Religious perspectives on organ donationcomment (0)
April 19, 2012
By Carrie Brown McWhorter
SBC Resolution of Human Organ Donations
WHEREAS, Organ procurement for transplantation falls far short of demand; and
WHEREAS, Organ transplant technology has transformed many lives from certain death to vibrant productivity; and
WHEREAS, A Gallup poll reported in the New York Times May 3, 1987, that 82 percent of respondents would donate adult relatives’ organs in appropriate situations, but only 20 percent had completed a donor card; and
WHEREAS, Complete resurrection of the body does not depend on bodily wholeness at death; and
WHEREAS, The values of a godless society promote self-sufficiency to such a degree that people are indifferent to the needs of others, as seen in resistance to organ donations; and
WHEREAS, Organ donation for research or transplantation is a matter of personal conscience.
Therefore be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 14–16, 1988, encourage physicians to request organ donation in appropriate circumstances; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage voluntarism regarding organ donations in the spirit of stewardship, compassion for the needs of others and alleviating suffering; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we recognize the validity of living wills and organ donor cards, along with the right of next of kin to make decisions regarding organ donations; and
Be it finally RESOLVED, That nothing in the resolution be construed to condone euthanasia, infanticide, abortion or harvesting of fetal tissue for the procurement of organs.
The United Methodist Church
We believe that organ transplantation and organ donation are acts of charity, agape love and self-sacrifice. We recognize the life-giving benefits of organ and other tissue donation and encourage all people of faith to become organ and tissue donors as a part of their love and ministry to others in need. We urge that it be done in an environment of respect for deceased and living donors and for the benefit of the recipients, and following protocols that carefully prevent abuse to donors and their families.
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2000
The Roman Catholic Church
The act of love which is expressed with the gift of one’s vital organs remains a genuine testimony of charity that is able to look beyond death so that life always wins.
Pope Benedict XVI (Nov. 7, 2008)
Since the onset of the modern era of organ transplantation in the 1950s, leading rabbinic authorities from throughout the religious spectrum have seen in this new technology a new and effective means of fulfilling a divine mandate to save life — an obligation first expressed in the Torah itself: “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.”
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Pastoral Letter on Organ Donation and Transplantation (excerpt)
The Bible does not teach us that our bodies have to be in any special state in order to be resurrected. The resurrection is a fact revealed by God to give us hope both for now and for eternity. But the resurrection will be God’s doing and we do not need to know how He will accomplish it. It is enough for us to know that it will be.
God has given man the intelligence and skill to accomplish the transplantation of an organ from one person to another to benefit the latter. It is an act of love to give an organ so that someone else might live or somehow experience an improvement in his life. There are many people who are suffering or dying because of a shortage of organ donors. Christians should be leading the way to show the world how to give. We have received the gift of eternal life. Jesus gave sacrificially and we should follow His example.
Adopted 16th General Assembly
Compiled by Carrie Brown McWhorter