I’m having a discussion about abortion and taxes, and it was mentioned that Jehovah Witnesses have to pay taxes that fund blood transfusions.

Do Jehovah Witnesses believe it is immoral to pay for blood transfusions through taxation?

  • I can see how U.K. taxes are used within the National Health Service to pay for treatments such as blood transfusion. But what about countries where hospital treatments must be paid for by the patients? How would their tax contributions be used to pay for blood transfusions?
    – Lesley
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 15:12
  • 3
    @Lesley in the USA medical cost for nearly 30% of the population (80million people) are covered by government. All money the government spends is from taxes of one sort or another.
    – 007
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 15:20
  • 1
    @Lesley In the UK, citizens (myself included) contribute their own blood, voluntarily. Without that aspect, there would be no blood/plasma available. The healthcare workers who draw the blood and administer the transfusion have their wages paid by taxation. One cannot 'opt out' of this. And there have been situations where children have had transfusions despite the objection of parents. The Court decides, not the parents.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 19:00

3 Answers 3


I found an article from the Jehovah’s Witness official web site that indirectly answers your question. It uses the example of governments using income taxes to pay for wars and points out that it is the responsibility of governments to decide how tax payers’ contributions are spent:

Watchtower 1 April 1975 – Are you guided by a sensitive Christian conscience? Paragraph 4: For example, a person might recognize that Jehovah is not backing the wars of the nations, but that he urges his people to learn the ways of peace. (Isa. 2:4) Knowing that usually the nations support their armies with tax money, would it be balanced and Scriptural for his conscience to lead him to refuse to pay taxes? Or to pay his taxes minus a percentage corresponding to what the government spends on its defense budget? While some persons have taken such a stand, the Bible evidence weighs against a conscience that leads to such a course. Christians are plainly told to pay their taxes, and this was put in the Bible despite the fact that the then-existing Roman government supported a vast army. (Matt. 22:17-21; Rom. 13:1, 7) Thus the Christian can, with a clear conscience balanced by God’s Word, pay his taxes, leaving with the governments the responsibility of how the money is used. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1975246#h=4:0-8:330

A Jehovah’s Witness therefore has a clear conscience when it comes to paying taxes – how the government decides to use that income is not the responsibility of the Witness.

  • 1
    Render unto Caesar, etc
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 0:00
  • 2
    A big missing point is that in democracy, "leaving the responsibility to the government" is no longer possible. I would expect Jehovah's Witness to vote and petition the government accordingly. (maybe they do ?)
    – Offirmo
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 2:58
  • 5
    @Offirmo Nope Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 3:49
  • @Offirmo Have a look at this christianity.stackexchange.com/a/57387/23657
    – 007
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 15:52

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that according to Romans 13, we must pay taxes even if they are used to fund something that we disagree with, such as war, abortions, or blood transfusions.

At first this might seem to be offensive to a person's conscience, but we try to see God's perspective, that these governments are temporarily allowed to operate only by his permission. If we were to oppose the local authorities by refusing to pay taxes, it would be rebellion against God's arrangement. Jehovah's Witnesses do not campaign to change the laws of where they live, nor do they withhold taxes.

"Taxes-Must You Pay Them?" - Watchtower Sept 1, 2011


Jehovah’s Witnesses take seriously the direction in the scripture to “pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar.”

We are obliged to pay the taxes that are demanded by the governments under which we live.

Much of these funds go to beneficial things and much goes toward things we may object to on a personal level.

For example the funding of military expenses that lead to the deaths of thousands of people each year. Jehovah’s witnesses refuse to take up arms and be part of the military in any country.
What governments choose to spend the tax on is between them and God.

In Jesus’ day a large portion of the tax funded Rome’s military even the execution of Jesus was in part funded by the taxes the Jews were told to render to Ceaser by Jesus.

Similarly when governments use collected tax monies to pay for health care that is a beneficial thing. When individuals accept health care options like receiving blood transfusions and the expense is covered in part by the tax monies rendered by Jehovah’s Witnesses who pay their taxes, it is not a conflict for the Witnesses. How a government spends the funds is the governments prerogative and responsibility. This is the official stance of JWs as seen in this article

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