Myths about organ donation
The Christian Church encourages organ and tissue donation, stating that we were created for God's glory and for sharing God's love. A 1985 resolution, adopted by the General Assembly, encourages "members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to enroll as organ donors and prayerfully support those who have received an organ transplant." (Resolution #8548 Concerning Organ Transplants, Des Moines, 1985)
The 70th General Convention of the Episcopal Church recommends and urges "all members of this Church to consider seriously the opportunity to donate organs after death that others may live, and that such decision be clearly stated to family, friends, church and attorney." (Resolution #1991-A097 Urge Members to Consider Donating Organs, 1991)
The Fourth Conference of the Islamic Fiqh Council determined that transplantation offers "clear positive results" if practiced "...to achieve the aims of sharee'ah, which tries to achieve all that is good and in the best interests of individuals and societies and promotes cooperation, compassion and selflessness." Provided that "shar'i guidelines and controls that protect human dignity" are met, "It is permissible to transplant an organ from a dead person to a living person whose life or basic essential functions depend on that organ, subject to the condition that permission be given by the deceased before his death, or by his heirs after his death...." (Resolutions of Islamic Fiqh Council of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Fourth Conference, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 18-23 Safar 1408 AH/6-11 February 1988 CE)
Judaism supports organ donation as an act of saving a life (Hebrew: pikuah nefesh). Saving a life supersedes all other concerns. The Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards has stated that organ donations after death represent not only an act of kindness but are also a "commanded obligation" which saves human lives. (On Educating Conservative Jews Regarding Organ Donations, May 1996)
SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION
In 1988, the Southern Baptist Convention resolved that because "resurrection does not depend on body wholeness" and that "organ transplant technology has transformed many lives from certain death to vibrant productivity," the SBC encourages "voluntarism regarding organ donations in the spirit of stewardship, compassion for the needs of others, and alleviating suffering." (Resolution on Human Organ Donations, June 1988)
(Send ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including "Religion for Dummies," co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman.)(c) 2019 THE GOD SQUAD DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.