FAITH TALK

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A common thread that binds all religions of the world is saving the life of another. This is seen as a high calling and there is no religion that is against organ donation. However, what prevents many people from donating in some communities is their strong connections to their faith and cultural values which can cause conflicting views on organ donation.

 Christianity and Organ Donation

The process of transplantation is acceptable in terms of moral Christian law, and many Christians consider organ donation an act of love and a way of following Jesus’ example, and believe it is part of their Christian giving. They believe that nothing that happens to our body, before or after death, can impact our relationship with God.

Many church leaders quote the following passages from the bible to show the church’s acceptance of organ donation: There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 and “In eternity we will neither have nor need our earthly bodies: former things will pass away, all things will be made new.” Revelation 21:4-5.

Islam and Organ Donation

In a formal decision in 1996, the UK Muslim Law Council issued an Ijtihad (religious ruling) that organ transplantation is entirely in keeping with Islam. Accordingly, for Muslims in the UK, living donation is seen as an act of merit.

Most Islamic scholars endorse organ donation as an important principle of Islam, and saving a life is placed very highly in the Qur’an—’Whosoever saves the life of one person it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind’ (chapter 5:32).