Is Catholicism Against Organ Donation

Is Catholicism Against Organ Donation their loved one helped save

What is the Position of the Catholic Church on Organ Donation? Institute of Clinical Bioethics

You may also include your wishes in your living will if you have one, but that might not be immediately available at the time of your death. The choice of making the donation has to be made by the donor him/herself according to Buddhism. It’s not clear brain death is a form of death according to Buddhism. But if it considered as death, in which case one cannot make decision oneself, it may or may not be a good deed for one who died and also for the ones involved in decision making and contributing. Some Buddhists believe in the value of compassion, in which actions such as organ donation can be used to overcome the sufferings of life. There are nearly 150 Wyomingites waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, with almost 2,000 in our region, many of whom identify as Catholics.

Color will return to normal within a few seconds after pressure is removed. The clinical condition of someone declared "brain dead" is biologically and medically easily distinguished from the findings after death. According to NHS, there are no religious objections to blood transfusions, but attitudes amongst Buddhists to organ transplants vary. Many will have no religious objections, since helping others is fundamental to Buddhist belief — and all consider organ donation during life an act of compassion.

In 2014, Pope Francis described the act of organ donation as a “testimony of love for our neighbour.” However, he does not encourage organ donation for commercial purposes. “United Church of Christ people, churches and agencies are extremely and overwhelmingly supportive of organ sharing,” writes Rev. Jay Litner, Director, Washington office of the United Church of Christ Office for Church in Society. To destroy the healthy functioning or intrinsic beauty of one’s body, even to delay death of another, is morally wrong. Secondly, the procedure must not be life-threatening or create a severe disability to the donor.

These considerations allow for differentiating views depending on the individual. We should be reminded that in the United States, the Anatomical Gift Act has been approved in each state, allowing a person to sign one’s driver’s license and indicate one’s desire to donate organs after death. This is a response to communities’ pressing needs for organs in the provision of healthcare, hence to the common good. Of course, the donor’s consent must always be both free and informed. Yes, organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation is permissible within the Catholic faith.

These theologians, however, argued that a person cannot justify the removal of a healthy organ and incur the risk of future health problems when his own life is not in danger, as in the case of a person sacrificing a healthy kidney to donate to a person in need. Such surgery, they held, entails an unnecessary mutilation of the body and is thereby immoral. Israel used a committee of medical and religious authorities in order to create laws regarding organ donation.

No religion formally forbid donation or receipt of organs or is against transplantation from living or deceased donors. Only some orthodox jews may have religious objections to "opting in." However, transplantation from deceased donors may be discouraged by Native Americans, Roma Gypsies, Confucians, Shintoists, and some Orthodox rabbis. Some South Asia Muslim ulemas and muftis oppose donation from human living and deceased donors because the human body is an "amanat" from God and must not be desecrated following death, but they encourage xenotransplantation research.


This should not be confused with an electrocardiogram which measures the electrical activity of the heart. Transplant surgeons prefer to cut the heart out of live patients with active EKGs because a heart that has stopped beating actually harms the tissue via something called a “hypoxic insult” to the tissue. Remember that the heart must beat oxygen-rich blood not only to the whole body, but to the heart itself. In recent decades, organ transplantation has become a major topic of disagreement in Egypt. The Egyptian Parliament has not yet been able to develop an organ transplant program or any other laws concerning the subject.

Hence, this view does not allow vital organs to be removed from a brain dead patient, as stopping the heart from beating is, in their view, tantamount to killing. Conversely, the other school of thought (which include many Orthodox rabbis and Israel’s Chief Rabbinate) the determination of death is based on brain function irrespective of a beating heart. Therefore, according to their view, removing vitals organs from a brain dead patient for the sake of saving a life, is in fact permissible, and even encouraged.


In fact, Hindu mythology includes stories in which parts of the human body are used for the benefit of other humans and society. The argument about anencephalic infants is important because it serves to show the progressive anti-life movement not only within the medical profession, but within our society as a whole. Our current culture, dubbed the "culture of death" by Pope John Paul II, is echoing similar currents to those of pre-Nazism. A culture that makes the choice to select which member is or is not worthy of life is "playing God." This is stating that individuals of a society only have value insofar as their life is useful to society. When an individual’s life no longer has value, then only his body parts have value and not the person as a whole. If this thinking continues to prevail, it is only a matter of time until the laws of our country embrace euthanasia and assisted suicide as permissible in every place.

Now that you have the facts, you can see that being an organ donor can make a big difference, and not just to one person. By donating your organs and tissue after you die, you can save or improve as many as 75 lives. Many families say that knowing their loved one helped save or improve other lives helped them cope with their loss. In Jainism, compassion and charity are considered to major virtues. Organ donation has been widely supported by the Jain community leaders and monks. It has been reported that in Mumbai, 85-90% of all organ donations including eye donations, are by Jains and Gujaratis .

  • Some South Asia Muslim ulemas and muftis oppose donation from human living and deceased donors because the human body is an "amanat" from God and must not be desecrated following death, but they encourage xenotransplantation research.
  • It’s estimated that every day in the U.S. 20 patients die because of the lack of donor organs.
  • Organ donation can make a tremendous difference to the quality of people’s lives – thousands suffer yearly from liver, kidney and heart problems, so a chance to find a replacement organ for its damaged counterpart can be a dream come true.
  • Organ donation has been widely supported by the Jain community leaders and monks.
  • The Islamic bioethical concepts of autonomy, beneficence, justice and non-malfeasance is theocentric not anthropocentric and adhere to Shari’a law.

Certain blood types are more prevalent in ethnic minority populations. Because matching blood type is usually necessary for transplants, the need for minority donor organs is especially high. Unfortunately, many may never get the call saying that a suitable donor organ — and a second chance at life — has been found.

To be sure, certain organs can be cut from a live person with no challenge from even the most conservative bioethicists. For example, one person could give another person a kidney, and both could go on living. But after certain traumatic events, especially neuro-trauma the transplant surgeons aim to harvest the heart for the next living person that could use it. Again, this must be cut from a living patient who has been declared to have reduced brain activity, aka “Brain Death,” as the cover to appease the more squeamish of bioethicists.

Because of this, many scholars, religious authorities and individuals interpret the readings differently. All this allows for different views between religions as well as within major religions. Any religious processes and traditions that occur right after death also affect views on organ donation. Interestingly, the group is okay with organ donations as long as it involves the cornea, kidney, other tissues and bones.

A nonprofit NGO called Matnat Chaim was created in Israel in order to promote live-donor kidney transplantation. Their goal is to be in accordance with Jewish law and states that the act is considered a laudatory one. At the very least, if the separation of the body and life cannot be verified, or if there is doubt about the separation of the body and life, organ excision is morally prohibited and should not be allowed.