Is it permissible that an organ of one human being’s body (whether it is from a live or dead body) be transplanted into that of another? And would organ transplant constitute meddling around with bodies, and not showing due respect for them? Is it also pe
Christianity does not prohibit organ transplantion, either from a living or a dead body.
The Holy Bible does not expressly instruct on, or forbid, organ transplant, either in the New or in the Old Testament, because that subject was not around at that time. But the spirit of the Bible calls for giving and self-sacrifice, for saving others and for showing as much concern as possible for other people’s lives.
So from the teaching of the Bible, organ transplant is permissible, whether from a live body or from a dead one, in order to benefit another human being.
Christianity does not regard that as meddling around with a body that has been given to a person by God, or as doing it harm, or as trying to engineer a new human form, or as violating its dignity.
The body is only destroyed by sin, by harmful habits, by neglecting health rules, suicide or such like.
But to lose a limb through doing a noble deed, such as defending one’s country… or to give an organ in order to save a human being in an operation, is a kind of sacrifice, and a giving of oneself for others, which raises the dignity of the human being, and which is in no way contrary to religion.
This is what the martyrs did whether they were martyrs for their homeland or for religion. They submitted their lives to death, and exposed their bodies to being torn apart and mutilated. We honour the martyrs whose limbs were cut to pieces, and whose bodies were disfigured, and we regard their loss of limbs as something that increases their honour, both in the eyes of God and of men. We do not call that a disfiguration of their bodies, but something that adds to their dignity.
To a certain degree, sacrificing organs in order to save people’s lives, or donating them after death for the benefit of medicine or-science in general, resembles this.
Thus to give an organ of the human body, voluntarily, does not violate the dignity of the body, because the body’s dignity is not in its form, but in its being sacrificed for the good of others.
The gospel calls us to sacrifice ourselves, when Jesus said: ” Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
If the Gospel calls for the laying down one’s whole life for the sake of others, then there is all the more reason to sacrifice a single organ of the human body.
Our concern that our bodies should be instruments in the service of the spirit, and be fit to accompany it on life’s journey, does not mean that we should be driven by selfishness to preserve these bodies at all costs!! No, on the contrary, for in donating a part of the body, the spirit will rise higher.
It says in the Bible that love “is not self-seeking. ” (1 Cor. 13:5). And St. Paul also said to the Galatians: ” I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.” (Gal. 4:15). That kind of operation, however, was not possible twenty centuries ago. We hope that science will help to make it possible for such things to be carried out, and that love will help to put them into effect, in the future…
So we can ask what is better; for a human being to live with two kidneys, or for him to give one of them to someone else, and for them both to live? As by this sacrifice and love a person is helping someone else’s life, by rescuing him from death and from the agony of illness.
The same can be said, to a certain extent, about blood transfusion, or transplanting any part of the body to another human being. In the case of a single human being, we might notice that various organs or parts of his body might be given either to him, or by him, in certain operations, for instance – transplanting an artery, a skin, nerve or tissue graft… without anyone raising any objection or disputing the concept.
As far as a dead person is concerned, removing one of his organs will not hurt him, but may well save somebody else’s life!
I wonder if a person who doesn’t wish to donate any of his organs for the benefit of another person, can stop the worms from eating his dead body?! Do you suppose he can prevent the decay or the decomposition of his body after his death?! And where does all that has been said about the respecting of the human body and not meddling around with it or engineer changes in it, come into all this disintegration?!
In the Bible man was told right from the beginning: ” you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return ” (Gen. 3:19). And it also says: ” the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7).
Since the body will return to the earth after death, then it is not disrespectful towards any organ of the body to be grafted onto or transplanted into another body, and so continue to have life!
We need have no fear on behalf of the body when it is dead, whatever might happen to its organs, since we all believe in the resurrection of the body after death.
I support the idea of creating an organ bank too and religion is in no way opposed to this concept.
Religion instructs us to do good and what a wonderful thing it is for a person to do good in his life by generously donating an organ, or part of his body that he can live without, or likewise after his death, by promising some of his organs (either through a written instruction such as a will, or by word of mouth) to save others, or for the benefit of science! And that other person who benefited from the transplant might in turn like to repay this favour by instructing that his organs be used after his death to save others.
This is how the cycle of goodness revolves, at the hands of the living and the dead alike, and each will receive a reward from God according to the good he has done to others.
As far as the idea that our bodies are not ours to give away to others is concerned, we can reply to that by saying, that neither are our souls our property, yet we sacrifice them for the sake of others, out of love, or in accordance with the command of religion and it is a virtue for us to do so.
Therefore, we have all the more reason to sacrifice an organ or part of the body.
We can say that our souls are not ours to do away with, through suicide for example, or to ruin by taking drugs.
But to use the body and soul in connection with doing good and benefiting others, is something which religion blesses and which God instructs.