Last week, I read an article about a Jehovah’s Witness woman who died following complications with her surgery. According to her doctor, her death could’ve been avoided had she agreed to have a blood transfusion.
This article got me questioning whether these people actually become doctors due to such religious restrictions. Since I had never met a Jehovah’s Witness doctor before, I consulted some colleagues who subscribe to this religious group.
After my research, I decided to write this article for anyone wondering, “Can a Jehovah’s Witnesses be a doctor?”
A Jehovah’s Witness can be a doctor. However, they have to navigate thorny issues such as blood transfusions, which they base on Acts 15:20. Furthermore, the religion’s stance on higher education stops many from pursuing medicine.
Join me in uncovering whether Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to be doctors. I’ll also look at other acceptable career paths for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Are Jehovah’s Witnesses allowed to become doctors?
Yes. Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to become doctors. The Watchtower doesn’t stop members from going into medicine.
In fact, they teach that since Luke was a physician, Witnesses can go into medicine. However, those in this profession are encouraged to exercise discernment regarding practices such as blood transfusion, which the religion forbids.
Are there any Jehovah’s Witnesses who are medical doctors?
Yes. Some witnesses are medical doctors. However, their practice is influenced by the religion’s stance on blood transfusions. As such, fewer Witnesses go into this field.
Additionally, the Watchtower Society dissuades members from pursuing “secular higher education.” Therefore, Witnesses rarely go into fields like medicine that require college and university degrees.
Can a Jehovah’s Witness be a nurse?
Yes. As mentioned, religion doesn’t stop Witnesses from going into nursing. However, like doctors, these nurses adhere to the religion’s teaching on blood transfusions.
Due to these constraints, few Witnesses choose a career in nursing. Additionally, the religion’s stance on higher education makes it impossible for most Witnesses to pursue nursing.
Can a Jehovah’s Witness nurse administer blood?
Yes. A Jehovah’s Witness nurse can administer blood. However, they can only do it to a non-witness.
The Watchtower categorizes this as an “Issue of the conscience” and rationalizes it based on Deuteronomy 14:21, where God commands the Israelites not to eat meat from an animal that’s already dead: “Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. But you are a people holy to the Lord your God.”
However, they can sell or give it to foreigners.
Does being a doctor go against Jehovah’s Witness doctrines?
No. As mentioned, the religion upholds Luke, the physician, as an example to Witnesses. However, these doctors navigate ethical and moral dilemmas in their careers, especially regarding blood transfusions.
As such, fewer Witnesses go into medicine.
What other careers are Jehovah’s Witnesses allowed to pursue?
The religion places greater emphasis on ministry. Therefore, members are encouraged to pursue careers that allow them enough time to engage in door-to-door ministry.
Additionally, Witnesses are discouraged from pursuing higher education since they believe the world will soon end and most degrees won’t be of value in the new world.
As such, the Watchtower encourages members to pursue trades like carpentry, construction, plumbing, and electrical work.
What careers are Jehovah’s Witnesses discouraged from pursuing?
The Watchtower discourages Witnesses from pursuing careers in the military, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling industries.
Additionally, Witnesses are discouraged from careers that interfere with their ministry work. In fact, the Watchtower upholds Witnesses who’ve quit their jobs in favor of ministry as examples for others.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.