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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium
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    www.thestar.com

    Father shunned by family for defying faith to save child
    Carol Harrington
    CANADIAN PRESS
    CALGARY Shunned by the Jehovah's Witnesses he once embraced, he's a now lonely man, ignored by family and friends as if he were a wandering ghost.

    He's been "lost" for almost a month, since defying his faith by agreeing to blood transfusions for his 16-year-old leukemia-stricken daughter.

    The 51-year-old Calgary father, who cannot be named under laws protecting her identity, knew he would pay a high price. Even the girl whose life might be saved by his decision sometimes says she hates him.

    "I was under tremendous pressure," he said in a recent interview. "Because I knew that if I went against what the church taught, that I would be excommunicated and no Jehovah's Witness would ever speak to me again, including my family."

    His wife now comes home only to do laundry. His other two daughters, 14 and 22, want little to do with him.

    They have banned him from his daughter's hospital room when Witness meetings are piped in over the speaker phone. Meetings occur several times a week and some last all day.

    He goes to work at an architectural firm but is ignored by friends.

    "It's as though I don't exist."

    Any Jehovah's Witness who challenges such tenets as that against blood transfusions, which they believe is set out in several Bible passages, is shunned.

    "When I made the decision with a clear conscience, I went into my daughter's hospital room. My whole family was there, and I told them about my decision, saying: `No matter what happens with this case, I still love you, each and every one of you.'

    "And their reply, each of them, was: `We hate you and we'll never speak to you again'."

    Doctors say the best available treatment to combat the potentially fatal disease is blood transfusions and chemotherapy. His daughter has received those treatments several times over at Alberta Children's Hospital.

    According to the girl's lawyer, when she is taken to the operating room for a transfusion, she uses what little strength she has to resist.

    "They semi-sedate her, hold her down on the bed and they give the blood transfusion," said David Gnam, whose Ontario law firm in Georgetown, works primarily for the Jehovah's Witnesses. "She's not trying to die. She would like treatment that would respect her wishes."

    In mid-February, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia after going to hospital for what she thought was a throat infection.

    A pediatrician told the family that there is a 40 per cent to 50 per cent survival rate with blood transfusions and a 65 per cent chance with a bone marrow transplant. They rejected the suggested treatment, saying they were Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Then the father reopened his Bible to Acts 15:28, a passage Witnesses cite for refusing blood transfusions. Over and over, he read:

    "For the Holy Spirit and we ourselves, ask a favour adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from the things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you."

    The words he had read hundreds of times since becoming a Witness 20 years ago in Ontario in Belleville and accepted: no heavenly paradise for those who accept another's blood.

    "I was struggling with those scriptures and reading others that talk a great deal about the sanctity of life, how important life is."

    Finally, he concluded it would be wrong, even cruel, to watch his daughter die without trying to save her.

    Had she agreed to transfusion, she too would be disowned by her mother and sisters. "She's lived such an isolated, controlled life all her friends are Jehovah's Witnesses."

    He talks to his daughter each day by phone. Sometimes she gets angry, telling him: "I hate you."

    Then there are kinder, gentler moments when she says the opposite.

    [ April 18, 2002 at 12:17 PM: Message edited by: laner ]</p>

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! twonabomber's Avatar
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    12.08.16 @ 03:21 AM
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    i'd say gimme the blood, and i don't give a fuck who approves of it. next question, please...
    "is this a good show tonight, or fuckin' what?" - DLR, Montreal, 11/10/07

    Toronto 10/7...Cleveland 10/10...Toronto 10/12...Montreal 11/10

  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    Wow. That must've been quite a struggle for him. I hope after all this, that she survives and lives a happy life... and that she can understand that her father did this for her out of love for her, and forgive him or at least accept what he did for her.
    "May you die at age 128, in bed, shot to death by a jealous lover" DLR 2002

  4. #4
    Eruption
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    10.05.17 @ 11:44 AM
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    That's the problem with blind faith, you can't think for yourself. I say, question everything. Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given unto you.
    Your favorite band sucks.

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    09.15.15 @ 08:40 AM
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    i agree xaminer. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    Donor

    Originally posted by xaminer:
    That's the problem with blind faith, you can't think for yourself. I say, question everything. Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given unto you.
    Certainly you can see the oxymoron in that statement? Question blind faith and even oppose it, but then quote scripture that supports it, as a lesson to live by. lol. That was a good one.

    I'll tell ya what, those witnesses are really a strange element. I dont know if strange is fair or not to say, but I went to school with some of them (the few that went to public school) and man.....it was so strict it was almost painful for them. Not sure if they would ever define life as happy. I just could never get into a religion that was developed post or pre christ. That guy did the right thing in my book. I dont think God would punish him for trying to save her, and I dont think he would punish him for having a lesser degree of faith or whatever than the rest of those whacko's. Who knows...I guess we all find out in less than 80 years or so guaranteed though eh?
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

    Gunter glieben glauchen globen

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Having kids myself, I know I'd do what was necessary to try to save their life, too. I don't understand JW or the Amish people when it comes to medicine and such.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<br /><br />God Bless the USA!!!!<br />~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  8. #8
    Eruption Dimoncutr's Avatar
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    10.06.14 @ 12:51 AM
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    Donor

    I love my family. All heart and sole. Not only would I take a bullet for them, I would use one.

    NUFF SAID!!

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:38 PM
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    Originally posted by seenbad:
    [QBI dont think God would punish him for trying to save her, and I dont think he would punish him for having a lesser degree of faith or whatever than the rest of those whacko's. Who knows...I guess we all find out in less than 80 years or so guaranteed though eh?[/QB]
    The last part of that quote is the key. You say "who knows", but they think they do know. While I agree with the posts 100%, and I am horrified by the behavior of the family, it is hard to judge them for it. They TRULY think they KNOW that they will go to hell if they get a transfusion.

    And, ANGEL4U, would you still do "anything" if you were 100% convinced that by doing so you are damning your child to hell? Would you literally sign away your child's soul to the devil so he/she could live? I hope with all my heart that I'll never be in that father's position, and my set of beliefs is basically similar to all of yours, in that I'd do anything for my child, but theirs is not.

    Tough call, eh?

  10. #10
    Baluchitherium
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by Incredible Edible Dude:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by seenbad:
    [QBI dont think God would punish him for trying to save her, and I dont think he would punish him for having a lesser degree of faith or whatever than the rest of those whacko's. Who knows...I guess we all find out in less than 80 years or so guaranteed though eh?
    The last part of that quote is the key. You say "who knows", but they think they do know. While I agree with the posts 100%, and I am horrified by the behavior of the family, it is hard to judge them for it. They TRULY think they KNOW that they will go to hell if they get a transfusion.

    And, ANGEL4U, would you still do "anything" if you were 100% convinced that by doing so you are damning your child to hell? Would you literally sign away your child's soul to the devil so he/she could live? I hope with all my heart that I'll never be in that father's position, and my set of beliefs is basically similar to all of yours, in that I'd do anything for my child, but theirs is not.

    Tough call, eh?[/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]It sure is a tough call. If I try to take the perspective of a JW, I still think that I'd do everything to save my child, just like this man wanted to. In my opinion, if the majority of the world is getting/has had some form of medical treatment and I was "not allowed that for my child" I'd risk it. I'd probably feel like the majority of the people in this world are going to Hell for seeking medical treatment anyway, why not one or two more?
    Seriously, I don't know much about other religions and their "rules" persay, I just know I don't agree with everything my religion teaches, either. I'm sure there are JW that question their beliefs and teachings, too [img]smile.gif[/img]

    [ April 19, 2002 at 08:06 AM: Message edited by: ANGEL4U ]</p>

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:38 PM
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    The problem is that the people we are talking about, the hard-cores, truly believe. They believe as strongly about their tenants of faith as we do about everyday things we can see hear feel touch. It's hard for us to understand because very few of us have that stong of a set of beliefs, we all question. Let's put it this way. I think (not positive) that blood transfusions are a very big deal to JW's. I mean a huge part of their belief systems goes strongly against it. Let's take that to "our world".

    Let's say that, in order to save your child, a little girl, you have to agree that she will have a great first day or two after the "saving act", but thereafter she will be abused - physically, sexually, and psychologically - for THE REST OF HER LIFE. No chance at redemption, no way out, zippo, she's stuck. Put that way, would you make the same decision? I wouldn't, I think most of us wouldn't, thinking "she'll be in a better place". God, I have trouble even writing this. THAT is exactly what the hard core believers think. They don't "think" she'll go to hell for eternity, they KNOW it, and they see it as clear as we see child abuse, or whatever.

    Organized religions, greatest cause of death known to man.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    Originally posted by Incredible Edible Dude:
    Organized religions, greatest cause of death known to man.
    hmmm, that's an interesting topic of conversation right there.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:38 PM
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    Originally posted by laner:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Incredible Edible Dude:
    Organized religions, greatest cause of death known to man.
    hmmm, that's an interesting topic of conversation right there.</font>[/QUOTE]Yeah, I get myself into more trouble at parties playing Devil's advocate like this. Usually here I can leave that to FORD.

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium
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    well, but i think it's a good point. especially when you talk about this particular situation. in this case, i'd definitely agree with you. but yeah, FORD's good at that.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:38 PM
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    Originally posted by laner:
    well, but i think it's a good point. especially when you talk about this particular situation. in this case, i'd definitely agree with you. but yeah, FORD's good at that.
    I actually believe that more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other reason. I wish I thought that up, but I heard it or read it somewhere, and, being enamored of taking unpopular positions in arguments, I latched right onto it. My "Devil's Advocacy" was more in trying to present the family's beliefs in a way that made sense. It's hard to do when you don't think it makes any sense.

 

 

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