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 necessary for the body to live, can not be taken out of a person and that person continue to live. If a person dies, his soul leaves the body and the body is returned to the earth.1 Ultimately, given a long enough period of time, the body becomes earth or dust. If someone dies, does not the body become part of the earth, earth that can be used to sustain life? This being true, does using the organs of someone who has died not seem to be a good thing? Is there not comfort knowing that through death others can be saved? Consider a loved one severely injured in a car accident with no chance of recovery. If their organs can be used after they die, does it not make some sense out of their life and death? Giving of ourselves and giving our lives is part of what it means to be Christian. Is it not a good thing when the last thing we do is give a gift of life to a number of other people? Does this not, somehow, bear the image of Christ? Christ gave up His life that others may be saved from eternal death to newness of life? Looking at organ donation from this perspective it seems to have a Christian appeal to it.
Why, then, are there some Bible believing Christians who express concern about vital organ donation? To answer this question, consider the concern about the definition of brain death. For further comment on brain death death read blog entry titled Organ Donation – Are Brain Dead Really Dead?
You can also learn more about concerns with the definition of death and organ donation, by referring to the annotated menu of other related blog postings here https://greg.kenyonspage.ca/organ-donation-transplantation/
1. As we consider funerals and graves we understand that the body returns to the dust of the earth. The Bible in Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 teaches that at the same time as the body returns to the dust the soul returns to God.