Organ Donation

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sohn

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In light of JN 15:13 (greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends) and that Jesus died for us and saints like Maximilian Kolbe offered his life in place of a man with a family…why can’t one donate an organ to save someones life if the organ is vital and would cost donor’s life?
 
One reason, though not the only reason, would be that it would require the help of a surgeon, who would actually perform the act of killing you in order to harvest your organs, which would therefore cause him to sin. And if you killed yourself to allow him to do it, you’d be guilty. There’s no way to remove the culpability of murder from the action.
 
Oh sheesh, I misunderstood the question. LOL! I thought the question was just about donating an organ to save someone’s life, like a kidney or something. Killing oneself to do it is a whole different ballgame.

God bless
 
Can somebody please tell me if organ donating is ok with Catholic teaching?

If not, please quote me the CCC . Thanks

Love Kellie
 
Hey Kellie, here you go.

**Respect for the person and scientific research **

2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good that is sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.
 
Thanks for asking this question.

I knew that it was okay to donate organs, and even considered to be a VGT (Very Good Thing) by the Church… but I hadn’t yet read the CCC about it.

Another reason I’m glad that you asked this question is because it leads to a question that we must all ask ourselves – which is–

If I am wanting to donate my organs upon my death, does have I got that documented in my medical file with my doctor, have it written and sent to folks around me, so that upon my death the hospital can go ahead and take my organs soon enough after I die so that those organs are still viable for transplant?
 
Thank you Cephas.
I will sign up now.
Veronica Anne, Im in Melbourne and we have a Organ Donor Registry, and stickers that go on our Drivers Licences.
Love Kellie
 
I guess I never thought that it would be a bad thing to donate your organs; it’s nice to see that I am in line with the teachings of the Church. In the state of Colorado you can stipulate organ donation on your drivers license. If I die unexpectedly my hope is that an organ can be put to good use. I suppose that an organ donated to science is acceptable?

Benjamin
 
How about donating your body for medical research? I’ve heard both yes and no. Anybody here know for sure?
 
The temptation for the doctors at a major hospital to declare a patient legally dead so they can harvest the organs, and receive $400 k for a liver, hundreds of thousands of dollars for the other organs is just too great IMHO.

To put someone in the position of that kind of major temptation to rub out someone not quite deceased for their organs and those kinds of fees might be pushing them too far.
 
In theory, organ donation is a very good thing. Even Pope John Paul 2 has endorsed the concept.

In practice, once you’re not just merely dead, but really, really, truly dead, many of your organs are unusable for donation. Therefore some hospitals will take organs from a person who is “kinda-dead” e.g. brain-dead but their heart is still beating. Or the heart stops beating, and rather than performing simple procedures to give it a jump-start, the person is declared dead and the organs are removed.

That is the crux of the debate, defining the circumstances under which you want your organs to be donated, to ensure that the organ donation does not become a murder.

catholiceducation.org/articles/medical_ethics/me0019.html

wf-f.org/NHBDupdate-valko.html
 
I’d say organ donation is a great idea. I’d also say that we could save many more lives if we allowed people to sell their organs. They could sell them now, for harvesting upon death. They could also sell them now and have them harvested while still alive and with a long life ahead.
 
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Fullsizesedan:
The temptation for the doctors at a major hospital to declare a patient legally dead so they can harvest the organs, and receive $400 k for a liver, hundreds of thousands of dollars for the other organs is just too great IMHO.

To put someone in the position of that kind of major temptation to rub out someone not quite deceased for their organs and those kinds of fees might be pushing them too far.
Education is in order here. I work at a university medical center. It doesn’t work the way you describe it. There are too many constraints - legally, operationally, procedurally, and yes, even morally and ethically. Being a physician doesn’t automatically perform a “moralsectomy.”

Doctors do not receive money for harvested organs. Much of what goes on in organ donation processes is dramatically underfunded. I’m not at all sure where your misinformation is coming from, perhaps urban legends, but documentation is in order before anybody believes it.

This is not a process that happens fo rmoney. It is done so that lives may be saved by using viable organs from one whose life has been lost. In most cases. one donor gives live to anywhere from 2 - 4 persons who would have died otherwise.

Education is the key. There are too many people walking about thinking the same kind of erroneous things I’ve just read here.

Of course - the system isn’t perfect. One can find flaws and point them out. Mistakes happen. But the inevitable existence of imperfection is a FAR CRY from justifying any implication of wholesale corruption, etc.

Kyrie eleison!
 
Paul W:
In theory, organ donation is a very good thing. Even Pope John Paul 2 has endorsed the concept.

In practice, once you’re not just merely dead, but really, really, truly dead, many of your organs are unusable for donation. Therefore some hospitals will take organs from a person who is “kinda-dead” e.g. brain-dead but their heart is still beating. Or the heart stops beating, and rather than performing simple procedures to give it a jump-start, the person is declared dead and the organs are removed.

That is the crux of the debate, defining the circumstances under which you want your organs to be donated, to ensure that the organ donation does not become a murder.

catholiceducation.org/articles/medical_ethics/me0019.html

wf-f.org/NHBDupdate-valko.html
Paul - I know many physicians who specialize in critical care medicine. I work in a university medical center and I know medicine, and this end of medicine, well.

Here’s the scoop - “brain dead” IS DEAD. Period. Medically that is a fact. People who don’t like to think that way may debate it. But it is not a medical debate. It is simply a fact that death does not occur in all portions of a body at precisely the same moment. That does NOT mean death has not occurred. Whether the heart stops first, or the liver, or the bowel function, or the portion of the brain that stimulates respiration - once the brain no longet functions in any area, the PERSON is DEAD. Even if the heart keep s beating - for a while. Even if digestive processes carry on - for a while. Cessation of brain function is legal and essential death. Period.

“Simple procedures to give the heart a jump start” is a significant oversimpllification.

Lack of understanding is at the heart - if you’ll pardon a pun - of the lack of enough organ donation to save the lives that could be saved. It is an issuie of life and healthcare about which the general populace - although well educated about cholesterol and exercise and low carbs and all that - is WOEFULLY ignorant AND prejudiced.

If anybody wants to get into a detailed conversation about death, its processes, etc, etc, we can do that. But, the bottom line is that there is not this mentality some of you seem to believe in that says “Hey! Let’s go out and find a warm one who is not quite dead so we can whack him and sell his organs!” It just ain’t there!

I’m not interested in a “He said she heard they said he was told” kind of argument. I live in this environment every day. I communicate with people on a national and international scale that are involved in these issues. As I said, imperfection of a system is no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The TRUTH is that the system works very well and EXTREMELY ethically in this country.

Kyeir eleison!
 
Dr. Colossus:
One reason, though not the only reason, would be that it would require the help of a surgeon, who would actually perform the act of killing you in order to harvest your organs, which would therefore cause him to sin. And if you killed yourself to allow him to do it, you’d be guilty. There’s no way to remove the culpability of murder from the action.
No! No! No! A THOUSAND times NO!

You CAN donate your organs. There’s another similar thread in which the CCC was quoted specifically addressing it.

Organ donation does most emphatically NOT require “the help of a surgeon, who would actually perform the act of killing you!!!”

NOTHING could be further from the truth.

I work in a university medical center. I know the organ donation process. I have participated in parts of it.

Organs may be donated in two ways:
  1. From a LIVING person - who may donate a kidney, some bone, some bone marrow, a lobe of a liver, a lung, etc. NOBODY dies, and at least one life is saved.
  2. From a dead person who has very recently died. The process of death does not affect all organs simultaneously, and a person may be dead while several of the vital organs are stil viable and could be removed from the body and quickly transplanted from a compatible donor into a living person who needs the organ(s) in question.
It is a legal, ethical, and moral process. And nobody hires a surgeon to come in and kill someone else to harvest organs!

Folks need to get some education about these issues, and not spread this terribly inaccurate and untrue type of misinformation around.

Kyrie eleison!
 
Hold on there Servant1. What the Dr. was talking about was if a dear friend needed a heart transplant to stay alive, or a lung transplant, or a liver transplant, or something like that (the WHOLE organ). You are right, that CCC does state that organ donation is a very noble deed, but killing yourself to donate a WHOLE organ is not justified. I applaud you for spreading the truth about organ donation.

By the way, does anyone know if selling an organ is ok?
 
Andrew Larkoski:
By the way, does anyone know if selling an organ is ok?
The Holy Father addressed this issue (and other organ donation issues) in His address to the 18th international congress of the Transplantation Society 29 August 2000. He states:

“Accordingly, any procedure which tends to commercialize human organs or to consider them as items of exchange or trade must be considered morally unacceptable, because to use the body as an “object” is to violate the dignity of the human person.”

If you want to read the whole address the link is here.
 
Andrew Larkoski:
Hold on there Servant1. What the Dr. was talking about was if a dear friend needed a heart transplant to stay alive, or a lung transplant, or a liver transplant, or something like that (the WHOLE organ). You are right, that CCC does state that organ donation is a very noble deed, but killing yourself to donate a WHOLE organ is not justified. I applaud you for spreading the truth about organ donation.

By the way, does anyone know if selling an organ is ok?
Andrew -

It appeared Dr Colossus was saying it (organ donation) was wrong because it would require the help of a surgeon to kill the donor and harvest his/her organ(s). Organ donation was the original question. Not suicide. Of course suicide in order to become a donor would not be acceptable.

But the original question, and the question to which Dr Colossus appeared o be answering was about organ donation and what was wrong (or right) with it.

As to whole organs… one cannot donate part of a heart. One can donate a lung, one can donate a kidney, one can donate a lobe of a liver, or or a pancreas. One can also donate bone or bone marrow and remain alive without a problem. Donating whole organs is not a problem so long as the donor is dead. When the CCC on the topic was written, they knew entire organs were being used in cadaveric transplantation programs.

Again - just to reiterate - the initial question/discussion as I read it was about organ donation - and was answered that in order for organ donation to take place, someone had to be killed. That isn’t true.

Of course, suicide is wrong, and was not a part of my answer.

Kyrie eleison!
 
The original question was this:
why can’t one donate an organ to save someones life if the organ is vital and would cost donor’s life?
This was the part of the question I was answering. The CCC of course states that organ donation in and of itself can be a wonderful gift.
 
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