It’s common knowledge to readers of this site that one of the most pernicious beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they refuse blood transfusions, even if they’re necessary to save their lives, because it’s considered a violation of biblical law. (That’s bad enough; it’s worse when JW parents refuse transfusions for their children.) Anyone who goes through with a transfusion, then, is shunned by the rest of the JW community. They’re considered apostates.
Phil Dunne was one of those believers who should’ve died after he refused a transfusion. His doctors even offered to give him transfusions secretly, so his family wouldn’t find out, and he said no to that idea. He didn’t want to violate his religious beliefs.
And then, somehow, he didn’t die.
The team of doctors treating Phil came up with a drastic strategy that had minimal chances of success, but which, given Phil’s insistence on refusing blood, was at least better than trying nothing.
Phil’s tumor was thus pummelled with intense radiation over 10 straight days and, to the delight of all concerned, this had the intended effect of shrinking it just enough for the stomach wound to be cauterised, thus stopping the internal bleeding. With the immediate threat neutralized, Phil could begin receiving chemotherapy for his condition and was able to make a full recovery.
Those doctors, full of the higher education JW leaders preach against, found a clever way to save Phil after he refused to accept Plan A. They saved him.
It’s a wonderful story… but what did Phil think of it? Was it evidence of Jehovah’s love, or a lucky escape from the grasp of death? Well, he began looking into those JW beliefs he had just accepted his entire life to find out whether he had made a wise decision or an idiotic one.
He quickly discovered that JW beliefs weren’t based in reality at all. (Shocking!)
It’s a powerful personal statement. Phil was ready to die for his faith, got a second chance at life, and abandoned that religion quickly. He’s now doing everything he can to make sure others don’t make the same mistake he did. They might not be so lucky.
The most compelling part of that video for me is to hear Phil say he’s going public with his story now because “everyone that I ever cared about has already shunned me.”