What does the Bible say about organ donation and the decision to Donate Life?
There are no direct instances where scripture uses the terminology, “organ donation.” This could be that such medical procedures were not possible back in Biblical times or even needed. But today, organ donors are needed to save many people in the United States and Internationally. As of this writing on, Sunday, September 12, 2011, www.UNOS.org reports 112,058 people on the organ, eye, and tissue donation waiting list in the US. And there is a crisis of organ donor shortages. As a Donate Life Today! Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation trained advocate, I meet a lot of people and hear many stories of hope from donors and the recipients.
I met a teenage girl when I presented the Donate Life educational program in a high school. She was a junior with the hopes and dreams a 17 year old has the freedom to dream. After my presentation to her class, she came up to me and shared her story of donation.
She walked out of the classroom and melded into the crowds of students hurrying to their next class. My mind whirred with compassion and the desire to hear more of her story. But I had heard all I needed to. My frozen stance momentarily paralyzed me until the next group of chatty teens barreled in. I resumed my hyper, you-have-a-guest-speaker and are in for some fun mood, although I continued to think of the teen who now can see. She received the gift of sight from an anonymous donor.
“Choose to Donate Life” is the adopted motto of organ donation awareness. And it is a choice. But it never means sacrificing your own life to give life. Two deaths don’t equal life. But as an organ donor, you do choose life after yours has gone and answer the quandary of, “Why should two people die?” A donor offers life to others in need.
A poignant scripture I hesitate to share is from Paul and written to the Romans:
Christians are commanded to give, but not to the point of sacrificing our own lives. That will effect and destroy many people involved in our life today and in the future.
Remember the Christmas favorite, It’s A Wonderful Life? What happened when George received his wish—that he had never been born? The town, his family, friends, and the neighborhoods he would have financed, were destroyed or forgotten. Bedford Falls became Pottersville and the very life of the town died when George Bailey was granted his wish. Although a fictional story, It's A Wonderful Life serves as a powerful reminder of the effect each of us has on many people even around the world—for now and sometimes for eternity.
To be an organ donor is to provide many other people the possibility of being used by God to spread his love, his message of salvation, and his grace and mercy. Up to 50 people’s lives can be saved or enhanced by one organ donor. That person’s life being saved can offer a world of hurting people the encouragement they need.
So back to the nagging question, “What does the Bible say about organ donation?”—Nothing for or against unless you read the scripture and seek the Lord’s will and wisdom. If you want to see more scripture, read the verses listed below. And do your own seeking—don’t rely on documents or opinions.
Here is the blessing of organ donation--the HEALING brought to my donor's family. There is much more about the story in my first and second book. These times are what make it all worth it.