Can epoetin be used in Jehovah’s Witness patients in accordance with their beliefs?

Samantha Owen, Principal Pharmacist Critical Evaluation and UKMi Medicines Q&A Lead, Southampton Medicines Advice Service, University Hospital of Southampton NHS Foundation TrustSource Southampton Medicines Advice Service, UKMiPublished

On the basis of biblical statements, Jehovah’s Witnesses decline the transfusion of whole blood, red cells, white cells, plasma and platelets. This Medicines Q&A discusses the use of recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), either as epoetin alfa, epoetin beta or epoetin zeta, as a potential alternative to blood transfusion for Jehovah’s Witness patients.