Organ and tissue donation is viewed as an act of neighborly love and charity, and all members are encouraged to support donation as a way of helping others.
The Amish consent to transplantation on the basis that it’s for the wellbeing of the transplant recipient. The Amish people are reluctant, however, to donate their organs if transplant outcomes are uncertain.
Anglicans see the offering of life for others as a reflection of the Christian principle of interdependence within the human community. Anglicans emphasize the importance of the role of hospital chaplains in providing spiritual and human support throughout the organ transplant process.
There’s nothing in the Baha’i teaching which forbids donation. The guardian of the Baha’i faith has stated “…seems a noble thing to do.”
Organ donation is encouraged and supported by Baptists because it’s seen as an act of charity, but leaves the decision to donate up to the individual.
In 1993, The Church of the Annual Conference developed a resolution supporting and encouraging organ and tissue donation, stating “We have the opportunity to help others out of love for Christ through the donation of organs and tissues.”
Buddhists believe organ and tissue donation is a matter of individual conscience, and place high value on acts of compassion.
In 2008, his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI stated, “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.”
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) encourages organ and tissue donation, stating, “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 to enroll as organ donors and prayerfully support those who have received an organ transplant.”
Christian Scientists rely on spiritual rather than medical means of healing. However, members are free to choose whatever medical form of treatment they desire, which includes organ and tissue transplantation. Organ and tissue donation is an individual decision.
Organ transplants should not be a religious problem.
Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) see the decision to donate as an individual one made in conjunction with family, medical personnel, and prayer.
The Church of the Nazarene encourages its members who don’t personally object to support donor/recipient anatomical organs through living wills and trusts. Further, they appeal for a morally and ethically fair distribution of organs to those qualified to receive them.
The Episcopal Church passed a resolution in 1982 that recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ, blood, and tissue donation. Church members are encouraged to become organ, blood, and tissue donors.
The Greek Orthodox Church has no objection, doctrinal or moral, to the transplantation of organs on medical advice. The reception and donation of organs for this purpose reveals a profound act of loving solidarity and sacrifice among people.
Hindus believe the soul is immortal and is reborn in new physical forms. There’s nothing in the Hindu religion indicating that part of the dead human body can’t be used to alleviate the suffering of other humans.
It was 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… 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…” Regarding living donation, it is permissible to transplant organs such as a kidney and or a lung “in order to keep the beneficiary alive or to keep some essential or basic function of his body working.” (Resolutions of Islamic Fiqh Council of the Organization of the Islamic Fourth Conference, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 18-23 Safar 1408 AH/6-11 February 1988 CE)
Jehovah’s Witnesses agree that organ transplantation and organ donation are personal decisions. All organs and tissues, however, must be completely drained of blood before transplantation.
All four branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) support and encourage donation. According to Orthodox Rabbi Moses Tendler, Chairman of the Biology Department of Yeshiva University in New York City and Chairman of the Bioethics Commission of the Rabbinical Council of America, “If one is in the position to donate an organ to save another’s life, it’s obligatory to do so, even if the donor never knows who the beneficiary will be. The basic principle of Jewish ethics – `the infinite worth of the human being’ – also includes donation of corneas, since eyesight restoration is considered a life-saving operation.” In 1991, the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox) approved organ donations as permissible, and even required, from brain-dead patients. The Reform movement looks upon the transplant program favorably and Rabbi Richard Address, Director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations Bio-Ethics Committee and Committee on Older Adults, states that “Judaic Responsa materials provide a positive approach and by and large the North American Reform Jewish community approves of transplantation.”
The Lutheran Church believes the decision to donate one’s organs and/or tissues should be left up to the individual.
Mennonites have no formal position regarding donation but are not opposed to it. They believe the decision to donate is up to the individual and/or his or her family.
The May 10, 1995 issue of The Final Call writes of Minister Louis Farrakhan’s “budding partnership with Black organ donor professionals.” The Minister is in favor of organ and tissue donation but believes that greater emphasis should be placed on preventing diseases that lead to organ failure and health problems.
Pentecostals believe the decision to donate one’s organs and tissues should be left up to the individual.
Presbyterians encourage and support organ and tissue donation and respect a person’s right to make decisions regarding their own body.
Quakers believe it’s essential that the rights of all individuals are respected, and that free and informed consent be obtained from the next of kin. They believe the giving of human organs makes possible a richer life and alleviation of suffering of others.
Although transplant procedures are carried out at many Seventh Day Adventist health care institutions around the world, the church has made no formal declaration regarding organ donation and transplantation.
Organ and tissue donation is widely supported by Unitarian Universalists. They view it as an act of love and selfless giving, according to the Unitarian Universalist Association, or UUA (Erika Nonken, public information assistant, UUA, October 26, 2005).
When advocated by medical practitioners to improve to preserve human life, organ and tissue donation and transplantation are encouraged, provided donor and recipient consent has been secured.
A 1992 resolution of the United Methodist Church states, “Donation is to be encouraged, assuming appropriate safeguards [are put into place] against hastening death and determination of death [is declared] by reliable criteria.” The resolution further states, “Pastoral-care persons should be willing to explore these options as a normal part of conversation with patients and their families.”
The Wesleyan Church supports donation as a way of helping others. The church believes God’s “ability to resurrect us is not dependent on whether or not all our parts were connected at death.”