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July 8th, 2009
Heart of Jenin
Video: Does Your Religion Allow Organ Donation?

Most people know where the Catholic Church stands on the question of when life begins. But when does life end? Does the Catholic religion allow the organs of a brain-dead person to be harvested? Can a Jewish person be an organ donor even though the religion says a body must be buried whole? What does the Islamic faith say about organ donation?

WIDE ANGLE asks a rabbi, an imam, a Baptist minister and a Catholic priest (himself an organ recipient) to clarify some of the common misconceptions about what their respective faiths say about organ donation.

Father Edward Luciano, Reverend George Blackwell and Imam Shakur Alif Mustaffa are religious advisers for the New Jersey Sharing Network, an organization that matches organ donors with recipients, and Rabbi Haskel Lookstein is a member of the Halachic Organ Donor Society.

  • Pst. Polycarp Mboya

    As a Christian, I believe in organ donation because my Bible supports organ donation. Right at the beginning of creation, the very first man to be created “donated” one of his ribs to the woman! If God was against organ donation, He wouldn’t have taken the rib from Adam. We should all be willing to donate our organs for others and not necessarilly when we are at death bed but even when we are still alive!

  • Mike Ussak

    It’s a no-brainer! If you no longer need your organs and you have the ability to save another’s life, what greater legacy can you provide…and not just one life but the ability to save 8 lives and improve the quality of life for many, many more through tissue donation!

  • Ron Waterman

    I work for an OPO and I share with many the donation process. As a Christian I can not give spiritual birth to anyone. They make that decision themself. However, I can give physicial life through organ and tissue donation. Perhaps, because of my gift the person who receives the transplant and does not have faith in God they will see the Christian faith in a different light and come to a real knowledge of who God is. Donation is the right thing to do and the loving thing to do.

  • Jon Knight

    Thank you for this resource, my students left with the knowledge and understanding that Christianity, Judaism and Islam think that self sacrifice and love of others is of greater importance than interpretations of doctrine.

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