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Religious Perspectives

All major religions in the world view organ donation as act of charity or make it clear that it is a decision to be left up to the individual or family. The gift of organ donation enjoys broad support among many religions in the U.S. The decision to become a donor is a personal one and you should consult with your faith leader if you have questions. When someone passes away, it calls attention to an individual’s faith and beliefs and religion suddenly becomes very important. When families are considering donating a loved one’s organs after they pass away the most common question that arises is, “What is my religion’s stance on organ and tissue donation?” We have included the most common religions take on organ, eye and tissue donation.

Organ, eye and tissue donation is encouraged as a charitable act that saves or enhances life; therefore, it requires no action on the part of the religious group. We encourage all Faith Leaders to know about their religion’s position on organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.

Families who are faced the possibility of their loved one being a donor, often turn to their faith leader for their religion’s view on donation. When individuals are not able to make an informed decision, it could leave the family members with a feeling of guilt regardless of the decision they may make. By knowing the facts, you can help eliminate the thousands of lives lost each year in the U.S. due to the lack of organs available for transplant. Sadly, healthy organs are being buried every day.

Don’t take your organs to heaven…heaven knows we need them here!

General Resources:

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS): Go to the UNOS website for more theological perspectives on organ and tissue donation and a complete list of UNOS references

Organdonor.gov: Health Resources & Services Administration – U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation