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October 2006

The Practice Gets it Right on Blood Transfusion

When TV writes Jehovah’s Witnesses into the plot, look out! We get clobbered. It not malicious, usually. They just don’t have a clue as to what we’re about. Nor are the hatchet jobs confined  to us. Religious folk never fare well on TV. There’s just not that many TV writers with religious backgrounds out there and they can’t picture the other side. Not that they toss and turn at night worrying about it. It’s much easier to use caricatures and stereotypes.

So I was blown away when an episode of The Practice episode featured Jehovah’s Witnesses and they got it right, and even, amazingly, treated us with dignity.

Do you remember Rebecca the receptionist? Well, it turns out she is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, though nobody knew it until she got caught in a bomb blast. And who would plant a bomb in the Practice’s office? This creepy psycho fellow, wasn’t he a former client? who’s been up to no good the past few episodes.

Anyway, they rush Rebecca to the hospital, where doctors decide only a blood transfusion will save her! But, lo and behold, Mama, a hitherto unknown character, shows up and declares that daughter is a Jehovah’s Witness who’s very serious about her faith. She has affidavits from the congregation to back her up. Head lawyer Bobby will have none of it. Rebecca needs blood, doctors say, and Bobby’s going to see that she gets it!

And so the stage is set for a drama that, incredibly, gets it right….mostly. We don’t come across as right-to-die extremists, nor death-wish martyrs. We aren’t doctor wannabes, telling medical personnel how to do their job. Our blood stand is Bible-based. Someone in the writing staff did some research. (for a change) Not absolute accuracy, but that's allowable, since no case is ever "typical," there’s always individual variation. We all have quirks.

Now, it should be pointed out that in the real world such situations shouldn’t pop up too often. You don’t just spring Surprise! No blood! on your doctor. Ideally, JW’s speak to their doctors beforehand, in good times. Not all doctors are comfortable with the added challenge of bloodless medicine. It’s not right to broadside them. Not to mention the anesthesiologist, who often frets more than the surgeon.

However, as mentioned, this was an emergency, brought on by a unabomber. They never wait for you to ask your doctor if bloodless medicine is right for you (and them).

In court, Bobby doesn’t believe Rebecca’s a Witness. Jehovah’s Witnesses talk about their faith, he says. Rebecca never did. That’s a good point, Bobby. They do. But Mama has an answer. Rebecca, who is black, is so worn down by facing prejudice that she has learned to keep her mouth shut. Well…… maybe. It’s not impossible. Especially if you’re the poor girl from the humble background working for hot-shot TV lawyers! (though she always seemed to hold her own pretty well)

What about blood cards? Bobby wants to know. Jehovah’s Witnesses carry blood cards. Rebecca didn’t have one. Right again, Bobby. They do. They’re called Medical Directives. Baptized witnesses have them. It’s odd Rebecca did not.

In fact, I’d almost side with Bobby around now: that Rebecca is not really a Witness, and Mama’s just an imposter. But what about those affidavits?

Lots of courtroom drama follows; The Practice could keep you riveted with courtroom drama. Bobby works himself into a frenzy. Rebecca can be saved, he charges at the bench, but…but for this….Voodoo religion! Mama calls him on it, and she never loses her cool. Yes, Bobby, you tipped your hand. This is not about respect for Rebecca’s conscience. This is about your own religious prejudice, pure and simple.

The judge rules for Mama. I couldn’t believe it!

Afterwards, no hard feelings. Indeed, there is respect, for Mama proved herself dignified and sound of mind. As if admitted to the bar, she and all the lawyers close the show around Rebecca’s bed, praying for recovery.

The Rebecca actress must have received a better job offer that year, for they wrote her out of the plot. The transfusion episode was her last. Thus we don't know how she made out!

Three videos are available from Jehovah’s Witnesses with regard to bloodless medicine. Click here to view them: (the 3rd, 4th, and 5th listings)

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Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Remodeling at the Whitepebble Institute

When prospective clients visit the Whitepebble Research Institute they are not impressed. They see the long folding tables covered with pizza cartons and sports pages, and they begin thinking they’ve stumbled into the Home Depot break room, not the office of a prestigious thinktank. Of course, our people are real smart. But to reel in the new business, they and their surroundings have to look smart.

That’s why the Whitepebble Institute's CEO, Tom Whitepebble, decided to do some extensive remodeling last year. Razzle-dazzle clients: that was the goal! Say goodbye to bargain wood paneling! Out to the curb with the moose head! Say hello to a sleek shiny showroom replete with smart touches: a chess set with fancy glass pieces, for example, to sit on the coffee table. Smart people do nothing but play chess.  And other items:

A deluxe globe, so that visitors can see right off we’re no dopes who can’t locate Europe or Uranus on the map.

And of course, a prehistoric skull. Nobody here’s falling for that “Adam and Eve” rubbish. Let Sheepandgoats of the Institute's religious wing whine all he wants. Business is business.

At this year’s annual meeting, participants were heartened by progress made to date. We commended the entire team, for they had all made sacrifices. For instance, you should have heard them scream when they thought they’d have to give up Yahtzee, Sorry, and Chutes and Ladders! And give it up for chess, no less, which is a hard game. But they jumped to conclusions! Whitepebble, who himself plays a wicked good game of Sorry, relented. They could still play their favorite games, just in the back room, out of the public eye!

Purchasing a new globe, too, went without a hitch.

The only significant cost overrun involved the prehistoric skull, and ironically, it was occasioned by an effort to save money. Sometimes you should just pay the going rate and be done with it. Our purchaser didn’t really buy his skull from an established scientific supply house, because they want…..well….an arm and a leg. But there was this fellow in an alley who offered a deal too good to pass up. Our man didn’t pass it up, but he should have. It turned out that his newly purchased skull wasn’t prehistoric at all, but belonged to a party in last year’s West Bogbottom triple axe homicide case. So not only were we out the skull, but the ensuing legal costs to beat an accessories charge were astronomical!

This killed the budget, and we thought we wouldn't be able to afford that necessary touch, stocking the Institute showroom floor-to-ceiling with fat books. (tomes) Smart people never speak on TV without tons of books behind them. Some of the staff offered to donate moose heads and antlers, but we knew these would not do. We’d just carted those things to the curb!

Ingenuity saved the day! They sell “book” wallpaper at WalMart for just a fraction of the cost of actually buying books. We grabbed a few rolls. Then, for 3-D effect, employees brought in old phone books. When you cover them with cloth dust jackets, they look impressive enough. We stacked a few of these on the coffee table, between the globe and the chess set.

Now if we can just teach our staff to walk slo-mo, like they do on TV. That's cool! We're working on it, but we have a ways to go. It looks so cool to see long hair, especially on an attractive woman, gently bobbing and falling with every step. But not pot bellies on middle aged guys.

 

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Tom Irregardless and Me               No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)