Should Christians be organ donors? Is organ donation after death the right and loving thing to do, or is it sinful? What does the Bible say? What are some of the objections raised to organ donation? Learn more in today’s Little Lesson!
Today’s question comes from one of our beloved viewers who is concerned about the appropriateness of becoming an organ donor. Now, you know if you’ve ever had your driver’s license renewed, they often ask the question, “Are you willing to be an organ donor?” You have to check a box, and it becomes part of your record on your license. Or maybe when you’re getting prepped for surgery at a hospital, they might ask you that question, “Just in case the surgery doesn’t go the way we hope, are you willing to be an organ donor?” You have to tell them yes or no.
This is something that we face, and it is amazing, just amazing that in this day and age medical science has gotten to that place where they can take an organ out of one person’s body and put it into another person’s body and save that person’s life, or extend that person’s life, or improve their life.
It’s an amazing thing, but it’s a personal decision for everybody. Now, the question though is, is organ donation a sin? First of all, it’s not a sin to save somebody’s life or to improve somebody’s life, and that’s what organ donation actually does. Right? If you’re dead, you don’t need any of your organs anymore, and so if someone else can benefit by them, if they can survive because they have some terminal disease that affects a certain organ, and they can replace that organ with your organ, you can give them a new lease on life or improve the lives of people you know are suffering because of a failing organ. I actually read somewhere that if you’re willing to be an organ donor, you could potentially help as many as 75 other people, as they would take out what might be good for somebody else.
So it’s really an act of love. Right? Loving your neighbor as yourself. I can’t think of anything else that really comes to bear on the question. It’s not a sin to love your neighbor as yourself. It’s a commandment. A better question might be is it a sin to not be an organ donor? I’m not trying to persuade anybody either way here, because it is a personal decision, but I’m just trying to say, do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. If you were dying because of a failing organ, you only had so long to live, and you knew that other people were dying who had organs that could be taken out of their bodies once they’re dead and then put into your body and help you live, wouldn’t you want them to do that? So, this is a case of the golden rule, treating others like you want to be treated.
My personal feeling is it’s not a sin to be organ donor. It’s actually a virtuous thing. When you think about it, it’s not really that big of a sacrifice on your part. I mean, you’re dead. You don’t need those organs any longer. They’re worthless to you. Right? But very valuable to anyone who receives the benefit of your organs.
So, loving your neighbor as yourself, doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you, these are the principles that come into play to answer this question. Unless there’s some higher biblical principle than the principle to love your neighbor as yourself, then the question is answered. The only thing I can think of that would cause anyone hesitancy on a biblical level would be thinking about the resurrection, because sometimes we have questions of is it okay to be cremated? Because we’re thinking the Bible does make it very plain that every body is one day going to be resurrected, every body, every body that belonged to a believer, every body that belonged to an unbeliever, all the way back to ancient history.
Well, the question I guess is does God use the identical molecules of the original body to form the resurrected body? I don’t know if anyone has the answer to that. I kind of think to myself, “I don’t see why God would only be able to use the original molecules, because if you think about it, people that have died or were buried at sea, well, their molecules can be spread across the whole world practically, through ocean currents, as little bits of carbon and parts of their body are disseminated throughout the ocean currents and so forth.
I’m sure God’s big enough. He’s powerful enough. Nothing’s impossible. He could grab the original molecules of that body when it comes time to resurrect it, but I’m also thinking that it’s possible that if some of those molecules went into the seaweed, or into the kelp, or into the fish, and someone else ate the fish, there’s some shared molecules going around here. There could be molecules in your body, in my body, that belonged to somebody else a thousand years ago. I guess I’m kind of doubting the idea that God has to or will use the original molecules of everybody’s body to create the resurrected body. That’s my take on that. I don’t think we’re going to mess up the resurrection at all by donating your organs.
I just can’t imagine on resurrection day God up in Heaven saying, “That doggone David Servant told people to go ahead and be organ donors, and now we’ve got all these livers and lungs and hearts all over the place used by multiple bodies. I don’t know how I’m going to get the resurrected bodies from all these different messed up parts.” I just can’t imagine that God is going to say that.
Again, it’s not that great sacrifice. Again, you’re dead. Now, some people say, “I’m a little bit afraid, because I’m afraid that if I am in critical condition, they’ll be less motivated with the same, because they’re going to harvest my organs and somehow put some money in their pocket as they sell them off.” Well, I just think that the likelihood of that happening is extremely slim.
You go to the emergency room, they’re trying to save you, whether you’re an organ donor or not. Actually, I’ve been told that if you are an organ donor, they take special precautions to make sure that if they declared you deceased, that you really are deceased and there’s no chance of you coming back. So, even extra precaution, because of course, naturally, people don’t want to be taking organs out of people that would have lived. That might bother their conscience just a little bit. Right? Right. Okay. Even in that case, if you’re a Christian, you just got a quicker ticket to Heaven. That’s not bad at all.
So, 20 people a day approximately die waiting for organ transplants who never get them. If enough people became organ donors, well, we could change that statistic. All right? So, I’m in favor, and I’m an organ donor. I hope you are too. All right. Thanks for asking that question. Hope to see you next time. God bless you.