Help re Jehovah's Witness and death

  1. Dear All
    Im wondering if anyone can help me with some information I need. A am writting an assignment on addressing needs of particular groups, I have chosen Jehovah's Witnesses.

    I am wondering if this group has particular needs when a relative dies in a healthcare setting?
    Also do they believe in cremation? or burial only?

    any assistance would be greatly apprecaited as IM using this as a way of educating my self and my peers.
    thankyou
    Nicki
    Australia
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Sassy5d
    There is nothing special at all when it comes to the death of a jehovahs witness.. anywhere they happen to die.

    There's also nothing special about funeral arraingements..

    The one very important thing that has to jw and healthcare is that it goes against their beliefs to get blood.. So no blood transfusions..

    Sorry i can't give you much more information.. when it comes to jw there's nothing really different in terms of care.
  4. by   texas_lvn
    Is it just blood? I thought they were not allowed to have organ transplants, give blood, and so on? I may be wrong. OP, have you googled this yet?
  5. by   nurselala33
    I can answer this one because I studied the JW's belief system. I am not a nurse. But they believe in buiral just like most. They are against Blood transfusions, organ donations, bone marrow transplants ect...anything to do with the blood... Other than that there is nothing really different. You can google and get all the info you want.
  6. by   PANurseRN1
    The only proscription is blood transfusions. Organ donation and bone marrow transplants are conscience decisions. There are "bloodless medicine" centers across the country that can do organ donation without blood, and The Hospital of the University of PA has bloodless bone marrow procedure that is done by Dr. Patricia Ford.
  7. by   pyrolady
    Most cities have Jehovah Witness places of worship or there are people who are of that belief around. Maybe you might want to interview one for their input? I've always found that to be a great way to get information and they can answer questions l:l ......
  8. by   Mizzyfrufru
    my grandfather is a jw and i know that he has refused to attend weddings/funerals of relatives in churches. according to him if the service is not held the kingdom hall they don't enter.
  9. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from Mizzyfrufru
    my grandfather is a jw and i know that he has refused to attend weddings/funerals of relatives in churches. according to him if the service is not held the kingdom hall they don't enter.
    This has nothing to do with meeting the healthcare needs of a JW.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I had to do this project in school as well, and i approached an 'elder' of our local JW Kingdom Hall. He provided me with all sorts of printed info on blood, surgery, death, etc that helped to answer the questions for my project, and the questions i that i personally had.
  11. by   Jo Dirt
    I was raised a JW. They believe that when you die you are totally unconscious and will be until the Resurrection when the earth will become the paradise it was in the days of Adam and Eve and this is how all the righteous will spend eternity.
    Don't know where they will put all those people...

    Also, I never figured out why or asked, but there are no windows in a JW meeting house.

    My mom and cousins and relatives still abide by those beliefs but I don't. I like the reserved atmosphere of the JW church, though. When my kids go to "church" it is the Kingdom Hall.

    I'm also against blood transfusions but not for religious reasons...
    Last edit by Jo Dirt on Oct 14, '06
  12. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from motorcycle mama
    I was raised a JW. They believe that when you die you are totally unconscious and will be until the Resurrection when the earth will become the paradise it was in the days of Adam and Eve and this is how all the righteous will spend eternity.
    Don't know where they will put all those people...

    Also, I never figured out why or asked, but there are no windows in a JW meeting house.

    My mom and cousins and relatives still abide by those beliefs but I don't. Though I like the atmosphere of the JW church, though. When my kids go to "church" it is the Kingdom Hall.

    I'm also against blood transfusions but not for religious reasons...
    The reason there are no windows was a practical reason...helps to avoid break-ins and vandalism. If you've ever sat through a religious service and had a brick thown through the window by people yelling hateful things, you understand why this is a good idea.

    Although, as I said earlier, this has nothing to do with meeting the healthcare needs of this population.
  13. by   LPNtoBSNstudent
    Thank you for posting this. I think it is important, being nurses, to know other cultural and religious beliefs regarding death and healthcare. Though I am agnostic, I will continue to look at this and other postings related issues and studies such as this.
  14. by   smk1
    There really isn't anything different you would do for the death of a JW. As far as the blood issue goes there is a website that will give you the breakdown of the different treatments that contain blood fractions etc.. I think it is www.noblood.org. It is important to remember that while virtually all JW's will refuse a blood transfusion as it is against their faith (anyone claiming to be a JW who does not refuse a transfusion of blood is going directly against the faith), there are certain treatments that contain fractions that are up the individuals conscience. So you may see some who accept certain fractional treatments and others who won't. Bloodless surgery methods have come a long way and unless you are in a genuine emergent situation you hopefully will have quite a few options anyway and not just blood transfusion. In any case the important thing to do is ask if they have a medical directive and go through the different treatments with each individual to find out if they are acceptable to that person.

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