Title

Organ Donation
Quick revise

All the major religions of the UK support the principles of organ donation and transplantation. However, within each religion there are different schools of thought, which means that views may differ. All the major religions accept that organ donation is an individual choice.

Type of Organ donation include:

  • Transfusion: Blood. Mainly for operations.The Blood should match the person’s BloodGroup, otherwise it could be fatal.
  • Transplantation: Happens when an organ has failed and someone needs a replacement.
  • Xeno Transplant: When it comes from ananimal. E.g. Heart Valve from a Pig.

The following can be transplanted:

  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Pancreas
  • Small Bowel

Christian Attitudes:

Organ Donation

  • Organ donation is the gift of an organ to help someone else who needs a transplant. Hundreds of people's lives are saved or improved each year by organ transplants.
  • Donation is an individual choice and views differ even within the same religious groups.

Why is it important to think about donating organs?

With medical advances it is now possible to use transplanted organs and tissues to enhance the life chances of those suffering from a range of terminal conditions such as renal, liver and heart failure. More people than before now suffer from these conditions and some ethnic groups seem to be more affected than others.

Consent

The consent or permission of those closest to the potential donor is always sought before organs can be donated. This is why it is so important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones should you decide to become a donor. Many families who agree to organ donation have said that it helps to know some good has come from their loss.

When can organ donation take place?

Doctors and their colleagues are committed to doing everything possible to save life. Organs are only removed for transplantation once all attempts to save life have failed and after death has been certified by doctors who are entirely independent of the transplant team.

Care and respect

The removal of organs and tissues is carried out with the greatest care and respect. The family can see the body afterwards and staff can contact a chaplain or local religious leader if the family wishes.

Organ donation and Christianity

The Christian faith is based upon the revelation of God in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught people to love one another, and to embrace the needs of others. Organ donation can be considered by Christians as a genuine act of love.

We can choose to donate our organs to save the lives of many people:

"Thousands of people in the UK today are waiting for an organ transplant that could save or dramatically improve their lives. The simple act of joining the donors' register can help make the world of difference to those in need. I hope that everyone will consider whether they can give life to others after their own death." Sentamu Ebor, Archbishop of York, 2010

"The Methodist Church has consistently supported organ donation and transplantation in appropriate circumstances, as a means through which healing and health may be made possible." Methodist Church UK

"Identifying specific faith groups and their beliefs and practice around organ donation provides a basis for discussion. We then need to share information on what faith groups believe in order to foster better understanding of cultural norms. Disseminating more widely information on the cultural risk factors for kidney disease keeps people informed, assists in breaking barriers and engendering hope as people make better health choices which will positively impact their life" Sharon Platt-McDonald, Director for Health, Women Ministries and Disability Awareness for the Seventh-day Adventist churches in the British Isles.

To donate your organs is a very personal choice. The process of transplantation is acceptable in terms of moral Christian law. The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2296, explains:

"...organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity.

"It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons."

As Christians we believe in eternal life and preparing for death should not be a source of fear. Nothing that happens to our body, before or after death, can impact on our relationship with God:

'Neither death nor life, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.' Romans 8:38-9

Ensuring that we are on the NHS Organ Donor Register and that our relatives know our wishes in advance will help to relieve our loved ones of anxiety if the opportunity to donate arises, because:

"Giving organs is the most generous act of self-giving imaginable." Rt. Revd Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, 2011

In 2000, in his address to the 18th International Congress of the Transplantation Sociecty, Pope John Paul II said:

"There is a need to instil in people's hearts, especially in the hearts of the young, a genuine and deep appreciation of the need for brotherly love, a love that can find expression in the decision to become an organ donor."

"Over the past year or so, the Department of Health has supported a project which encourages UK faith communities and faith representatives to raise awareness about organ donation. The aim of the project is not only to explore faith-based perspectives towards organ donation but also to harness the potential of faith communities to address an important social issue. Faith communities have strong social networks and share common values of helping others; it is entirely appropriate that the Church of England has supported this initiative." Rt Revd Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, 2011

Muslim Attitudes:

Organ Donation

Organ donation is the gift of an organ to help someone else who needs a transplant. Hundreds of people's lives are saved or improved each year by organ transplants. Donation is an individual choice and views differ even within the same religious groups.

Why is it important to think about donating organs?

With medical advances it is now possible to use transplanted organs and tissues to enhance the life chances of those suffering from a range of terminal conditions such as renal, liver and heart failure. More people than before now suffer from these conditions and some ethnic groups seem to be more affected than others.

Consent

The consent or permission of those closest to the potential donor is always sought before organs can be donated. This is why it is so important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones should you decide to become a donor. Many families who agree to organ donation have said that it helps to know some good has come from their loss.

When can organ donation take place?

Doctors and their colleagues are committed to doing everything possible to save life. Organs are only removed for transplantation once all attempts to save life have failed and after death has been certified by doctors who are entirely independent of the transplant team.

Care and respect

The removal of organs and tissues is carried out with the greatest care and respect. The family can see the body afterwards and staff can contact a chaplain or local religious leader if the family wishes.

Islam and organ donation

In Islam there are two schools of thought with regards to organ donation. The human body, whether living or dead, enjoys a special honour and is inviolable and, fundamentally, Islamic law emphasises the preservation of human life. The general rule that 'necessities permit the prohibited' (al-darurat tubih al-mahzurat), has been used to support human organ donation with regards to saving or significantly enhancing a life of another providing that the benefit outweighs the personal cost that has to be borne. The following are some verses which have been used to support organ donation:

"Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.". Holy Qur'an, chapter 5 vs. 32

"If you happened to be ill and in need of a transplant, you certainly would wish that someone would help you by providing the needed organ.". Sheikh Dr MA Zaki Badawi, Principal, Muslim College, London

An alternative view clearly states that:

"The saving of life is not absolute, but subject to the amount of cost that has to be borne. Therefore, although the above quotation enjoins the saving of life this is not without restriction or caveats.

According to a similarly large number of Muslim scholars organ donation is not permitted. They consider that organ donation compromises the special honour accorded to man and this cannot be allowed whatever the cost. Scholars, such as the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, allow live donations only." Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, Muslim Council of Britain

Therefore it is very clear that in Islam:

"Organ donation is a very personal choice and one should consider seeking the opinion of a scholar of their choosing." (Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, Muslim Council of Britain)

That said one of the fundamental purposes of Islamic law is the preservation of life. Allah greatly rewards those who save the life of others.

To help in this matter the reader's attention is drawn to the following life-saving Fatwa:
In 1995, the UK based Muslim Law (Shariah) Council resolved that:

  • the medical profession is the proper authority to define signs of death
  • current medical knowledge considers brain stem death to be a proper definition of death
  • the Council accepts brain stem death as constituting the end of life for the purpose of organ transplantation
  • the Council supports organ transplantation as a means of alleviating pain or saving life on the basis of the rules of the Shariah
  • Muslims may carry donor cards
  • the next of kin of a dead person, in the absence of a donor card or an expressed wish to donate their organs, may give permission to obtain organs from the body to save other people's lives
  • organ donation must be given freely without reward, trading in organs is prohibited.
  • This is supported by Muslim scholars from some of the most prestigious academies of the Muslim world who call upon Muslims to donate organs for transplantation. These include:
    • the Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (representing all Muslim countries)
    • the Grand Ulema Council of Saudi Arabia.
    • the Iranian Religious Authority
    • the Al-Azhar Academy of Egypt

Hindu Attitudes:

Organ donation

Organ donation is the gift of an organ to help someone else who needs a transplant. Hundreds of people's lives are saved or improved each year by organ transplants.

Donation is an individual choice and views differ even within the same religious groups.

Why is it important to think about donating organs?

With medical advances it is now possible to use transplanted organs and tissues to enhance the life chances of those suffering from a range of terminal conditions such as renal, liver and heart failure. More people than before now suffer from these conditions and some ethnic groups seem to be more affected than others.

Consent

The consent or permission of those closest to the potential donor is always sought before organs can be donated. This is why it is so important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones should you decide to become a donor. Many families who agree to organ donation have said that it helps to know some good has come from their loss.

When can organ donation take place?

Doctors and their colleagues are committed to doing everything possible to save life. Organs are only removed for transplantation once all attempts to save life have failed and after death has been certified by doctors who are entirely independent of the transplant team.

Care and respect

The removal of organs and tissues is carried out with the greatest care and respect. The family can see the body afterwards and staff can contact a chaplain or local religious leader if the family wishes.

Hindu Dharma and organ donation

There are many references that support the concept of organ donation in Hindu scriptures. Daan is the original word in Sanskrit for donation meaning selfless giving. In the list of the ten Niyamas (virtuous acts) Daan comes third.

"Of all the things that it is possible to donate, to donate your own body is infinitely more worthwhile." The Manusmruti

Life after death is a strong belief of Hindus and is an ongoing process of rebirth. The law of Karma decides which way the soul will go in the next life. The Bhagavad Gita describes the mortal body and the immortal soul in a simple way like the relationship of clothes to a body:

"vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya
navani grhnati naro 'parani
tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany
anyani samyati navandi dehi."

"As a person puts on new garments
giving up the old ones
the soul similarly accepts new material bodies
giving up the old and useless ones."

Bhagavad Gita chapter 2:22

Scientific and medical treatises (Charaka and Sushruta Samhita) form an important part of the Vedas. Sage Charaka deals with internal medicine while Sage Sushruta includes features of organ and limb transplants.

"Organ donation is in keeping with Hindu beliefs as it can help to save the life of others." The Late Mr Om Parkash Sharma MBE, President, National Council of Hindu Temples

"I always carry my donor card with me. It says that my whole body can be used for organ donation and medical purposes after my death. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to do the same." The Late Dr Bal Mukund Bhala, Co-ordinator Hindu International Medical Mission, Former President Hindu Council UK

"I believe in organ donation. If my body can help someone else live a better quality of life after my soul has vactaed it then it is good Seva." Mr Arjan Vekaria JP, President Hindu Forum of Britain

Rate: 
0

No votes yet