Organ and Tissue Donation
The donation of one’s own organs, blood or other tissues to save another person’s life, improve their health or quality of life is a commendable act of love by the donor towards his/her fellow person(s). A commitment to donate one’s own whole body or part thereof after death for medical research and learning is a commendable act towards society.
For Christians, such a commitment embraces the command, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
Decisions to donate should be reached without coercion of the donor or the substitute decision maker (if the donor is incapable of making the decision). Families, health care providers and support staff should make a reasonable attempt to openly discuss all possible motives for making or not making the donation. Substitute decision makers should attempt to surmise, to the best of their ability, what might be the decision of the potential donor when making a decision for the potential donor.
Donation of embryos for therapeutic and research purposes by parents is not addressed in this section1.
A person may receive, in good conscience, an organ or tissue that is donated freely and without coercion. The acceptance of this gift is most properly received with thankful appreciation.
Resources to help you with various issues involved with this topic can be found below.
1 Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell Research and an Approach to Bioethics
Transplant Recipients International Organization www.trioweb.org/resources/commguid.html
Brad Harrub, “A Christian’s Response to Organ Donation and Transplantation.” www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2164