Brett King has declared that he would allow his son to receive blood
Brett King has declared that he would allow his son to receive blood

The Ashya King story has taken another surprising twist, with the Mirror reporting that Brett King WOULD allow his son to have a blood transfusion if his life were at stake.

“I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, but I’m a father first – and I’d do anything for my son,” Brett, 51, told the newspaper.

“If a child needs treatment they should give them the treatment. It’s not for the parents to say. We just want the best for Ashya.”

This revelation, which comes as the King family are in the Czech Republic awaiting the first of 30 sessions of £70,000 radical proton beam therapy for five-year-old Ashya, poses an intriguing dilemma for Watchtower.

Do they punish Brett by disfellowshipping him on his return to the UK for defying organizational teachings so as to make an example of him? Do they somehow coerce him to recant his heresy publicly? Or do they yield to common sense and use this episode as a catalyst for introducing urgently-needed reforms on blood?

It would be nice to think the latter option would be the obvious one, but when you have an organization headed up by a deluded group of men who consider themselves God’s mouthpiece, anything is possible.

Brett King is certainly not the only active Jehovah’s Witness who would defy the Governing Body on this issue, even if he is arguably the first to do so publicly. Of the 675 active JWs who have so far taken part in our 2014 Global Survey, 58% said they would not allow their child to die for want of a blood transfusion.

blood child

And 40% of the same group have said they would either secretly or openly accept blood personally if their lives were at stake.

blood stance

The Governing Body would no doubt like to think they are in full control of the thoughts and decisions of their followers, even in life-or-death situations. Mercifully, it seems this is not entirely the case.

But this crumb of comfort in no way negates the urgency of the situation. Watchtower MUST yield to common sense on the blood issue, and stop the abhorrent sacrifice of any more precious human lives on the altar of “obedience.”









Further reading…

82 thoughts on “Brett King says his son Ashya WOULD receive a blood transfusion if needed

  • September 14, 2014 at 5:07 am

    To most people, the logical thing to do would be to allow people, free from punishment, to accept the medical treatment they want and then leave it in God’s hands, but to JW org this poses a huge problem and potential law suits. Afterall, how many countless followers had already sacrificed their lives or the lives of their children to the Society’s erroneous rules on blood. Do they cut their losses, come clean and humbly admit their mistakes, or carry on in the same blood guilty fashion? Well I think we all know the answer. They are not nicknamed the Governing Haughty for nothing. Their history shows that they will consistently choose money over the interests and lives of their own members. So sad.

  • September 14, 2014 at 5:09 am

    I am sure the majority of JWs would not let their children die for a blood transfusion. The blood policy is just another huge mistake that GB has done. Just another pyramidology or Beth Sarim kind of interpretation. Human craziness in other words.

  • September 14, 2014 at 5:32 am

    I wonder where the supportive HLC are now. I wonder have they withdrawn their presence. You can bet your bottom dollar they made themselves known when this family was making decisions. Also is this blood fractions he has accepted. From what I have read it needs to be whole blood in these circumstances. If it is blood fractions have the media reported correctly. I secretly hope it is whole blood, because when others do not see a bolt of lightening come out of the sky, maybe they too will think for themselves, although with the heavy presence of the HLC I suspect that is not easy.

  • September 14, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Dont know. He spent three nights in prison, now he is publically saying he will allow a transfusion? Government coersion? I would allow the same for my child, but something is fishy.

  • September 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Well i am glad this brother awaking up from this False religion.

  • September 14, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Why will any formal action against the family be needed? They just need to do a local needs talk on the risks of associating with those who do not follow the guidance of the GB. Every one will treat them as if they’re DF’d, but allowing the GB to have plausible deniability.

  • September 14, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Well, he apparently would have said that to ONE reporter… if the two witness rule is good for rape victims, it is certainly good for this guy. He can simply say that he did not say that. That the reporter did not understand what he meant correctly. That his “anything” comment was in regards to running away with the kid across the continent, not about blood transfusions.

  • September 14, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I wrote my undegrad dissertation on the JW blood stance and very clearly remember reading a paper describing how a good 50% of JWs lose their resolve in the Emergency Room and accept blood, with this being particularly pertinent in the case of pregnant women, based on data collected by medical professionals.

    What I don’t understand is how do the JWs get around medical confidentiality and hospital visiting times. If I were badly injured and was taken to hospital, I wouldn’t be allowed to have friends and relatives in the theatre. Could most witnesses just say to the HLC committee lackeys that they won’t take blood and when visiting hours are over just consult the haemotologist and inform him/her that blood is ok?

    Cedars, nice one again mate. Top site.

  • September 14, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Hi to all, I think we may overlook the big issue by wondering what watchtower may do. If blood will save the child`s life it will be given and this surely is what we would have hoped. Power is slipping albeit slower than we would wish from the Brooklyn Dodgers. I am sure if one of these despots needed a blood transfusion it would be taken in great secret. Some JWs are “more equal than others” to put an Orwellian slant on it. These are so obviously very loving parents I wish them all the very best. Is not one live child much more important than a perceived standing in a congregation?


  • September 14, 2014 at 7:02 am

    My mate and I cannot be the only ones who experienced a sense of craziness (ie: cognitive dissonance) when we heard the new blood policies about ‘fractions’ read out loud at a meeting. If one were to decide their conscience allows them to accept all of the fractions now available, what really is the difference between that and taking blood whole? Anyone? We got no comment from the elder we posited that question to.

  • September 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

    The W,t, cites the command to Noah. for the ban on the taking in of
    blood. Claiming it applies to all Noah’s descendants, in that case
    why were alien residents and foreigners allowed to eat animals found
    dead and therefore unbled.? Deuteronomy, 14/21.

    It’s unmistakeable that there’s not a blanket ban on the taking in of
    blood and the W,T, have missed the point. Finding an animal already
    dead, one is not responsible for taking It’s life. But when we kill an
    animal for food we are responsible, and the pouring out of it’s blood
    is a “Symbolic” gesture showing “Respect for Life”

    Although allowed to eat animals for food, wanton killing is prohibited.
    Blood transfusions are 100% in line with the principle of “Respect for
    Life”. No one is killed and blood is freely donated.

    If Mr, king allows a transfusion for his son, he commits no sin. But the
    W,T, Org, are blood guilty over and over again.

    In view of Mr, King’s public announcement that he would allow blood,
    Thereby and rightly claiming, that his sons life is more important than
    W,T, doctrine. Will the Org, charge him with apostasy.. ( Abandonment
    of true worship “As taught by Jehovahs Witnesses”) ?

    Because of the huge public interest in this family it will be more likely
    the Org, will adopt their usual tactic of minimum comment, saying it’s
    a private matter, Their public image takes precedence over principles.

    • September 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

      They refuse old covenant but on other hand they Keep some of mosaic law.If i refuse old covenant and preach Jesus nailed old covenant then they should not to use at all Old Testament.Can you See contradiction?
      Jesus and all early christians followed the Torah (the sabbaths and Creator festivals Which most instituated as covenant eternal fór God Almighty)

      The main problém is in christianity they Keep or creating doctrines what sounds Good for them.
      That was Reason why i left this religion.

  • September 14, 2014 at 9:52 am

    WOW! Definitely an interesting turn of events.

  • September 14, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Very well written. Very fair and reasonable. It will be interesting to see how things unfold from here. The whole world is watching now.

  • September 14, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Way to go Brett!

    Change starts with the individual taking a stand, not waiting for the masses.

  • September 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I find it strange that in conventions rarely or never mention in the prayer those who loose their lives for the wrong policy of blood. The year book never gives any figure. Obviously this would give negative publicity but it is terribly sad.

  • September 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    “I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, but I’m a father first – and I’d do anything for my son,”

    Words of a loving and very brave dad! I don’t think he’ll back down from those words. I believe he has weighed the cost and is prepared to face the consequences.

    I hope good will come of all this publicity, even if only one Jehovah’s Witness begins to question and research the blood policy set by the Governing Body.

    My support, love and prayers are with Ashya and his loving family for the strength to continue bearing, with courage, what they must endure. This has to be every parent’s worst nightmare, facing the possible loss of a child.

  • September 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    The child is not a JW, but is a child of JW parents. What grounds would the WT have for punishing the father?

  • September 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I am certainly glad to hear him say this!

  • September 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Cedars this thread is counterproductive. All you have done is give evidence that JWs is not a cult with your survey data. If JWs is a cult the vast majority would NOT accept blood transfusions for themselves or for their children in the face of death. You have shown that JWs can think for themselves and aren’t brainwashed. Your survey data can be used by outsiders as evidence that JWs is not a cult.

    • September 14, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Oh dear Brother David, did you really type that? There is nothing counter-productive in showing that the “silent majority” of thinking Witnesses would defy the ban on blood transfusions if it were a matter of life or death, because it is not ordinary, thinking Witnesses who make the organization a cult. It is the Watch Tower Society, which uses undue influence to coerce its followers to reject certain medical treatment. The fact that the majority of active Witnesses who are brave enough to visit JWsurvey would accept blood does not mean that the majority of ALL Witnesses would, and even if that were the case – a minority of Witnesses who would lay down their lives for Watchtower is still a minority too many.

  • September 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    It is such a sad situation. I’m very disappointed that there is no commenting on that newsite because the JWs were so behind them when they took their son from the UK hospital – I’m sure we would all like to know how much help the family is going to get from them now. Maybe this will be a good opportunity to show what a horrible cult WT is. Whatever, I know that many nonJWs are playing a huge role in this families life (medical and otherwise) and they will get the support/help they need to survive this.

  • September 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    I think That’s what will happen! Then the org. gets to have their cake and eat it too! Punish the family, so all JW cower in fear, but no public DF so the media can’t use it against them. Yep the best of both. That’s my prediction anyway.

  • September 14, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Sorry, that last post was in reply to Paul Watson’s comment.

  • September 15, 2014 at 2:37 am

    When the trumpeter sound an indistinct call people are not sure what to do. They become confused and reason on what is known.

    The Watchtower allow blood fractions.

    However they do not allow Watchtower members to give blood.

    Where do the blood fractions come from? From other people who give blood.

    The Watchtower send out an indistinct call that causes confusion, so some will reason if they allow blood fractions
    then blood is approved.

    The Watchtower needs to sit before a judicial committee and explain where blood fractions come from.

  • September 15, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Amazing article! !!

  • September 15, 2014 at 5:18 am

    The GB, Circuit overseers and Elders need to stop acting as if their the Police of your life. They do more harm then good with their flawed policies and enforcement of them.
    Perhaps they Need to follow the real Creed of a Policemen.
    “To Serve and Protect”

    • September 15, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Yep that was also Reason why i left this religion spying and policing my life Its been for me to much for several years so i decided enaugh is enaugh and disfellowshipped this business corporation from my life.

  • September 15, 2014 at 5:54 am

    I think JimmyG has a good point. I think a 5 year old understands death and should be able to say whether or not they’d take blood to save his or her life. Why should the parents make that decision for a child of that age? Is that congregation going to shun a 5 year old or his parents when the child has never declared himself to be a witness by water baptism, because if they did, that would be the day I’d disassociate myself if I was the parent.

  • September 15, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Yeah…the crock tower is in a pickle either way. If they do reform their policies on blood, they would then have to explain why they were so draconian to BEGIN with. Why can’t jehova make up his friggin mind already?!

    Personally, I hope homeboy gets D’d out for what he said. Then he can start a media firestorm over this. The blood issue doesn’t get nearly enough public attention.

  • September 15, 2014 at 8:23 am

    When you consider that he drew a distinction between being a jdub and being a father, you can bet he was talking about whole blood. Otherwise there would have been no point to make.

  • September 15, 2014 at 8:56 am

    @AwokenSoul. Not only would the WTBTS and GB have to explain the draconian policy, but they would also at least get hit with may death liability lawsuits from family members. At most the GB would be liable for 2nd Degree Manslaughter. With that, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the GB to rescend the blood ban any time soon. These WT leaders are liable for murder in my opinion.

  • September 15, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Please read all the comment before commenting on it.

    I hope my comment does not stir anything on this topic. I am not an apologetic JW, but something does not seem right.

    I have read the interview, and the father did not mention explicitly he would give his child blood transfusion, if this was mentioned please show it to me.

    On the other hand, blood transfusion is no more DA/DF offense. If any JW get blood he is no more considered exemplary – this is based on a chat with HLC member.

    Some might ask, what about me? I am against the policy and if my child requires any treatment including blood transfusion, if all other alternatives will not work, i will go for it.

    • September 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Hello Da Furious, welcome to JWsurvey.
      A few people have recently made comments similar to yours on my Facebook page. Here is my response to them (to save time)…

      “Well if the Mirror has taken his words out of context it wouldn’t be the first time a newspaper has done this, and there would be nothing to stop the Kings from suing. But Brett’s statement was emphatic (“I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, but I’m a father first”) and heretical enough to seriously undermine Watchtower’s position on blood (“If a child needs treatment they should give them the treatment. It’s not for the parents to say.”). Those certainly aren’t words you would expect to hear from the platform, or that a JW would normally get away with saying in a comment at the meeting without being hauled into the back room afterwards.”

      As to whether blood transfusions are a DA/DF offense, I’m afraid they are grounds for disassociation IF a Witness accepts one “willingly and unrepentantly” according to pages 111 and 112 of the Shepherd Book (elder’s manual).

      • September 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        Well spotted Gareth.

  • September 15, 2014 at 9:12 am

    That is right. Get freedom and be judge by God instead of human organization. No fierce ! Thank you very much Cedar’s !

  • September 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

    He said, in the interview:

    I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, but I’m a father first – and I’d do anything for my son.

    Sound like he was making a statement about putting fatherhood before being a JW.

  • September 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Cedars – “The Governing Body would no doubt like to think they are in full control of the thoughts and decisions of their followers…”

    Maybe, but personally, I don’t really think the GB gives a s**t about what the R&F think or decide, as long as they DO what they’re told.

  • September 15, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Well I for one am relieved that this loving father has not only put his son before his religious beliefs, but he has also been brave enough (yes brave, because he could lose so much) to speak out about it. But to you Brett I have to say, that you also need to be thankful to those who have donated the very blood you may need for your son. I hope afterwards you will repay that blood to the blood bank. This goes for any who thankfully accept blood whether as fractions or whole. Repay it. It means life for many.

  • September 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I left over the blood issue back in 1997. I saw plenty of people die first hand and was a pallbearer for a JW friend who died of leukemia after refusing blood – I was 16 at the time and am still haunted by the memory. Want some irony? My son was recently in the hospital following an adverse reaction to an antibiotic. His hemoglobin fell to 6.2 overnight and he needed blood. He was 14 when we left and never baptized. However, the phobias and irrational fear were alive and well thanks to the mind numbing indoctrination we all suffered through. He was not able to reach me in the early morning hours, so he called his JW grandfather who told him, “I don’t see anything wrong with it, you should just take the blood”. Times are a changing friends – can I get a Hallelujah? We issued a press release on the King story earlier today:

  • September 15, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Good for him. That statement about being a father first will probably get him a shepherding call. I can’t imagine being able to admit to yourself that you have been tricked after your child has died for this policy. I remember seeing a WT from the 1990s about all the brave children who had died refusing blood transfusions. They seem to have backed themselves into a corner on this one. Of course I thought that about the 1914 thing but people still believe. I wonder if a reversal on a truth that killed people would be actionable.

  • September 16, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Thanks Cedars for your response. I totally agree with your comment that what the father mentioned is not something usually we hear from a typical JW.
    I myself dont like jumping to conclusions based on newspaper articles that may twist truth.
    But based on Gareth’s reply, case is closed.

  • September 16, 2014 at 1:51 am

    This quote from has shocked me to my boots.

    “More than 250,000 blood donations are required annually to produce the factor VIII, and factor IX that is consumed by the Jehovah’s Witness community. Huge vats could be filled with all of the human blood that is stored and processed to meet the needs of Witness Hemophiliacs. The Watchtower ignores these facts when explaining why it allows use of these “small fractions,” but cynically emphasizes them when it uses AIDS as propaganda against blood transfusions.”

    So following on from my previous comment. Where does all this blood come from.

    So further research on my part reveals that JW’s may in fact donate blood, but only for the removal of fractions. The remaining parts must be disposed of.

    Well what a let out for the WTBTS. How very very devious and clever they are being. If they ever say it is okay to accept whole blood, (which lets face it, all those fractions add up to anyway) they are in big trouble.

    Once again Brett stay strong. Do not be bullied. I hope the media follow up on the progress of this little boy.

  • September 16, 2014 at 7:10 am

    And further research reveals I am well confused here. I think I misunderstood about donating. To be honest I am not sure anymore. So John if you want to take my non sensical comments down feel free. Or better still help me understand. Duh. :-(

  • September 16, 2014 at 8:13 am

    The rescinding of the 13 year ban on transplants ( 1967-1980 )
    passed virtually un noticed, I can’t recall any comments from
    the brothers, or anyone else at the time.

    The Blood doctrine would not be so easy to ditch, It’s the one
    thing that J,W,s, are known for.. It would be hugely damaging,
    exposing the fact that so many have died un necessarily, as well
    their ineptitude as interpreters of the Bible. And possibly leave
    them open to litigation…( no doubt some brothers would still
    cling on, using numb excuses like , “where else shall we go to.)

    It’s apparent they’d dearly love to scrap this damaging doctrine
    hence the ridiculous attempt at toning it down by allowing blood
    fractions. They can’t even stick to their own principles… Blood
    is blood .. The instructions to Noah make no mention of fractions
    and what did the Apostles know about separating it into fractions?

    It would be far too costly in every way to back down now…I’m sure
    they must have cursed Freddie Franz (The author of this depraved
    W,T, Law.) many times. A MAN, now dead and rotting in in Sheol,
    Hades, Hell , The Grave, .. Take your pick, I’ve made my choice.

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