If a Jehovah's Witness employer objects to transfusion...

If a Jehovah’s Witness employer objects to transfusion, should he be able to exempt his company’s healthcare policy from covering transfusions as some other employers now wish to exempt their healthcare from providing services that their religion objects to?

Yes, just as Catholics should not be required to pay for services the Catholic Church holds to be intrinsically evil.

It would be allowable if he only employs JWs, and only serves JWs in a religious capacity – just like the mandate allows. If he employs people of all creed, and serves all people, in a non-religious/secular capacity, then no – just like the mandate says :slight_smile:

What if the employer is Christian Scientist and believes in faith healing?

I would not work for a JW if they would refuse to cover transfusions. Blood transfusions SAVE LIVES; contraception, sterilization (Except in the extreme case where a hysterectomy must be done) and abortions DO NOT.

Recent court decisions in favor of a pharmacist who serves the general public not having to sell abortifacient drugs prescribed by doctors, suggest that SCOTUS might overturn that portion of the HHS mandate.

Should a generic “Christian” who believes in forgoing all medical care and using “faith healing” be allowed to withhold all medical coverage from her employees?

I understand there’s no clean cut answer to these sorts of questions, but I would suspect that there’s some kind of compromise to be had in terms of necessity and severity. At least superficially, contraception is not so much a medical necessity as a blood transfusion is (or having access to healthcare in any form, for that matter). Non-Catholics who work for devout Catholic employers could budget for the recurring cost of birth control, which itself is not a necessity. Non-JWs who work for devout Jehovah’s Witness employers would be met with an inordinate financial burden to budget for a transfusion which they may or may not need one day. Given that the circumstances which lead to the need for a transfusion are unplanned and entirely out of the control of the employee or those dependent on her, while the “need” for contraception or abortion are usually planned and entirely within the control of the employee, I don’t think the two are quite comparable.

All in all, I bet the courts will have to decide which situations the state has a weighted interest in and thus allow the state to force employers in providing certain procedures over others.

That employer should not be required to offer health insurance. I, like many others, would choose not to work for that employer; however, I do not believe in forcing employers to pay for medical services to which they have a religious objection.


As I understand such cases, this appeal to conscience is only allowed when there can be reasonable accommodation made. A grocery store with 20 employees working at any given time cannot force its one Muslim employee to handle alcohol or pork, nor could it force a Catholic pharmacist to dispense birth control if there are other pharmacists available. If you’re the only pharmacist and you just so happen to be Catholic, then you’re SOL.

I suspect that in the United States of RyanBlack we’d see a sudden surge in the Church of Christ Scientist membership :D:p

I would think that the courts would find a difference between the the two objections:

The Catholic church teaches that abortion is a moral sin of murder, while the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that transfusions are prohibited based on doctrine.

While the violation of transfusions for Jehovah’s Witness is distressing, a abortion rises to the level of unconscionable for a Catholic (and us Lutherans too, for that matter).

I’m not seeing the distinction. As I understand it, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions as they consider the blood of a creature its life force and therefore an affront to to the respect of life. A Jehovah’s Witness who procures a blood transfusion or even donates her blood is excommunicated. It would seem to me that this is perfectly analogous to the prohibition of abortion in a Catholic framework.

I guess the question that would answer this is if accepting blood products effects salvation as the Jehovah’s Witness understands it.

I think we all can agree that if the government is doing something that goes against the conscious of Catholics, other religious groups, and even liberty loving secularists that the government enterprise needs to be scaled back.

The facts that we can see that Jehovah’s Witnesses will be distressed under this law is another good indication that we must keep pushing back.

What is not analogous is that pregnancy is not a disease, contraception and abortion are not preventive medicine, and they aren’t treatments for illness or disease, whereas a blood transfusion is a recognized and even life-saving measure for illness and disease. Also, JW’s do not prohibit, as far as I know, an RN of their religion from administering transfusions to others. I worked with JW RN’s and they never refused to hang a blood transfusion. So there should not really be an objection to other people receiving transfusions and for employers to provide insurance coverage for them on their doctrinal grounds.

Agreed! :thumbsup:

That’s correct. However, various courts have found you can refuse it for yourself, but not for someone else, like a minor child.

The same thing goes for everyone…if working in a particular religious affiliation facility, that that religion has a strongly held belief, then I would think No, they can’t force anything to be paid (though they will now pay the violation fee that Obama has put into place for EVERONE to have “HIS” healthcare regardless of their choice) so no religion that is against health care or blood transfusions if employed by a religious facility, and their mission statement is clearly stated, then they won’t provide that service…But just as a Catholic can work for a secular work place, and that organization actually provides contraception, they don’t have to use all services offered. Same would go for JW’s, Science Christian or Seven day Adventist’s such as Loma Linda Hospital and school. Sorry if I sound confusing, but this administration has brought these things we actually have to think and worry about…so sad:(

Just wanted to say I love the Ostridge:)

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