What does the Bible say
about organ donation?
Q. Is there anything in the Old or New Testaments regarding either donating or receiving organs? Is it against God's will and a sin?
(Submitted by: B. B.)
A. Jesus, our Lord and Master, gave us a sense of the worth of body parts:
"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. " (Matthew 5:29-30, NIV throughout)
The apostle Paul, who was taught personally by our Savior, gave us instructions about the uses of our bodies:
"Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness." (Romans 6:13)
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. " (Romans 12:1)
Jesus also gave us this definition of love:
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)
The donation of the organs of the body so that others might live would, in my humble opinion, be the donation of one's "life" (the organs must still be alive when donated) to his "friends". For instance, some people donate one kidney to siblings or parents where the tissue match is so close. My research has found no other types of instruction for the disposition of the bodies of those who die.