What Faith Says about Organ Donation

Curriculum Review, December 2003 | Go to article overview

What Faith Says about Organ Donation


The gift of organ and tissue donation comes about when someone suddenly loses their life. If the deceased agreed to be a donor in life, their family agrees to allow organs or tissue to be transplanted into someone else once their loved one is gone. Vital organs such as the liver, heart or kidneys can be donated as well as tissue such as bone, corneas, heart valves and skin.

The decision to donate organs or tissue must be made at a time of great loss and sadness. As a result, faith and religious beliefs may play an important role in this difficult decision. Different faiths hold different views when it comes to organ and tissue donation. Here are a few examples from the Center for Donation and Transplant.

* Amish. Approve if there is a definite indication that the health of the recipient would be improved but reluctant if the outcome is questionable.

* Buddhism. Donation is a matter of individual conscience.

* Catholicism. Transplants are acceptable to the Vatican and donation is encouraged as an act of charity. …

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