion, and mythology, particularly during the Predynastic period. With years of experience in the field, Faith's extensive research has enriched her knowledge in various mythological traditions, including African, Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese, and more.
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