February 5, 1997

Blood on the Altar: Confessions of a Jehovah's Witness Minister

Author Affiliations

Olney, Md


by David A. Reed, 285 pp, $24.95, ISBN 1-57392-059-2, Amherst, NY, Prometheus Books, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;277(5):425. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540290077038

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Jehovah's Witnesses

The dramatic and compelling title of this book conveys the author's view that the actions of the Jehovah's Witnesses have led thousands to die needlessly after refusing transfusions. While this is an interesting viewpoint with which many may agree, it remains of paramount importance that we assure the inherent right of any individual to decide what is done to his or her own body. Nonetheless, this book provides a valuable perspective on this unique faith, which may be helpful to health care providers who are confronted with the challenges of caring for Jehovah's Witnesses.

As a former Jehovah's Witness elder, the author recounts his experience based on 13 years as an insider in the organization. His first-hand knowledge and thorough research provide one with a full appreciation of this fascinating faith. The history of the religion is traced from its Adventist origins with important doctrinal deviations documented along