I have already Commented on the question, Are those who fail to pass brain stem function tests really dead? (read blog entry Organ-donation – Are Brain Dead Really Dead?) In this entry I would like to consider another approach to the claim that those who are brain dead are really dead.
The argument accepts the biblical view that when a person is dead then the neurologic (brain), circulatory (heart), and respiratory (Lungs) systems are each dead.
In order to maintain the biblical requirement for death, the argument goes something like this. … Read the rest
Do organ donation and abortion have something in common? This may seem like an odd question. But the question does arise when one considers both organ donation and abortion in light of personhood or in light of what it means to be a person.
Many Christians reject abortion from the point of conception, citing conception as the beginning of a person’s life. Some pro-abortion people accept abortion in the early stages of pregnancy claiming that the embryo/fetus in early pregnancy is not yet a person. … Read the rest
Organ donation can seem like a positive thing. The life of a young child, a teenage, a mother, a father, a business man, a loved one can be spared. Many deaths seem to come about because of failure of one organ or another. If we can replace the failing organ, we can continue to live. Is not the Christian ethic to promote life? Of course, vital organs, those organs that are necessary for the body to live, can not be taken out of a person and that person continues to live.… Read the rest
Gilbert Meilaender, a professor of theology at Valparaiso University, an independent Lutheran liberal arts university, has written a thought provoking essay on organ donation, title, Second Thoughts About Body Parts. (Click on title to read the essay.)1
Gilbert does not definitely rule out organ donation from brain dead donors but his comments suggest that he struggles with the concept and gives a number of cautions about proceeding down this path. He expresses understanding about the struggle that Christians go through who are faced with a loved on who will die without an organ transplant (see p100 or the last paragraph in this summary.) On the whole, his comments seem to be weighted against taking organs form living bodies.… Read the rest