Does the Church permit Organ Donations?

By Paul Dion, STL

‘When he heard this, the bloodthirsty, murderous and utterly abominable Antiochus gave orders to cut out his tongue. But the youth said, "Even if you remove my organ of speech, God hears also those who are mute. See, here is my tongue; cut it off, for in spite of this you will not make our reason speechless. Gladly, for the sake of God, we let our bodily members be mutilated."’ (4 Macc. 10;18-20)

Ok, take my tongue out. God will still hear my cry. Didn't Cain's blood cry out to God from the earth onto which it had been spilled? Didn't Jesus give His life for ours? Didn't some of the martyrs commit some form of suicide?

What about the Franciscan Friar, Maximillian Kolbe who told the Nazis to shoot him rather than the family man that they were intending to kill? What about the priest who gave his life in the rescue action of 9/11/2002? More than organs, these people gave their lives for someone else?

What about the thousands of kidney donors who save lives every year? What about the lung donors? The liver donors who give half their liver for the salvation of their brother or sister?

So you think that all of the above are morally OK. So then, it must be OK for me to sell a kidney; maybe a lung; maybe a cornea; oh, you need a leg, here, I'm 80 years old, I'll sell you one of mine for $5,000; You need 25 square inches of skin, I have some on my tush that you can have for $50.00 per square inch.

Brothers and sisters, this question is not as easy at it seems on the surface. Parishworld.net knows that this is an important 21st century moral question.

In light of the previous question about whether or not real Catholics believe 100% of the Church's teachings, what do you believe about this question? What do you think the teachings of the church about this question are?

The Burning Question is: Does the Church permit Organ Donations? What are the church teachings on this subject?

Try your hand at this. Further enlightenment will come a few days down the road.


  1. Anonymous10:07 AM

    You might have only one of the kind that is needed. I which case...

  2. I know many people who are alive today because of organ donations. I even know a priest who gave half of his liver to a parishioner so that he could live. Pope John Paul II came out very strongly in favor of people donating their organs.

  3. What a wonderful gift to be able to enable another person to have more years added to their life. It is especially great when you enable a parent to continue to raise their children instead of leaving them orphans.

  4. Anonymous11:22 AM

    I know of no prohibition of donating an organ to save a life.
    As with anything, there must be good reason. For example, if a father of a family were to put his life at serious risk by donating an organ, he would be irresponsible because he would be putting his family at risk also.