Worldwide, some 2,000 Hospital Liaison Committees form an international network operating in over 110 countries. They are made up of community-based ministers who knowledgeably interact with physicians and hospital personnel, social workers, and members of the judiciary. Upon request, they offer the following services, without charge:

  • Provide clinical papers and information from peer-reviewed and respected medical journals on clinical strategies for managing patients without allogeneic blood transfusion
  • Facilitate physician-to-physician consultations with qualified specialists
  • Assist with patient transfer when necessary
  • Make presentations to physicians, ethicists, residents, and other hospital and legal professionals
  • Clarify ethical issues for Witness patients or clinicians related to medical care
  • Arrange for pastoral care and practical assistance to hospitalized Witness patients

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Position on Allogeneic and Autologous Blood

What medical professionals say

“Jehovah’s Witnesses [have] instituted several services that are actively involved in issues pertaining to transfusions. First and foremost, they support the patient and his/her family to receive appropriate medical care… Secondly, they support health-care providers with valuable information regarding medical care without blood and facilitate communication between the patient, the physician, nurses, etc.”

– Seeber P, Shander A. Basics of Blood Management. Malden (USA): Blackwell Publishing, Inc.; Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., 2007, pp. 295-6.

“The HLC are community-based Jehovah’s Witness ministers who volunteer to assist hospitalized Jehovah’s Witnesses; they are available in hospitals worldwide, even in facilities lacking a bloodless medicine program. Committee members can visit patients in the hospital, assist in the coordination of patient-centered plans of care in conjunction with the patient’s spiritual beliefs, and help advocate for hospitalized Jehovah’s Witnesses in a nonconfrontational manner.”

– Johnson-Arbor, et al. No bad blood—surviving severe anemia without transfusion. JAMA Intern Med 2021;181(1):7-8.

“These committees [Hospital Liaison Committees] have been established to help Jehovah’s Witness patients in preparing for elective surgical procedures and other situations such as pregnancy. They are available to provide pastoral and liaison support even in emergency situations… They have an international database of clinicians which means they can put medical teams in contact with those around the world who may be in a good position to advise in a situation which is proving challenging.”

– Klein AA, et al. Association of Anaesthetists: anaesthesia and peri-operative care for Jehovah’s Witnesses and patients who refuse blood.

“The Jehovah’s Witnesses provide a liaison service to assist doctors in reaching an individualized agreed strategy before the surgery, and it has been the experience of the author that this has proved very straightforward, nonconfrontational, and helpful.”

– Hivey S, et al. Religious practice, blood transfusion, and major medical procedures. Paediatr Anaesth 2009;19(10):934-46.

For more information

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a worldwide network of more than 2,000 Hospital Liaison Committees (HLC). This network provides authoritative information regarding clinical strategies to avoid blood transfusion and facilitates access to health care for patients who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

To contact a local HLC representative, go to and select “Contact Local Representative.”