What Does the Bible Say About..? Logo

What Does the Bible Say About..Organ Donation?

What does The Bible say about Human organ donation?


Since the technology for organ transplantation was not possible until the past century, the Bible could say nothing specifically about organ donation. There may be some principles that apply, but these are purely my opinion and not clearly about organ donation. (I have designated on my driver’s license that my organs may be donated in the event of my death.)

Some would oppose organ donation because of the prohibition against eating blood. (Leviticus 17:10-14; Acts 15:28-29) They say that transfusions are the same as eating the blood, and that in a transplant some of the original blood necessarily goes along with the organ.

Others oppose organ donation because it is a mutilation of the body after death. They also oppose autopsies on the same principle. If the body is God’s creation, we would be dishonoring the person whose body it was, and God, by mutilating the body after death.

Those of us who support organ donation, on the other hand, do so on the principle that saving a life is a higher priority than what happens to the body after death, and than most things while we are still alive. If, by donating my one good kidney, I could keep someone alive so they would have the opportunity to serve God, then I am doing no less than if I were preaching the gospel to them directly. Jesus pointed out that this principle even applied to animals under the Law of Moses, and took priority over even the Sabbath. “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?” (Luke 14:5) If saving an animal’s life took priority over the Sabbath, surely saving a human life or improving the quality of that life (such as by corneal transplantation) takes precedence over almost anything else.

Again, though, I point out that this is my opinion, and I am using those scriptures that fit it. Others are entitled not to donate organs if that is their belief. The Bible is silent on the matter.