Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Organ Donation and Catholicism

Catholicism, organ donationEmily DeArdoComment

Just a quick blurb here, guys: 

Some people have it in their minds that the Catholic Church does not support organ donation. It does. 

Just to clarify: the church supports organ donation. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was/is an organ donor (I'm not sure if he still is, but age doesn't matter for organ donors--as long as the organs are good, they're good!). 

The people who think this seem to be from a super-traditional sect of the church, and they think that only living organ ovations are OK. That's not what the church says, and that's not how most organ donations occur. You can't give someone part of a heart. My organ donor had to give me both lungs--and obviously, she had to be dead for that to happen! (This isn't true for all lung transplant, by the way--some are possible with living donors. They're called living lobar transplants, but that's another kettle of fish.) 

As long as the donor has expressed the desire to donate organs (as in, be a registered organ donor, people!), or the family OKs it, organ donation is perfectly kosher. You cannot kill people for their organs, and that's not what happens in the United States or European countries. Some countries, yes, this happens, and that's not ethical. But that doesn't happen here. Doctors take care of you and give you the best care, whether or not you're an organ donor.

All major religions support organ donation as a selfless and charitable act of love for another person. 

So if you ever hear someone say the church doesn't support organ donation, whoever is saying that is incorrect.