October 9, 2007
If You Have Two Kidneys and Your Neighbor Has None . . .
The Church of England says organ donation is a Christian duty.
Tom Butler represented the Church of England at a House of Lords consultation on organ donation in the European Union yesterday. He presented the church's position that organ donation is a very Christian thing to sign up for, BBC news reports.
"Giving oneself and one's possessions voluntarily for the well being of others and without compulsion is a Christian duty of which organ donation is a striking example," the Church of England's statement says. It also says Christians have "a mandate to heal" - but they're not talking about miracle working.
The Church of England is supporting a switch from an opt-in (to organ donation) to an opt-out system, hoping to help Britain overcome a chronic organ shortage, which can be an ethically tricky problem to solve. Their statement addresses a few of the issues, such as selling organs for profit, making sure the donor is dead, and respect for the body and the bereaved.
"What is done with the body matters," the Church of England affirms. "The body at its burial or cremation should ideally be recognizably the body of the person who has died."