The Associated Jehovah’s Witnesses for Reform on Blood (AJWRB) welcome and fully support Brett and Naghmeh King’s decision to allow blood transfusions for their son Ashya, should they be needed.
We acknowledge that these are dissident views not supported by the Watchtower Society, or Jehovah’s Witnesses as an organization. Taking such a position could lead to a judicial committee investigation on the charge of “apostasy” and the potential result of their being disfellowshipped and facing the subsequent extreme shunning Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known for practicing. Nonetheless, these parents clearly are prepared to put the needs of their child first despite the theological ramifications.
Other Jehovah’s Witness children have not been as fortunate. The cover of the May 22, 1994 Awake! Magazine features photos of 26 children who died as a result of refusing blood with the heading, “Youths Who Put God First.” Inside the Watchtower publication proclaims: “In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtrooms, with blood transfusions the issue.”
It is estimated that adherence to the blood doctrine has cost thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses their lives in medical situations where non-blood alternatives are either insufficient or simply do not exist.
Thankfully, as this case illustrates, the tide has turned among those called upon to support the policy with the lives of their children.