Religious Perspectives

African American Episcopal
Organ and tissue donation is viewed as an act of neighborly love and charity by this denomination. They encourage all members to support donation as a way of helping others.

The Amish support transplantation if they believe it is for the health and welfare of the transplant recipient. They are reluctant to donate organs if the transplant outcome is known to be questionable.

Assembly of God
The decision to donate life is left to the individual. No official policy is in place.

Donation is supported as an act of charity. Transplants that offer the possibility of physical improvement and the extension of life are approved.

The Church of the Brethren's Annual Conference in 1993 developed a resolution on organ and tissue donation supporting and encouraging donation. They wrote, "We have the opportunity to help others out of love for Christ through the donation of organs and tissue."

Buddhists believe that organ and tissue donation is a matter of individual conscience and place high value on acts of compassion.

Catholics view organ and tissue donation as an act of charity and love. Transplants are morally and ethically acceptable to the Vatican.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church encourages organ and tissue donation, stating that individuals were created for God's glory and for sharing God's love. A 1985 resolution, adopted by the general assembly, encourages members of the Christian Church to enroll as organ donors and prayerfully support those who have received an organ transplant.

Christian Science
The Church of Christ Scientist has no specific position regarding organ and tissue donation. The question of organ donation is left to the individual church member to decide.

The Episcopal Church passed a resolution in 1982 that recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ, blood and tissue donation. All Christians are encouraged to become organ, blood and tissue donors as part of their ministry to others in the name of Christ, who gave His life that we may have life in its fullness.

Greek Orthodox
The Greek Orthodox Church supports donation, as long as the organs and tissue are used to better human life, either through transplantation or research leading to the improvements in the treatment and prevention of disease.

Gypsies are a people of different ethnic groups without a formalized religion. They share common folk beliefs and tend to be opposed to organ and tissue donation. Their opposition is connected with their beliefs about the afterlife. Traditional belief contends that for one year after death, the soul retraces its steps. Thus, the body must remain intact because the soul maintains its physical shape.

Hindus are not prohibited by religious law from donating their organs, according to the Hindu Temple Society of North America. Donation is an individual decision.

Independent Conservative Evangelical
Generally, Evangelicals have no opposition to organ and tissue donation. Each church is autonomous and leaves the decision to donate up to the individual.

The religion of Islam strongly believes in the principle of saving human lives. According to A. Sachedina in his Transplantation Proceedings' article Islamic Views on Organ Transplantation, "the majority of the Muslim scholars belonging to various schools of Islamic law have invoked the principle of priority of saving human life and have permitted the organ transplant as a necessity to procure that noble end."

Jehovah's Witnesses
According to their national headquarters, the WatchTower Society, Jehovah's Witnesses believe donation is a matter of individual decision. Jehovah's Witnesses are often assumed to be opposed to donation because of their belief against blood transfusion. However, this merely means that all blood must be removed from the organs and tissue before being transplanted. In addition, it would not be acceptable for an organ donor to receive blood as part of the organ recovery process.

All four branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) support and encourage donation. In 1991, the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox) approved organ donations as permissible from brain dead patients. Both the Reform and Conservative movements also have policy statements strongly supporting donation.

In 1984, the Lutheran Church in America (Missouri-Synod) passed a resolution stating that donation contributes to the well-being of humanity and can be "an expression of sacrificial love for a neighbor in need." They call on "members to consider donating organs and to make any necessary family and legal arrangements, including the use of a signed donor card."

Mennonites have no formal position on donation. They believe the decision to donate is up to the individual and/or their family.

Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believes that the decision to donate life is an individual one made in conjunction with family, medical personnel and prayer.

The Moravian Church does not have an official policy addressing organ and tissue donation or transplantation.

Pentecostals believe that the decision to donate life should be left up to the individual.

Presbyterians encourage and endorse organ donation. They respect individual conscience and a person's right to make decisions regarding his own body.

Protestants encourage and endorse organ donation.

Seventh-Day Adventist
Donation and transplantation are strongly encouraged by Seventh-Day Adventists. They have many transplant hospitals, including Florida Hospital in Orlando.

Quaker (Society of Friends)
Organ and tissue donation is believed to be an individual decision. The Society of Friends does not have an official position on donation.

Unitarian Universalist
Unitarian Universalists affirm the value of organ and tissue donation, but leave the decision to each individual.

United Church of Christ
When advocated by medical practitioners to improve or preserve human life, donation/transplantation is encouraged, providing the donor and recipient consent.

United Methodist
The church encourages "men of ethical concern in various relevant fields to engage in the study and direction of these developments," recognizing that they offer great potentialities for enhancing health while at the same time raising serious issues for traditional views of human nature and values.

Wesleyan Methodist
The Wesleyan Church supports donation as a way of helping others. They believe that God's "ability to resurrect us is not dependent on whether or not all our parts were connected at death."

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